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S2 E6: homeLESS???

by Clifton Pettyjohn
May 27th 2020

In this episode, purpose strategist, author, transformation coach, radio host and spiritual leader Clifton Pettyjohn shares a story about his experiences with homelessness and how those experiences... More

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What's up everybody? My name is cliff and you are listening to the What now podcast. That's right. The what now podcast where we threw conversation discuss ways that we can effectively address life's most difficult moments so sit back, relax and enjoy tonight's episode. Hey, what's up everybody? Welcome back to the What now podcast That's right the Wood Now podcast where we have conversations about effective ways of addressing are facing life's most difficult and we use them air quotes around that were difficult moments and we learned to classify those moments as defining moments because they are the moments that we take to define those moments in our life. We don't allow those moments the authority, the power or the right to define themselves.

We understand that that right, that authority and that power has been given unto us. All right, So thank you all for joining me on tonight. Thank you for your love. I thank you for your support. I thank each and every one of you for just being you. As I always say, if you have any ideas about to show you want to give some feedback on the show, you can always email me at info I N F O at Clifton's Pettijohn, That's C L I F T O N P E T T Y J O H N dot com. Alright, info at cooked in petty john dot com or whatever your favorite platform is. Whatever platform you're listening to the podcast on, you can always leave feedback in the comments section and you can always hit those stars, you know, so again, I appreciate each and every one of you. Let's dive into tonight's subject. So the other day, um I was riding and um as I was writing, I came up on the stop light, it was about two or three people ahead of me.

And if you listen to the podcast or you know me personally personally, then you know that I have a heart for the homeless. I have a heart for the homeless. I told the story, I believe it was either on the podcast on the radio show about when we first went into quarantine and I found out our library here in Dover was closing because that's why I want to get my new passport and it would be closed down for a couple of months. My heart broke, not because the library was closing, but my heart broke because I started started to think, well, where were the homeless people go during the day? Because many of them hang out at the library. So I shared that story. But anyway, I pulled up to the stop sign and there's a young man who is homeless and he's got a son, he's asking for money to get something to eat and I don't carry cash on me a lot. But I had a dollar on me and I was so mad with myself that I didn't have more than a dollar, but I gave the young man the dollar, you know, and I had a conversation with him and everything.

But um I pulled off and I just started crying, I just started crying. And those of you who know me, I'm a big cry baby. L and a lot of people don't see that with me, but I am a big cry baby, especially if we're like a worship experience or if we I've seen somebody that's struggled or hear somebody's story of them struggling but they triumphed over that struggling or if I see somebody going through something or I feel the pain or the anger, the frustration of someone, I just cry. I that's just me, I'm a big cry baby when it comes to things like that. So I pulled off and I just begin to cry and I just cried and I said, well why do we have to have homelessness and the world, why do people have to go through this? Why do people have to be hungry? Why? You know, I just went through all those wise and it just began to take me back to periods and times in my life where I personally experienced homelessness and my homelessness was a little different than other people's homelessness and a lot of people didn't even know that I was homeless at the time.

I was had a good job working in the school system. Um, and I was living in my car. Yeah, I was living in my car. I would find places to park at night, sometimes I would park on the school property, I can tell this now on the school property, you could go all the way back to the football field and I would park there. Um, and nobody knew it. I would just get to the school early in the morning and uh work out, which was a good thing. There's always a place of praise. My pastor used to always say find your place of praising everything. So the place of praise in me being homeless was that it was, I made sure I worked out every day, but um, I went and I will work out in the morning and then I would take showers right there at the school every day and everybody thought I was doing it. So you're just so motivated to work out. This is so awesome and nobody knew I was homeless.

And then one day, you know, as time went on, I kind of started slacking with some things and one of the, I think one of the custodians realized that I don't know if they caught me sleep in the parking lot or what, I don't remember what happened anyway, they went to and during this time, you know, I just want to shot them out. They might not hear this uh podcast ever, but I had the privilege during this time and this was probably one of the craziest times in my life. Um, but I got the chance to work with, uh, I think his bishop now, what's pastor at the time, Anthony Cannon and pastor feel white and you know, we all grew up in the same area together, they were a little older than me, but we got a chance to work together and it was just, they got me through days and I don't know if they ever knew how much they got me through days and they would tell me I got them through days, but it was like just such a great support system, one of the greatest support systems I ever had um, in the school system and even, you know, I've only worked for two organizations as an adult 13, I worked in the, in the river school district, a school system in Trenton, New Jersey and the boys and girls clubs.

