VIDEO: There Is A Purpose For Your Anxiety with John Delony | Men Who Love God

VIDEO: There Is A Purpose For Your Anxiety with John Delony | Men Who Love God



VIDEO: There Is A Purpose For Your Anxiety with John Delony | Men Who Love God

We’re just not designed for the amount of ease that we have, and we’re not designed for this much comfort. I think we’re all looking around going, Oh, no, the self doesn’t hold. The human self was not designed to hold up the universe. There’s something bigger that we’re designed to be anchored into. Building an Unanxious Life, dude, there is no there there. My boss, Dave Ramsey, we always laugh. People get up there and they’re debt free. I paid off, I don’t owe anybody anything. And they scream on the stage, I’m debt free. There will never be. I’m anxiety free. I don’t want you to be anxiety free. If your wife dies, I hope your body goes into a season of depression. I hope it slows you down so you could sit in that grief. That means your body is working right. Anxiety is not a disease. Anxiety doesn’t mean you’re broken. Anxiety is not a forever genetic disorder. Anxiety is not just a diagnosis. I want you to know you’re not broken. There’s not something wrong with you. It’s just your body trying to get your attention and let you know we could live a different life.

Okay, Dr. Jon Deloney. Dude, I’m so, I’m so, so, to have you. You’ve been a bright light in my life. Last couple of months. I discovered you in May on Instagram. The algorithm said, This guy’s cool. Let’s watch something. So my question to you, Jon, to kick this off is I would love to know, in your opinion, what is the one or two biggest challenges men our age are facing? If you’re going to help get this started, what can we identify easily to start?

Almost none of us had dads that gave us a roadmap for dealing with the world we’ve inherited. And even if we had great, wonderful fathers who didn’t leave and didn’t beat up our moms and were men of character, they were coming of age in an era when how many toys you could accumulate was the scorecard. How good your kid acted in front of other people was the parent’s scorecard, how good their grades were. Then it just goes downhill from there. I think every dad, right now, every dad, has to understand that we don’t have a map for moving forward. We’re in the wilderness with a machete on our own trying to carve a path. I want dads to give themselves some grace. That’s number one. Number two, I think we have such an epidemic of loneliness. We’re trying to do life with no tribe, and that has never existed before in human history. This myth of the self-made, it’s not real. It’s not true. It’s been tribes since before human history. So I think it’s those two things. We don’t have a map for where we’re headed, and we’re trying to do it alone. And I think those two things, if you wrap up those two things, I think you changed a lot of things overnight.

There’s a part in your book that said our bodies are not made for the modern world. I hope I said that right. Can you.

Talk about that? That’s the premise of the book. That to me is Hypothesis One of the books that we’ve created a world our bodies can’t exist in.

Can you talk about that for a second? Because I think that’s so important to set that up because it is so true. I feel that until we take charge of our life and become intentional, like you talk about, Yeah, this world that is here doesn’t feel right.

Yeah. We’re just not designed for the amount of ease that we have. And we’re not designed for this much comfort. And we’re not and designed to not have to work X hard and choose between four mates. We’re not designed for a billion potential mating opportunities with digital apps globally. I think if you look around what we’ve created for ourselves in a very, very short window of history, we’re just not designed to live in. And then the question we have to ask ourselves is what do we do now?

Yeah. And that’s what I want to know is I know what your book says, what do we do now? But I’d be curious to take your personal experience. When did you… When did you say, Enough is enough? And what led up to that? Where you personally changed that, just changed some things?

I’m probably going to be a bad podcast guest here and pull the curtain down on all podcast guests who say, I was like this, and then this all happened. Because I’ve been through multiple seasons of I find myself without thinking, chasing yet another doctor degree yet this title, this dollar amount. I go, What are you doing? I take another job. I move my family to a new city. We settle in. My marriage gets calm. Things are great. My kids are healthy. And then somebody calls and says, Hey, man, we would love to have you speak at this thing. I speak at that thing, and somebody calls me afterwards and says, Man, you would be a great presenter at this thing. Have you ever thought about doing this publicly? Next thing I know, I’ve got another business I’ve kicked up, and I start creating narratives that I’m trying to solve problems. I’m creating excuse stories so that when I get called out on X or Y or Z, it’s when I just create these worlds, man. I find myself not sleeping, and I start skipping workouts, and I’m just carrying gummy candies everywhere. I don’t want to be in the same room with my wife and my kids annoying me.

It’s just basic humanity stuff starts to become a burden so that what? I can get some more followers on Instagram, right? That’s what I mean. That’s when I catch myself. And it’s happened multiple times.

