["A Summer of Powerful Peace" (#ASOPP) is the 90-day campaign to launch the game-changing new book, Powerful Peace; A Navy SEAL's Lessons on Peace from a Lifetime at War. Here's #24. Click at the top right to receive email notices for updates!]
I’m going to dare here, and share something with you that you would never otherwise be privileged to see.
Tonight I’ll hop a bird and head back on the redeye to DC and the warm embrace of loved ones at home. This Western States walkabout has driven Powerful Peace to a deeper level for me personally and it has for many of you, too, judging by our great dialogue. Amid all the amazing, rewarding, fulfilling and inspiring moments of this first pre-release book tour, I had the honor of meeting another retired SEAL with an important story.
I’m not going to tell you who he is, but if his own mission to make groundbreaking PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) treatment available succeeds the way we both hope, he’ll be very visible in a few years. He was also blown up by a roadside bomb some years ago, receiving an initially un-diagnosed TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). His personal process in dealing with these conditions is inspiring. And as you’ll read, despite being one of the biggest, scariest-looking guys at any cocktail party, he has turned to acting in Hollywood and uncovered an incredible talent. His imposing, merciless New York City lady acting coach recently stopped an entire session in its tracks and declared of his gripping performance, “That was an Oscar moment.”
With that as an introduction, please allow me to momentarily lift the veil on SEAL-to-SEAL correspondence because this particular anonymous exchange is ripe with Powerful Peace principles…. Here is the body of my email to him; almost unchanged (had to adjust a couple parts so we could keep the PG rating):
“You’ve paid a high price for your service, and you’re turning that into a huge gift for fellow warriors instead of choosing an unfortunate alternative, which would be to let it remain an anchor on your life. That is such an admirable course. Your calling to help PTSD/TBI veterans stands to help many fine people who wouldn’t otherwise have a choice to heal. I hope I can be blessed to support that mission.
“On the personal side, as I briefly mentioned, I’m extremely impressed whenever I meet one of the brotherhood who has that rarest courage of being able to know himself beyond the Trident [SEAL pin]. Sounds fruity to some, I know, but as you read in the Letter to Veterans, I’m trying to reach the whole person: body, mind, heart and soul.
“Whether we’re talking about a dangerous SEAL who can’t manage his anger, or an IT tech who’s just a [jerk] to everyone he meets, when we aren’t balanced as a human we carry hate and discontent into the world and, basically, “[crap] where we sleep.” It makes things worse for everybody, but nobody can see the underlying cause so we all blame each other.
“Anyway, I just think that of all people, it’s hardest for guys from our line of work to get back to whole. All SEALs have a very genuine kind of courage, progressively built up and required to do some amazingly dangerous things. But I believe this incredible capability can come with a paradoxical weakness; it’s harder to find the greater courage—of fully expressing feelings of pain, or fear, once we don’t have to be superheroes—when we’ve been so convinced of demi-god status. And I’m willing to bet that Oscar moment you experienced was extremely fulfilling, but would not have been possible without this special courage. That’s where I would like to guide other human beings in their own destinies. There’d be a lot less war.”