So that was the best camaraderie that that I ever had camaraderie that I've ever had. Um, we used to pray together. Yeah, it was just it was great. That was one of the my favorite years working. But I was homeless and he came to me and and opened up his home, you know, offered his home to me and everything. I talk about something good. I finally had found somewhere I contacted a shelter, ended up going to a shelter from the shelter. I went to a transition home, you know, and and on from there. But I guess I'm sharing this story because sometimes you forget parts of your story or it's not that you forget parts of your stories, your story. Sometimes you suppress parts of your story and when you suppress parts of your story, people don't get the whole you. And I guess there's times throughout my life that I've suppressed that part of my life because there was times I was ashamed of it.

You know, it was a time I felt like I deserved it because this came after. Um, if you ever hear me talk about the greatest mistake of my life I talk about in my book as well. Um, this came after that and I really hadn't forgiven myself and that's the purpose. I want to talk about it on tonight. I want to make sure that everything that you do, you learn to really forgive yourself and allow yourself the time and the space to go through what you need to go through, learn from what you did and grow from it. Uh and I found out in my life that by me blocking out that space in my life, I hadn't allowed myself to go through it and grow from it. So it always became a reference point. Or it always became a place that I went to when I was triggered mm hmm When I was triggered. And the reality is that yes, we should not forget where we come from. But the bible also says, you know, forget remember not the former things, you know, press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling all that great stuff.

But it isn't talking about forgetting it in the sense as if it never happened. Remember somebody said God erase their memory about never. That's a whole other story. But it's not talking about forget it in that sense. But it's talking about forget it by stripping it of the power and the influence that it still has on your life. Many of us there are spaces in our past that still have power and authority in our lives because they become the reference point that we go to when we're hurt when we're broken when we're angry when we're upset when we're in a place of guilt and condemnation. We end up referring back to that place and we don't free ourselves enough to say, yeah, I did it. But you know what I learned from it? I grew from it and now here I am today and I'm a better man because of it. Everything that you go through in life, if you change one event in your life, then you would not be who you are today. You would have not met the people that you've met, or maybe you would have met them, but you would have met them in a different space, a different time and for a different purpose.

So, one of the things that I gather, you know, going back to the greatest mistake that I ever made and going back to that homeless period in my life was that there was a reality that that was purpose wrapped up inside of it, It was purpose wrapped up inside of it. And if I never went through that experience, I never would have understood how easy it is to get to a space where you no longer have somewhere to live. Because sometimes we make judgments about people without hearing their stories. We make judgments about people without hearing their stories. But because behind everybody inside of everybody and sometimes locked up inside of individuals is a story and it's a powerful story and the reality is that if we can ever understand how powerful our story is, then we can begin to experience freedom in all core areas of our lives.

But we have to go to that place that hurt us the most, that cost us the moves that embarrassed us the moose and use it as an opportunity for it to teach us the most I'm telling you. God used that time and space to deliver me from people from people's thoughts, from people's opinions, from people's words, from people's influence from the power that I've given people over my life. He used that time frame of my life to cause me to rise above the thoughts of other people in the words of other people and sometimes even the truths that other people were telling. It taught me that Yes, I did it, but that does, that is not the definition of who I am. Some of you are stuck in moments and allowing moments to define you when you are far greater than that moment.

If I had allowed moments to define me that I would be a loser, I would be a liar, I would be homeless. I would be jobless. I would be less. Less and less. Less and less and less. Less. Less, less, less of all of that. I would be a quitter. I would be all of those things. Why? Because it was a time that those things were true about me. I acted out on those things. I manifested those things. A thief. What a back biter! Deborah minded all of those things. There was a time in a space when I was trying to find and discover who I am and how to express who I am, that those things were right about me, but they do not define the totality of who I am. So why did I have to go through homelessness? Why did I have to lose everything and fall flat on my face?

And then, as God restored me, he restored me in front of the people that once considered themselves, my friends consider themselves co workers that trusted in me that trusted him. That probably was one of the most hurtful processes with that space and time in my life. Was that God was putting me before people, they had put confidence in men that I had let down. How did you handle that? Have you ever let somebody down? What is your response to that? Because sometimes you have to free yourself from letting other people down. You have to free yourself from it? Yes, you did. It go back, get right. Whatever needs to get begotten right? Some things don't even need to be addressed. That's something you do need to address. Some things that you just don't need to address. Get it right, get whatever you have to do.