It’s a lifelong process. I love your answer. And that’s another thing I’m interested in your perspective, because in a lot of self-help books, there’s like, Okay, here’s the 10 steps. Seven steps. You have six-.

Yeah, they’re choices. They’re not- Choices, choices. They’re not steps. Yeah, because this is- They’re not steps.

But their choices. And so I picture myself as a fellow film man out there. Life is just not satisfied. I’m just not feeling good. And then there’s these six choices, and I read through your book, and I’m motivated, and they look great and I agree with them. I can see why they’re there. There. And then I think, Okay, when I perfect this, I will have peace. John, I know that’s not the truth when that happens, right? Yeah, that’s right. I want you to talk to me. The mind shift of deciding to be living a debt-free life, even though I’m not there, the peace can be experienced now. I want you to give hope to that concept that you don’t have to get there yet. It’s the direction.

And it comes from the great Rich Mullen, the great singer and songwriter and theologian who says the worst part about being a Christian is that it’s every single day. And you can never memorize enough scripture on a Monday that you don’t have to be nice to people next month. And then you expand that out to exercise. You can never work out so hard and good on Monday that you’re good for the month. It all goes back to we’ve turned mental health, emotional health into a diagnostic that is for a medical person to solve, to end. I don’t want to live in a house that doesn’t doesn’t have a smoke detector. I don’t want to live in a body that doesn’t experience anxiety. I just don’t want it going off, the alarms going off all the time. Anxiety is something you got to do every day. Being a good husband is something I got to do every day. Being a person of faith is something I got to do every day. I think the frustrating part and the hopeful part is, buckle up, man. This is the rest of your life. If you want to be well and you want to be whole, then you have to be intentional.

Intentional means you got to make a bunch of choices every single day. Building an unanxious life, there is no there, there. There’s no like, Ah. My boss, Dave Ramsey, we always laugh. People get up there and they’re debt free. I paid off, I don’t owe anybody anything, and they scream on the stage, I’m debt free. There will never be an, I’m anxiety free. I don’t want you to be anxiety free. If your wife dies, I hope your body goes into a season of depression. I hope it slows you down so you could sit in that grief. That means your body’s working right.

Yeah, I totally agree. One of the biggest paradigm shifts in my life was when I learned that suffering is coming. And if I choose it, it’s going to be a lot better than the suffering of regret.

Can you talk about that? I guess I learned that playing Texas High School football, right? Man, the harder you work in practice, the easier the games are. The more fun you can have in the games. And then when you’re in shape and you’re trained and you’re having fun, you’re really tough to beat. The human body is designed to run long distances or move long distances. The human body is designed to carry heavy things. The human body is designed to go through periods of cold and periods of hot. The human body is designed to have periods where there’s a lot of food and there’s not a lot of food. That is what keeps the human body regulated. We’ve just flattened out the world where we have a 72 degree home and a 72 degree car, a 72 degree office, and our bodies are starting to rattle. It was Easter’s work like, dude, his new program, Two Percenters, take the hard path. Take the most difficult path, like you said, when you can. And then when you break your ankle and you can’t take the hard path, your body will be so strong that the repair will be much quicker.

The effort back will be much accelerated. So do the hard stuff now. Have the hard conversation with your wife right now. Tell your kids no right now, and it will make tomorrow a completely different experience.

The podcast is called The Men Who Love God. And I’m wondering, I loved your final chapter. I love how you get into belief. And belief is a choice, okay? It’s one of the pillars, one of the non-negotiables of your book. And I underlined some things.

Yeah, that’s the chapter that’s going to get me into trouble with everybody, right? I got to a place. I wrestled with that chapter for a while, and I realized I’m lying to everybody if I don’t write this down.

Yeah. How was that writing that chapter?

It was hard because I’ve spent the last 20 years with some of the most incredible, brilliant scholars on the planet. They’re just amazing people. They are as atheist as the day is long. I had to imagine myself sitting down across the table and saying, Hey, you got to believe in something bigger than yourself. You have to. We are not designed to live untethered lives. That’s both secular and faith-based scientific literature. It’s not me just making this up. This is from the literature, and this is just from looking around. I don’t see a path forward towards a non-anxious life if the self feels untethered. All the psychological theories end with self-actualization. And I think if we look around, we’ve reached self-actualization. We have everything.

Can you define self-actualization for me?

