• Tamra Andress

Triggered to Faith with Walt McKinley

 People say that we are forged by the fire - that the place in which is likely your biggest trial and tribulation is actually the place in which God is gonna redeem, restore, and help others receive Him through. Walt McKinley has been through a pit of despair, tragedy, trauma, as well as manipulation and abuse since he was little, but he doesn't stand as a victim. He stands as a warrior, and you can, too.

Listen to this incredibly powerful episode, which may trigger you, but everyone should be triggered by trauma in some regard. The difference is we can be triggered into faith rather than triggered into trauma.

About Walt:

Walt McKinley is an Inspirational Speaker, Trainer, and #1 bestselling Author of “Monsters In My House, A True Story”, who delivers memorable keynote presentations, focused on creating a positive mindset, healing trauma, and the four keys to living an extraordinary life. Walt is passionate about speaking life into the world because of his own childhood journey that included; extreme abuse, fourteen childhood moves, homelessness, and an attempted teen suicide all culminating with testifying against his father in court at 16. His comeback story is one for the ages and reminds us life is truly limitless. His conversations on how to live your power, potential, and purpose are life changing. Walt is a retired Naval Intelligence Officer and former Fortune 300 Corporate Executive who’s led high performing global teams for over 25 years. He curated a heart centered, uplifting, and empowering leadership style that built top performing organizations who achieved record breaking results around the world. Walt uses his extraordinarily diverse life experiences to show your history doesn’t define your legacy. He shares stories and tangible approaches with audiences to create a mentality of healing, purpose, and success. We are at a turning point and need strong voices who can show others how to unlock their full potential using real life experiences.

Where to Find Walt:

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Show Notes: Triggered to Faith

 You know how they tell us that we are forged by the fire, that the place in which is likely your biggest trial and tribulation is actually the place in which God is gonna redeem, restore, and help others receive him through. There has been a pit of despair. There has been tragedy, there has been trauma, there has been manipulation and abuse that has occurred in today's guest, Walt McKinley's.

Since he was little, his heart, his head, but he doesn't stand as a victim. He stands as a warrior, and you can too. You have to listen to this incredibly powerful and deep trigger warning perhaps. But everyone should be triggered by trauma in some regard. The difference is we can be triggered into faith rather than triggered into trauma.

Are you ready for this? Are you ready to go to the next layer, the next caliber of your faith, and actually realize that you have a weapon of warfare to destroy the enemy? I am so grateful for my brother. I am so excited for this conversation for you. You've gotta get your hands on his best selling book.

It is unbelievable and life changing. It'll make you think of two things about your own trauma too, not in comparison, but in truth. Enjoy today's episode.

Welcome to the Fit and Faith podcast. FIT is an acronym representing founders, innovators, and trailblazers who are looking to live a life wholly, fully, authentically, and truly fit a space for us to connect on the raw real stories of mind, body, and soul alignment of entrepreneurs and kingdom leaders. I'm your host, Tamara Andres, and this podcast isn't like the cookie cutter interview experience.

I've been coined the entrepreneurial rabbi, and so we do go there unscripted. No matter how far, wide, deep, or high the there is. My desire is to see people rise from the inside out into their greatest calling by sharing their truest stories, talents, and tips. As a purpose activator and brand builder, I believe our successes and failures are derived from who and who's.

We are not what we do, but strategy and vision are equally as important to the mission. So let's cut to the chase together and get fit in faith. Welcome, welcome to the show y'all. I am in the house of Walt McKinley and we were off the offline. We were not in the live segment of the show and we were dropping nuggets and I said, we gotta stop right now.

you guys are in for a treat today with my friend, my brother. While he is not only an international speaker, as you may have seen if you're watching live, he is also a. Bestselling author and this bestselling book is something that is going to impact you. I've heard him speak on stage. I was completely transformed by the word that came through him and the truth of what people are searching for.

And I believe ultimately Wal, that they're just searching for love and they're searching to be found. Um, and so I wanna get into the conversation of all of the different ways that you show up in the world. And not just from, um, the book, not just from your testimony, though. I think we use our testimony to transform lives, but also from your experience in, um, as a naval intelligence officer and that realm and how you do boots and boardrooms and all the other things in the in between.

Thanks for hanging out with us. Uh, Tamara, I totally appreciate you having me here. You know, you just make fast friendships with people when you're aligned not only spiritually, but with people who are authentically themselves. And so I've always had mad respect just for your authenticity. Um, and even just your energy and the way you smile.

So we've been talking about doing this for a while. It's so amazing for me to be here and thank you, um, for blessing me and allowing me to speak to your audience today too. I can't wait to get into this. Let's go. Totally an honor. Totally an honor. And I was so excited when I found out that your book was an audible too.