But at the end of the day, free yourself enough to understand. But yes, it happened. But I'm a better person because of it. Today. My heart still goes out to the homeless. I don't want to see anybody go through any forms of homeless homelessness. But the awesome thing about it, I tell people all the time I find my place of praise, even in homelessness because when I was homeless, I had a car when I was Karlis, I had a home. So I praise God for that. And then I have people that stepped in, y'all I've slept in people's uh spare bedrooms, I've slept in people's game rooms, I've slept and and uh people's master bedrooms. I've slept in people's Children's rooms. I've slept on couches, I've slept on floors. I've slept a lot of places.

Why? Because there was a cycle in my life that needed to be broken. However, I wouldn't allow it to be broken because I didn't know how or I didn't want, I'm gonna be honest, I didn't want to take the responsibility and step up and forgive myself and require the more out of me. That was in me, it was a cycle. It was a cycle that I had to wake up and make up my mind to break. It was a cycle. It was painful. It was hurtful. It was a lot of things, but it also taught me so many lessons y'all I encourage you and this deals with self awareness as well. We're gonna talk about self self awareness on another uh podcast, but my encouragement to each and every one of you become aware of yourself, become aware of your strengths, become aware of your weaknesses, become aware of your likes, become aware of your dislikes.

Become aware, become aware of what you do when you're vulnerable, which are attracted to when you're vulnerable, become aware of all of those things, things that keep happening to you certain times of the year become aware of that, why? Because when you become aware of it, that you can develop a strategy or battle strategy strategy to destroy it because y'all, we are stronger than it. We just don't realize that we're stronger than it. So again, I don't even know if we ended where I wanted to. Well, he definitely didn't end where we started. But by heart, my prayers go out to the homeless during those this time. And I'm not just talking about those who are homeless that are on the street because there is a battle of a psyche of those who are homeless that have to live with other people and some people say, well, you just should be grateful. You got a roof over your head, but you don't know what it does to your psyche when you once were able to provide for yourself and for others.

And now you find yourself at a place in a position where number one, the state has to provide for you and you have to depend on others to provide for you that will tear at your psyche, male or female or those, you know who doesn't don't identify with a specific vendor, vendor specific gender, whatever you know, that can tear at the fabric and the fiber of who you are. So my prayers go out to each and every one of you on tonight. And what I will say is no, it does not look good. It doesn't feel good right now. It doesn't, I'm not belittling it and I'm not trying to say get over, no, no, no, no, no, grab every lesson that you can grab in it, grab every lesson that you can grab in and grab everything you can grab in it. Why? Because this two is connected to your purpose. It's connected to your purpose and you might not see it now. I'm just sitting here closing my eyes now and thinking about everybody I live with.

I'm thinking about everything that I went through and I'm grateful for each and every one of them that opened up their doors to me. I'm grateful for. I'm grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful for. But I need it. Then I needed the homelessness. I needed it because it made me so much more appreciative of life. It made me have to face things in my life that I spent years running from. I spent years running from. So whatever part of your story you're running from today, I encourage you to turn around and face it and tell that portion of your story that you feel embarrasses you the most makes you the most uncomfortable and makes you even more vulnerable because when you find that piece of the puzzle, then your purpose can begin to breathe freely, as I always say, create a great day walk would purpose and by all means execute your vision be blessed.

Yeah. Can you identify any areas in your life where stagnation is manifesting? Now? I know some of you might say no, I can't. I want us to look at stagnation for what it really is. Some people have identified stagnation as something that's not growing or that's not producing. I don't believe that stagnation to me stagnation can also be that Yes, we're growing. Yes, we're producing however, were growing and producing in a manner that's disrespectful to the purpose and the greatness that resides inside of us. And listen, we all have areas where we can identify that we could be doing a lot better in. There's greater potential in those areas than we are experiencing. And guess what I have a tool that will help you begin to experience transformation in those areas of stagnation in your life. And that tool is called from stagnation of transformation.

That's right. That is my book from stagnation of transformation. So I want you to hit over to my website www dot clinton petty john dot com. I want you to hit there. I want you to hit the transformation tab there. You're gonna find a free preview of my book, That's right, a free preview of my book and I promise you after you read the preview, you're gonna want to invest in your personal transformation through purchasing the book. So again, hit over there, purchase the book, let me know you purchased it. Here's what I always say guys, If you purchased the book, you read the book, you apply the principles in your life and yet you still are stagnant in the areas that you are applying them to and you're not experiencing any transformation and you can prove to me that you have applied these principles. I will give you a 100% refund. That's right. A 100% refund. Why? Because I believe in the application of the principles that are outlined in this book. So again, visit www dot clinton Pettijohn dot com and purchase your copy of from stagnation to transformation.

S2 E6: homeLESS???
S2 E6: homeLESS???
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