It’s all of your basic needs are met. And then you’ve had time to think deeply and purposefully about a number of things, and you’re able to consciously work on character, work on have opportunities for courage, solved all the problems. And now I can rest on this cloud. I think we’re all looking around going, Oh, no, the self doesn’t hold. The human self was not designed to hold up the universe. There’s something bigger that we’re designed to be anchored into. I’m pretty clear in the book, for me, that’s been Jesus, and that’s been God. That’s the path for me and my family. We got to stop worshiping the scientific method, and we have to stop worshiping the self, and we have to stop worshiping how we feel about everything. And little statements like, quote-unquote, my truth, that’s not real, and that ends up in a pile of bodies every single time.

Or the term to me is like following your own heart, right?

That’s the stupidest, most dangerous thing a person can do is follow their own heart.

I was blown away by this sentence. Our world becomes all about us. In a culture built upon self-actualization, inevitably, we end up worshiping ourselves. And then you say, Atheism is a modern privilege.


Dude, that’s a home run, man.

I think I put in the book in a footnote, I know that there’s been thinkers throughout all history who are brilliant and don’t believe in any of the mythology or any of the stories. That’s true. It’s undebatable. But I was with a buddy and his ranch had burned to the ground. He has a ranch out in West Texas. And to say he cares for this place is an understatement. He’s just an incredible caretaker of this property. And somebody literally flicked a cigarette out miles away, and it burned the whole holler to the ground. And he actually was the one who coached me like, Actually, this will be the greatest thing for the soil. It’s going to be good. It was bad for the stuff that I had built that was man-made that burned to the ground, but this will be a gift to the soil and this will regrow. But in that conversation, he said, There’s never been an agrarian atheist society in human history, because you can’t. When you walk outside and before they had wells and before they had irrigation systems, when you look to the sky and you fell to your knees and said, Please rain or my kids die.

I think there’s a humility and it’s just taking a knee to the whole thing and saying, I’ve tried to hold up the whole world myself, and I’ve tried it through going to college, and I got that degree and I went with me. I watched a ton of David Goggins videos and Jacko videos, and I tried that route. Whatever thing you’re will always end up hollow until you can take a knee and say, There’s something bigger than me at play here.

One of the most powerful things you talk about is letting go and how hard that is. Why is that so hard for humans to let go in the modern age.

I’ll say it more directly on this podcast just because it’s called Men Who Love God. I don’t think we believe what we say. I don’t think we believe we’re good enough. And I think we have taken the message from our moms and our dads and our teachers and our coaches that you’re only good to me if you get this grade. You’re only good to me if you run this fast. And we have taken that blueprint and laid it over God and said, I only have value if fill in the blank. I think at the end of the day, most of us don’t actually believe that God loves us. We spend so hard, so much time and energy trying to accomplish that. Most of us accomplish by holding tighter and just doing harder. Just do it harder. If you didn’t get it, you didn’t go hard enough, do it again. That’s not belief, man. Belief is opening your hands. And the story in the book is when Dave Ramsey pure pressure me to go skydiving with him. There’s just a moment when you have like, Oh, I guess it. You let go. And you like, This is it.

And I hope this guy who’s attached to me has a family he wants to go home too, because I’m out. That is belief, is letting go and resting in what you know to be true, which is that you’re loved by something infinitely bigger than you. And it’s only from that place that then you can go do the healing and the work that you were called to do.

It’s such a hard thing, but it’s such a sweet thing to the soul when you let go and.

Let – I mean, that’s peace, right?

It is peace. It’s like to trust that I have a creator that knows best for me, and I don’t have to figure everything out. He’s smarter. He’s wiser. He created me.

It’s hard to always do it. Not only you don’t have to. You can’t.

You can’t.

Exactly. You can’t. And I was talking to that group of faculty members yesterday at the university. Dude, Jesus kept always retreating to go spend time by himself, to spend time in prayer, meditation. If God took day seven off, good God, you can too. What’s the matter? I don’t know what world we think we’re running.

Yeah, I love ancient wisdom. They tested it. It works. And even more today, I mean, it’s so applicable today. Let me read this sentence. We live in an age when sarcasm and pessimism so often present as wisdom, while joy and optimism so often show up as insanity.

I hope one day I can write a book just about him, but he’s a man that I credit with really saving my life. But he also would say things. He would drop little gems like that like, Hey, we’re just in an age where pessimism and sarcasm, the quickest, sharpest little quip response is look at as mic drops. That’s what we’re going for. Everybody’s looking for a mic drop.

When somebody comes in and you say, How was your weekend? They’re like, It was actually pretty good, man. My kids are doing great. We didn’t travel, and we got to spend some time as a family. It was a good weekend. You instantly go, Dude, they don’t get it. They don’t understand what’s going on. The great BrenΓ© Brown says, Whatever you go looking for in the world, you’re sure to find. And if you spend your days going around looking for ways the world is collapsing with the way people’s rights are getting taken, if you go around looking for that, you’re going to see it everywhere you look.