Because I'm an audible lover, though, I have to also have the book in person and in my, in my bookshelf one. Cuz I just like to be like, yeah, I read that. Especially when it's signed by wall, but also the, the element of audible, especially connected to your power of storytelling. Yeah. Um, and the depths of, of what transpired in your, in your past.

I wanna get into that fast. Yeah. One because I feel like there's no such time then now, and the listeners need and deserve to have access to what it is that you've been, uh, transformed through. Yeah. And so I know that there's so many people who are hurting and are broken and feeling like they too are faced with a monster.

And so your book Monsters in My House, this best selling option, like what provoked you to finally tell the story even past all the pain? You know what's wild is, you know, I, we talked, you talked about being a naval intelligence officer. I was in the military for two decades, um, had a lot of accolades, did a lot of things.

Um, I went to corporate America and about five years in. Um, God had just been creating that inner turmoil that, you know, sometimes we just don't listen to. Let's just be real because we want it to be our plan. And so I'm, I was always like, God, I'm gonna give you this 49.9%, but I'm gonna keep that 50.1 cuz I want to navigate where we're going.

Yeah. And um, I, I found myself after 18 months into Covid, I, I was quadrupled the amount of work with the same staff. I personally was getting burnt out. There was no self care. It was 14 hour days leading sites in India, Philippines, and forced places in the US and just a lot of pressure. There's literally no kidding, three executives doing the job that I vacated, which thank goodness they made that decision to do that for them.

Yeah. Right. Um, and I, I've reached a point where I had an anxiety attack the first one of my life. Um, the, a panic attack, burnout, whatever you want to call it. I thought I was having a heart attack, and, you know, God, I was kicking down the door, just he had a bolt locked and I'm kicking down the, you know, even underneath my desk, I'm like, kicking under

I'm kicking down this door and I'm, I'm gonna get through this door. I'm gonna get through this door. And I realized, After God brought me to my knees and, and, and, you know, things happen for you, not to you, that I wasn't opening my eyes enough to see that there was an open door at the end of the hall, that he actually wanted me to go down.

And I took two months of disability time. I had never done that in 25 years of working. It was hard for me to accept that I needed that, um, because I always hung my hat on resilience because of what I'd been through. And my wife, um, you know, she's my rock. We've been to married 23 years and together 26.

And she told me, she goes, if, if we didn't have anything, babe, none of this stuff, you die. I'm gonna sell it all. I'm gonna get rid of everything. I'm gonna move closer to my parents like I want you. She goes, now I've been begging you to write this book for over a decade. Your story needs to be told because people need to know that they can make it through anything.

And she goes, you wanted, you spoke for 25 years, but you wanted to do it from an inspirational, motivational perspective. And she goes, screw it. Let's just do it. Let's just go for it. And she supported my career and she stayed at home. So it's not like she was creating an income. And so we left a very lucrative income in corporate America to really follow what was God's purpose in my life.

And when you can surrender, that's the season I'm in, I'm in in my spiritual journey, is real surrender, true surrender all the way. It's amazing what God will put in front of you to keep you stepping down the path he wants you to be on. And so that led me to writing the book. It led me to speaking. It led me to doing all the things that I'm doing now, and really just enjoying the journey of life for the first time in my life on another level.

Goodness gracious. And I think there are so many people that are in that spot right now. I'm actually certain of it. I, I witness it, especially from a perspective of business and burnout and feeling like there's a prompting inside of us to do something else. And yet we are actually actively disobeying what God is telling us to do.

And I've had this revelation in the last week about the fact that like our old self, that person who is in control, that zombie, if you will, who's on the rat wheel, they actually didn't have control from the moment we accepted Christ into our life. But we still try to allow the enemy to navigate what is our destiny.

Mm-hmm. when God is. Living within us and saying, your destiny is in me, and I am in you, and therefore let's operate in tandem. Rather than you thinking, I'm like this like Pinocchio guy who's up in the, you know, the sky being like, go right, go left. Oh, you wanna go left? Okay, I'll, let's go. Right? And it's not like that.

That's why with the spirit, when we talk about him dwelling in us and us having wildly adventurous ideas or convictions of being a better version of ourselves, and we're called higher. It's happening from the inside out, not from the outside in, which is what the world tells us to do. Yeah. And you know what's crazy is, um, almost within like a month of each other, but in different timeframes.

So Facebook shows you those memories. I love it. And 10, this is probably like 12 years ago now, but at the time, before I left corporate America, like 10 years ago, I know there's more in my purpose. I know I'm meant to do more. And some people would look at me and say, well, while you have all the things and you have a marriage and you have amazing teenage daughters, you're living your purpose.

And I said, no, God trusted me with the pain that I went through in my childhood because he knew he was gonna use it as purpose to help transform other people's lives, to truly give them the belief that their history didn't define their legacy. And then like two weeks later, after I saw the tenure one, there was one from four years before that, um, and saying the same thing, there's more purpose.

I know there's more. And that same month is a month that I finally had that breakdown. After 18 months of just 14 plus hour day, I mean, it was really crazy. But I wasn't learning my lesson that God was putting in front of me. And I think that's the thing God gives us free will. He allows us the opportunity to make the decision.

He allows us the opportunity to trust and surrender. Um, and that we have the choice. Do we embrace the fear of the unknown? Um, and really lean into what if everything I wanted is in front of this decision I'm ready to make, and the impact and the joy and the like that following God's path and purpose.

And if we embrace that fear and move down that side of the road. Um, and I have a slide that I show this now since you saw my presentation last. I've done quite a few more. Um, I have a slide that I show this since I always go to the right. Um, and on the left side of this is the fear and the anguish and the quiet desperation we all live in because we make the choice to go back to the comfortable pain of what we've already always known.

Whether that's a job we hate, a relationship that's not working. For me, it was like making the choices to go back to the abuse. At times in my childhood when I had the opportunity to tell, because the fear of the unknown was greater, that what if question I asked myself in the negative environment that created for me was.

Than what I thought could happen. And when you move into this positive mentality and it really is a mindset and you trust and you surrender and you ask what if, and you think about all the amazing possibilities, your life profoundly shifts and changes where you really fulfill your life's potential and unlock joy.

Like the joy, ugh, I can't even tell people about this. It's like 25% more joy I didn't even know I ever missed out on. And so until I unlocked it. And when you walk down that path in true trust and surrender and make the choice to embrace the fear and run through it because you believe on the other side of that is your life's purpose, an abundance, everything around you will transform.

And not only will it transform for you, but because you're the example, it will transform for other people around you too. It's be. Gosh, there's so many points in there. One of the things that I share so desperately for people is the element of joy, right? And I love that you example, that people on the outside looking in were like, you already have everything that you could possibly want.

You are living on purpose. You do have a measure of joy. But there's that huge difference between masked happiness and the actual element of joy that springs up from the inside of self. That doesn't even require a smile. Like I don't, even though I love to smile, and it's an element of who people see me and define me as, it's like I can do it in my dance.

I can do it in my presence. I can do it in the hug that I give. I can do it in my words, in the way that I show up with my kids and my husband. And so to recognize that there are people who are living out this element of, I keep going back to these monsters from your book, right? These elements of zombies, they're operating as if they are.

Alive and yet they're actually dead. And so that piece of surrender, which you keep coming back to, that word was massive for me. Yeah. My husband and I talk about how victory is submission. Mm-hmm. . And if we can surrender our will, we can surrender our ideas that 50, you know, 0.5%, whatever it be, the control element.

Was it, actually, this is a question for you. Was it actually more scary to live through the truth of your childhood and what was transpiring or was the fear that you just conjured up in your mind to, in, to inhibit you from your greatness? Like which one was scarier? Which one was actually scarier? To me, what was scary was to live a life of regret.

Oh, come on. And, and, and I'll, and I'll tell you a quick story about when I learned the power of my story. And here's the thing, and, and you were there when I spoke at Eya and I've spoken to first responders in child welfare because I just did 300 of them in New York. And I've spoken on, on other inspirational stages now too.

I do that piece where I have everybody. All the different types of traumas. And I have people stand if they've been through it or they know somebody who has, and unequivocally it's been well over a thousand people now. Everybody's always stood. So I think first it's the power in knowing that you're not alone.

You know, if you're really deep in your spiritual journey, you know you're not alone because God's always there for you. And my deepest, darkest moments when I almost lost my sanity, he was there. Um, but on the superficial day to day, we can feel isolated mentally, right? Even if we're around people, we could feel alone.

So I think first it's important to know that you're not alone in this journey. And there's an army of people standing right next to and ready to lift you up and help motivate you. But you gotta be willing to take that in. And I, and I met a young woman, um, I won't say her name, but I met a young woman when I was a lieutenant in the Navy and I was in charge of, I dunno, it was about 300 sailors at the time, and.

I would joke around. So if I don't joke, you just, cuz you know how I was giving you a hard time jump down here then, then be afraid. Cuz it means I might not like you. So if joking is how I connect, right? Yeah. And so I sat outside the pit, um, and she walked past my desk three different times that day. And she was so quick witted and, and she would give me a hard time before I could even give her one half the time.

Um, cuz that's just how I built rapport with people. And so we had this fun environment. About the third time she walk past my desk and I said, dang, you're just gonna keep walking past my desk. Not say, Hey, good morning. Nobody, not say, Hey, go screw yourself. Nothing. Right? And she goes, I'm just not having a good day, sir.

And I said, you all right? She goes, I'm not, not really. And I says, take a walk. And one of the gifts that I received from the trauma that I went through and, you know, you've read some of the book and you know, you've heard my story. Like it, I, I was literally tortured as a child. But again, God trusts you with the pain.