Dude, I second that man. If you’re just seeing the negative things in the world, and I’m not going to be able to do this, this seems too hard, you’re going to defeat yourself into making these amazing choices that you’ve.

Lined up. One of the great psychologists of all time, Amos Tversky, he had a great quote that I just loved, and I’ll butcher it a little bit, but he said, Pessimism is stupid, because if what you’re worried about comes true, you’ve experienced it twice. Why don’t you lean into the best possible outcome? And if it’s negative, let’s deal with that when it’s negative. I’ll deal. I’ll be prepared. I’ll deal. I’m not going to not go training. I’m not going to be naive. But man, I’m not going to spend my time what-if-ing all the time.

Hey, we got a wrap thing because I know you have a hard stop, but Memento Mori, one of my favorite life-changing concepts as we die tonight. How much sweeter is life? Knowing that it’s possible that I put my child to bed and may never see him again.

When I got doubled over with anxiety the first time, I just didn’t know what it was, and I just melted. I ended up moving to a new university. When I went to the new university, I went and met with my old psychology professor, who at that time was leading a small team of about 30 people with the local police department. There’s a big city police department. He would just show up. He did it for a decade by himself with no team. He just got a police radio and put it in his house, and he showed up because he was a trained trauma counselor, and he would show up after kids were asleep, and he would sit out in the car and tell the police officers going in, Hey, if you all need some help, I’m a counselor. I can help. 10 years of showing up, and I asked him, What were you doing? You just showed up for ten years? He said it just like this. All I know is when I open the New Testament, it says to go with widows and orphans. I just tried to find in my community where I could go see with widows and orphan.

It seemed pretty clear to me. I remember going, Oh, I thought the Bible says I should watch every political thing and then comment on them all. I didn’t realize actually go show up with the widows and orphans. Anyway, it was a team. He invited me onto the team and I went through the trainings. Here’s what we did. I got a text message on my phone that would say 1087 and an address. 1087 was the police code in that area for someone who had died, dead body. It could be a four year old, it could be a 16 year old, it could be a 98 year old. I often didn’t know. I just know my job was to show up and be a non anxious presence and help those people get from A to B so the police could do their job, so the grieving, the chaos could start. I’ll tell you what, man, I went into some of the wildest clean body parts of wildest stuff you can imagine. But I’ll tell you it was powerfully healing for an anxious mind because it was a stark reminder. This all goes away, boom, like that. There was a few nights I would get home, especially after working cases with children, that I would actually go get in bed with my son and just hug him.

He was dead asleep. It was 2:00 in the morning. I just needed to hug him. There just becomes this sense of reality. This is all very short. And so I’m going to look for joy, and I’m going to look for ways I can serve. I’m going to look for ways I can be a peacemaker in ways I can deal with situations where that’s not an option. I’m going to make sure that my kids are taught character and how to treat people with dignity and respect. And that’s about what we got, man, because it goes by real fast.

It does, dude. Well said. Okay, dude, you’ve written an amazing book. It’s just a life-changing. I can’t wait for my friends to read it. I can’t wait for people to just to be able to take this in and make these choices. I want to give you the final word. What’s to our fellow brothers out there, what hope? What would you want to say to them as your final word?

Anxiety is not a disease. Anxiety doesn’t mean you’re broken. Anxiety is not a forever genetic disorder. Anxiety is not just a diagnosis. Disease. If you’re anxious, and by the way, anxious, burned out of your job, burned out of your marriage. If you are so stressed all the time, all the time, I want you to know you’re not broken. There’s not something wrong with you. It’s just your body trying to get your attention and let you know, hey, we could do… We could live a different life. That’s this book, man. It’s a roadmap. I want people to know on the other side of it, it does not inoculate you from bad things. Bad things are going to come. Your mom’s going to get sick. Your kid’s going to get sick. Your dad’s going to pass away. That’s going to be your life. But with these principles, you’ll be able to not only weather the storm, but you’ll be able to lean into that storm because you will have built a foundation that is so solid that, for me, as a believer in God, that is so anchored into a God that is so much bigger than me and so much more powerful than me and that loves me, you can weather any storm, any storm, you and your community.

John, beautiful words. Dude, thank you so much. This has been awesome.

Thank you, my brother. I’m grateful for your hospitality. That means the world to me. Thank you. I hope you.

Enjoyed this episode. More importantly, I hope you feel closer to your creator. If you find yourself wanting to strengthen your relationship with God, I’m a huge fan of the Skylight app. It’s full of beautiful, high-quality daily spiritual practices. Finally, never forget, in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him.



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