If you make the choice to embrace the fear of the unknown and work through the healing journey. Um, what I realized in this day was so powerful for me. So I, I have this massive empathy. I could feel it when somebody wants to say something and they just don't. I could just, it's, I could pull it out of them.

I, it's a gift God has given me. And in that moment I said, you know, I, I went through some trauma in my childhood and I kind of just opened up a little bit of my story because I knew that would create a safe environment for her to share what she really had on her chest, what she, that poison that was like crushing her soul inside of here, that she had never spoke out loud.

She had never spoken this truth. And so she tells me about how she was sexually assaulted by multiple men that her mother dated when she was a little girl. And um, and then she says, as a brand new mother, her daughter was six months old. She goes, I can't rectify this. I'm so angry, I'm so upset. Like, I feel like my life was taken away from me.

And so we, we had some more conversations and then I, I asked her, she'd allow me to get her help. And we did. And over six months I saw this young woman just really blossom again and to who she was when I met her, but a different level of joy. So she transfers and I transfer. Okay. She comes and finds me almost a year to the day after I, we had that conversation and she walks in the office where I was at and I'm like, oh my gosh, what's going on?

And she's like, sir, I wanted to, I've been trying to look for you for about three months. And she finds me and she goes, it's my turn to take you for a walk now. And I'm like, okay, let's go for a walk, . And so we go for a walk and, and we go out to some picnic tables, um, in the back of the organization I was in.

And she looks at me and she says, you know, I gotta tell you, sir, she goes, you were the first man that I've ever met that didn't want something from me, that just saw me. I get choked up talking about this because it's, it's such deep impact that saw me as the person who I am and that I wanted to be. And because I knew what it was like not to be seen and not to be heard in my life, so I could see that in her.

And she goes, because you took that time with me that day, what you didn't realize is I was thinking about taking my own life. I just couldn't deal with it anymore. And she goes, instead, I feel amazing. And I want to tell you, you saved my life. And what she didn't realize in that moment is there were still parts of my trauma, the times I was locked in basements, then the times I was chained of beds and the times I was screaming to the point of losing my sanity as a little boy, being tortured.

To where I literally didn't think I would come back as the person I am today. There in that moment, she changed my life as much as she feels like I saved hers because I really understood this power of speaking your truth, and I understood the superpowers of empathy and grit and resilience and compassion that I had started to unlock my own journey.

And from that day moving forward, I never stopped embracing my story. And so we talk about monsters in my house, a true story, my memoir, and the reasons I wrote it that day was a huge catalyst into leaning into my healing journey, embracing the darkness, because I knew there was light and abundance on the other side, trusting that God had my back.

And that's why on the back of my book, Across in a reflection behind me and and really using it as good, using it as purpose, and understanding that because of all of my life experiences, because God trusted me with this pain that I went through, even as horrific as it was, that allows me to reach some of those people that feel like they're unreachable.

But more importantly, it allows me to help other people speak their truth because Tamara, like it's not just your story. It's not just my story. It is the power of everybody's stories together that removes the stigma of trauma and talking about mental health and creates a healthier society. And the best thing that could ever happen is I would never have anything to talk about again, because we'd heal trauma.

The reality is we're a long way from ever getting there. So I'll use my voice into my last breath on earth if it helps change somebody else's legacy along the way. Well, There's brilliance in this because there's eternity in this, right? Like saving somebody's life and introducing them to Jesus, who was your savior in the connection of all of that, right?

And that's where I think an element of joy is so beautiful because there is that noticing of that fruit, which is so different than the world, and that that space of peace and what impact is to me is less about numbers, right? It's less about any of the tangibles, which is what we were talking about offline before we started this conversation.

It has nothing to do with the outside looking in and everything from the inside looking out and ultimately that being seen, known, and heard. That's exactly what Jesus did for me when I had a radical encounter in my living room. I went from being downcast suicidal. Depressive. Um, I had two babies at the time I was married.

Yeah. I had businesses that I was running, like all of these things. And he literally took my eyes from looking down and not being able to make eye contact with my own self in the mirror to having a direct eye to eye contact with Jesus. And when that happened, and I realized that it was never about impact and it was always about intimacy.

And so you, through your story, have allowed people to get intimate with the deepest parts of their identity that feel broken, that seemingly were tried to be stripped away just like her. I, I experienced sexual abuse when I was younger, and it feels like so much from the exterior trying to like, literally like, reach into your soul and take it out of you.

Mm-hmm. and God the whole time is like, but I'm still inside of you and therefore they cannot take me out of the goodness of my creation. And that's, That's everyone's birthright. Right. And there's the lack of recognition. Sure. And people not having come to salvation. Yes. Because they haven't met Jesus.

But we through our intimate stories, get to give a revelation to people that is so profound and so different than a fictitious novel or, uh, let me come up with, let me conjure up a story to tell you on a movie screen. It's like, this was my real life. And everyone who's capable of reading or receiving, which is everyone's right.

Um, literacy of course is a whole conversation, but everyone's capable of receiving because everybody's walked a story. Everybody's right. Experienced some element of hurt, heartache, heartbreak, confusion, you know, and they're all looking for clarity. They're all looking to have that identifying factor and have intimacy with people.

They all, they all want to know that they're not alone too. Yeah. And I, and I think when you've, when you've found, um, you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you know that you're not alone. But the reality is, even people who have can still feel alone because the belief, the faith, the continuing the walk and the absence of results sometimes is some of the hardest thing.

And that's why before we started, I said, I'm in my season of full surrender all the way. A hundred percent, um, giving God that control. And you know, what's interesting is, is I've done my testimony a couple times to the men's group at church and they actually had me come on the big stage of church and talk about it before.

And now they've asked me to do some, um, healing classes with the healing ladder that I've created. And part of me initially, you get self, everybody does. I feel like I'm good at what I do, great at what I do, but I still get self doubt like everybody else. I just. Get it and then immediately remove it and then keep walking away from it, um, into what I know that I can do.

And there's so many people that are able to quote scripture, look, there was no God in my house growing up. I lived with hurt people who hurt me and continued the generational cycles of abuse every, like, foster parents, stepparents my real parents. It didn't matter who I was with, um, until I, I ran into my life at 15 and a half and, and away from my father.

What I realized is my purpose is not to be able to quote scripture. My purpose is to use my spiritual journey. And those moments that God showed up like when I was 13 and almost took my life and saved me from taking my life because my purpose wasn't ever even close to being complete on this earth. And I think about all the people out there hurting and living in quiet desperation that actually don't look at their life resume.

And be able to see all the times they were in pain, it was for purpose. All the times they were struggling. It's because the God was growing them if they chose to see it that way. And that's the beauty of what God gives us is free will. And so we have a choice and how we think about what's in front of us every day will absolutely determine the direction our life goes.

I talked about the what if question. You can say what if and think of all the negative stuff. You're not gonna take action, you're not gonna get results. And you're gonna be stuck in quiet desperation of full of regret. Or you can think what if? And think of all the amazing things that can happen regardless of what aspect of your life it is.

And you're, you will immediately gravitate to that direction. You're gonna take action, get results, increase your belief, and you're gonna be in this beautiful tornado that happens, um, of goodness, um, that will propel you throughout your life. It's literally the same words. What if. But the way we ask ourselves that question will determine the direction our life goes.

And so if you really, and that's why I say it when I on my talk, I'm not here to inspire or motivate you. I'm here to give you the absolute belief that where you start from doesn't have to be where you finish. That your history doesn't define your legacy. If you choose to embrace the fear of that healing journey and realize there is true abundance and joy on the other side of that, cuz ultimately life success has nothing to do with a thing.

That's what we gotta get away from as a society. That's why people live in quiet desperation. Life's success should be measured by your happiness. You will find that in God and you will find that by loving yourself enough, just like he love. Mm, I had the word dropped in my spirit prior to the conference that we hosted, uh, a couple weekends ago, and it was sustenance over success and sustenance points its way to the fruits of the spirit, um, from Galatians five.

And I hope that as people are listening to this, and I know that as they're receiving it from you, whether it's from stage, whether it's from your book, whether it's through your healing classes, any of the things that you're showing up in with the world, it's this knowing. They're tasting and seeing, right?

That's what the, the word says, like taste and see what the Lord has done. And a lot of times people can't conceptualize that because they look at it either like in resentment to, oh, look at Walt, he's so joyful. Right? Or he's figured something out that I can't, or he's so holy or he's so healed and I'm so far removed from that.

But I think what people need to know more so is that fruit has a life cycle for a reason, and there's new fruit that can be, um, experienced in different seasons of life. And so while you're surrendered to the fruit that is now growing, um, and, and God's processing of that fruit, right? There's the cycles and seasons that are connected to maybe the things you've yet to see, that you're still hoping and praying and dreaming for that because we serve a God of possibility.

He is showing off for you and he will continue to do so. And the intimacy of your ministry, which this is a ministry, y'all, I think a lot of people think like you're a speaker, you're an author, you're, you have a podcast. Like all these things that we get connected to from the flesh. It, it's all rooted. No, no matter what your business is, no matter how you generate profit, it's all connected to ministry.

When you're doing it, um, in a surrendered spirit like this is that there's gonna be a new word that blankets your life moving forward. And because you've experienced surrender and you've showcased what that looks like connected to the healing ladder, I think that there are like ec different echelons of healing.

And I see you in that space of rejoice where yeah, surrender is just the state of your spirit and not necessarily that you're yearning to experience. If that makes. Yeah. You know, and you brought up a good point too, where other people are at in their journeys and Yeah. Comparison is aie of joy. Oh yeah.

And by the way, I've done plenty of comparison in my life. Yeah. But comparison truly is aie of joy. And, and it's really looking at somebody and, and if you're gonna even think about their journey just to receive inspiration and belief from their journey. Mm-hmm. . Cause look, I, I've lived in the pit despair, I've lacked confidence.

Um, I've lacked, um, self love, right. I've been angry, I've had hatred, feel my heart. Um, I've been embarrassed. I've been full of shame from the things that I went through. What I knew over time is that wasn't what I, how I wanted to live my life. If I lived in that space, the likelihood of me repeating the generational cycle, which by the way happens 73% of time within the same family because it's swept under the rug.

Nobody speaks their truth. Nobody does the work and we push it away. So we live in this pit despair. We live in this quiet desperation. And what the Healing Ladder really about is about is putting this ladder down in there. Cuz I can't do the work to get you out of it. I can give you the tools, which is the ladder.

I can stick that down in there. And if you're getting really tired climbing up, I can put my hand down in there and help pull you over the top. But it's really you realizing that that happiness that you can see, that light, that you can see, that you feel like is just outta reach and you're always grabbing for it and you just can't quite seem to get.

Has to do everything with what's inside of here. And if you allow yourself to embrace that journey, you allow yourself to, to walk through the healing ladder and, and get yourself out of, um, that pit of despair. The happiness that you will find will change your legacy forever. Because ultimately my legacy isn't things that I leave for my daughters.

My legacy was the way that I love them. Was it really unconditional to the best that a human being can do? Cause there's always some level of conditionality to it. Was it really unconditional in that way that I empower them to be the best version of themselves? When I left corporate America, did I have a honest conversation with them?

Why? And what the tumultuous I felt did they see me embrace the fear of writing my memoir. Knowing that some people would judge, some people would have something to say, even within my own family and do it anyway, because I felt like that was God's purpose and I knew the healing power that that book can bring to help change other legacies that I might not even know about.

Are they seeing the example that I'm setting and am I loving them in a way that God loves me in order to help them unlock that best happy as version of themselves? Um, and I'm proud that I've really changed that legacy that I came from that will reverberate long after my name's not even remembered anymore, because it's not about me and them saying, grandpa Walt one day.

It's just about my lineage and my legacy, living happy and fulfilled and full of the spirit. To me, that's what a real legacy looks. Mm mm Y'all he is preaching right now. Yeah. I like it so much. And I'm thinking about like Elijah and like the dry bones live. Like that's what, as you're just talking about reaching back and helping somebody up, it's this knowing that like, It feels like you're newborn.

It's why literally they'll say that you're like a baby Christian and this is scriptural. That you're like, you're such a baby that you need to have spiritual milk given to you so that you can have the sustenance and you can come back into health. The reason that there was that crazy, um, shortage with, with, um, milk and everyone was freaking out was because the kids are gonna starve, right?

And so we, as children of God, no matter what your age is, we will be spiritually malnourished if we are not walking out the process of, of, of joy walking out the process of growing these fruits. And what's beautiful about what it is that you're doing, I had this visual and you were, you're talking about comparison.

It's like, What if instead of comparing, what if you say, you know, Walt has this, um, measure of kindness, right? Like, you have this beautiful kindness about you. Tamara has this beautiful element of joy about her. If we come together and we cross pollinate, we exist as partners and brothers and sisters in the kingdom.

If somebody comes into an experience with us, whether it's this podcast, whether it was a future book, whether I'm just prophetically speaking things into existence, whether, whatever it be that we get to partner in conference, there's prophetically exists together as one, one, it's really confusing. The enemy doesn't like it because we're two or more are gathered.

So he be, I don't have to isolate myself. I don't have to be lost. I don't have to stand si in a silo of, well, I figured out my own healing journey and my, you know, process of relieving shame is way better than Walt. No. It says, teach me what you know. Let's graph together your kindness. Let's graph together the forgiveness element.

Let's graph together all of these pieces. It says, abide in him, and if we are abiding together, it looks like a massive, you know, lime and lemon tree now come together and you're like, what is this? Fruit and all of it is connected to the father because we exist in the father, and so that comparison just goes out the door and instead it brings things, new things, legacy, changing things to life for people because it's very hard to break generational curses.

It takes a lot of investment. It takes a lot of dedication. It takes a lot of obedience. It takes a lot of facing fear when it's, it's hard to do and nobody else has really exampled it for you. That's part of my story too. I wanna ask you the question because you brought it up and I'm like, gosh, I remember that feeling.

I'm so glad I'm past that feeling, but really I'm not because I just gifted my book to my dad. You know, two years or a year I guess after it was, it was brought to life and he kept giving me this like a hard time. Like, I still don't have your book. And I'm like, it's on Amazon. Can you at least invest?

Like, can you at least buy the book? Dad, it's not even expensive. It's on Audible. I'll give you a free version. He didn't listen to that. So I, I physically handed him a book, um, just a couple of weeks ago on his birthday. And I was, had that moment of, oh, like I talk about him in this book and I could easily sit in the what if of impossibility or the what if of the possibility.

What if he actually applied the healing power that existed in my journey to his addiction, right? What if all of these people, your grand babies one day, read this book and they're like, I had no idea that he experienced this. I never want anybody to feel this way. I wanna continue the legacy. There's so opportunity.

I wanna hear what you're saying. Okay. So I love, I love what you just said cuz I have a story, a direct correlation to that. Let's do it. So my mother also is in my book and she never hit me, but I didn't see her for 10 years of my life. She was there when I was getting dragged by my hair and literally thrown head over heels into a dark basement at seven and eight years old.

Yeah. Um, she was so hurt from her trauma that she had been through that she just couldn't do anything and she was a battered woman. And so her own fear kept her in the comfortable, miserable pain of the thing that she'd always known, which she masked with alcohol, that she masked with drugs. And so about, gosh, probably about a year ago now, and my mother had read the prologue story and one thing I love is people say, you never sound like a victim.

I said, I was victimized, but I'm not a victim. So let's be clear about that. Come on, let's go. Right? Let's, like, I am who I am because of everything that I've been through, and because of that, I can do what I do today on a huge scale, um, because I've embraced the journey. So my mom asked me for the first time at 65 years old, or 66 years old.

She goes, how are you really happy? I just gotta. And I was like, okay, mom, like I can help you, but I'm not gonna help you as your, as your son. I don't want to hear the buts and becauses and, and you're gonna have to really lean into the places that you've kept locked away for your whole life. The places where maybe you don't even know where the key's at no more because it's poisoning your soul.

And she goes, I know I was a terrible mother. And I said, look, yes. The reality was you weren't a great mom. You weren't the mom I needed. It's never, cuz you didn't want to be a great mom, right? But you were so full of trauma that you never had the capacity to fulfill your potential for yourself, much less as a mother to your children.

And I said, and what happens, mom, when you do this healing work that we're gonna talk through, you're gonna rip these traumas out, you're gonna throw 'em away by speaking your truth and forgiving and doing all the stuff I talk about. And then you're gonna be able to replace those areas with love. And what happens is your capacity to show up as a mom that you want, always wanted to be Yes.

But never could be. Well, absolutely profoundly change. And I said, you can't do it while you're a drunk though. Mm-hmm. . And about two months later she calls me up and she's like, Hey, I'm 60 days sober. Come on beyond me. I'm like, holy crap. Really? Oh, I'm so proud of you. You know? And she went and got medication cuz she felt like she couldn't just do it on her own.

Sure. That makes her deathly ill. She drinks. Yeah. And she's like, I don't got like probably 275 days sober today at 67. She has an amazing relationship with somebody who treats her extraordinarily well. He was widowed after 54 years of marriage. Just a wonderful man. Her mother just passed away recently and her mom was a narcissist.

Let's be real. And and mm-hmm. never did the healing work herself and transferred that generationally. My mom drank for like two days. Just all the emotions, right? Yeah. And then caught herself. Yeah. And was like, oh my God, I gotta get back on this medication. So what people don't realize, and I love that you said you gave your dad the book and when, when it's God's timing for him to read it and more so when he has the courage to accept where he couldn't show up in life because he had this bucket full of trauma, um, he can start to move forward.

So the greatest thing about forgiveness is you, forgiveness is always for you. My mom, like I had to forgive my mother. I had to forgive all my abusers. I didn't run and tell them I did it because it was poisoning my soul. Hanging onto the hatred for something. Yeah. Literal hatred for the ones who tortured me.

Yes. And, and I, I did it so that I can be a great, I can feel good so that I can be a great husband and a great father. I knew I needed to do that. What was super cool. My mom really worked on this path of forgiveness. Part of that forgiveness was for how she didn't show up. Part of that was giving herself some grace along this journey.

Mm-hmm. , and now she's kind of stepping into her, um, the, the most happy I've ever seen this woman in, in 60, or for me, I guess 45 years I've known her. . You . No. Right, right, right. At 67 years old. So it's, and I, and it's beautiful. Mm-hmm. . Cause it's never too late. That's right. It's never too late. If you're gonna live seven years or seven months, or 77 more years, why not live it?

Happy? Because you have the courage to ask what if. And you know, you're not alone. And you talk to people like Tamon Walt, who say, the only difference between me and you is the choice we made to move forward and embrace the journey and embrace the pain and use it as purpose. What if I could live in that same way?

And you know what if the only difference between me and them is that they made a choice? But God has ordained it and I haven't trusted him that he trusted me with this pain. So I've ran from it my whole life. Let me embrace what I've been through. Let me do the healing work so that I can live in my purpose and to change the life of just the one, because I had to courage to change what was in here first.

It's so beautiful when it works together. It is, and it's knowing that it's not one, right. I think about all of the people that we're individually connected to and that that woman that you gave us the story of before that came to you and said, you know, you saved my life. When she was a mom of a six month old, right?

That now there's that generational bondage break of all of the things that's transpired because she now can show up in love because she was able to forgive. And you know, my purpose, and I believe my mission connected to the greatest commission, which is to go and make disciples of Nations, is to help obliterate shame and activate purpose.

And healing is a massive part of oblating shame because we have to first deal with it. We have to deal with those traumas and really take that internal perspective. But I really believe, and I would love to know, The depths of the healing jour, um, the healing ladder. And, and we're not gonna get into it here.

You guys have a contact wall. . We don't give the good stuff away. Just kidding. We give it all away. Um, but I would love to know, because I know that in my own journey, my own process of that, it was, part of it was sharing the story. Yes. And testifying and telling. And when I released my shame fully, I had a book called Always Becoming Sex, shame and Love.

And I was still holding shame when that book was birth right. And now, a year into that experience, I have recognized the power of releasing all elements of the story. And while there might be those trigger elements of like, oh, I could either take this moment as shame when I tell about what I've done or what's been done to me, or I could stand, like you said, as a victor over top of the enemy that tried to destroy what it was, that God preordained for greatness and for love, and for intimacy and for impact.

Well, I love that. And you know, I wear my warrior your shirt. Yes. Let me, lemme go the right letter. Um, and you know, I wear that on purpose. Yeah. Because the utilization for me personally and everybody's different, like the victim or survivor. As a victim, I was victimized, like I told said earlier, but I'm not a victim.

That's a mindset and a state where you can, where people will continue to victimize themselves long after their abuse is over. And so what I tell people, embrace the power of your story. Oh, Tamara, like holy macel. When I, when I transitioned mentally to saying like, I'm not a victim and I'm not a survivor, I didn't just make it, I'm a.

Yeah, I like, there's a purpose for why I've been here. Not only am I fighting for me, but I'm fighting for the people who still feel silenced. I'm a warrior from everything that I've been through, and I love that men and women, and a lot of women actually Yeah. Has told me, I'll never use the word survivor again.

You're, you're dang right. Well, like, I'm a warrior too. I said, you're, yeah. It's so good. You, I got, you know, I'm a sailor, so I, I try not to cuss too much no more. But I, but in that moment, I'm like, yeah. You know, like, own that story. Own that power of who you are. That's right. Because that will not only transform yours.

It would allow you to change somebody else's. And you talked about speaking your truth. It's the first thing I teach people and, and look, I didn't just speak my truth one day and I'm like, here's all my story. Whoa. Right, right, right, right. I'll say, geez, I feel amazing. It comes in layers. It reminds me like those bloom and onions, you know, like so good right now.

Right now. And then it's like this beautiful, delicious thing. Yeah. When it's all the way open and it's like when I helped that young woman by sharing just a little piece of my story, it opened up a safe space for her so she could share whatever piece she was ready with me in those moments. And I know she, it wasn't everything.

It just unlocked a piece of her that she was missing and that she raised her life floor and her life ceiling at the same time. Speaking your truth, you could journal. You could write your stuff on a balloon and let it go. You can write it on a piece of paper and throw it in the fire. At church, not too long ago they had us write one thing and it was dissolvable paper and you put it in the water and it dissolves really kind of letting it go and giving it to God.

And, but I will tell you, matter of fact, I'm a hundred percent sure this cuz I have helped a lot of people and a lot and my own personal journey too. Every time I spoke my truth, there was another truth behind it that was ready to come out that wasn't ready to come out until I spoke the first one.

That's true when I got to the point and I don't hold back ta you know me for a while now. I don't hold back from nothing girl like, because the one piece of my truth. That I don't speak, let's say, might be the one thing that saved somebody else's life. How selfish of me would it be for me to cheat somebody else from stepping into their potential?

Cuz I didn't have the courage to own all of mine. And so I don't shy away. Even in the book, it's real, it happened. I can't change that. Speaking my truth has allowed me to unlock another piece of who I am. That fear of judgment's gone, that self doubt is gone. People ask me after I wrote the book, who read it?

Um, you know, I think I've sold almost 1500 copies now. And they said, what did you feel like going back to those places? And excuse my language, I felt like a badass after, right? I was like, man, like some of that is really messed up, but look who I am today because of it. But I couldn't have written that book in the same way at 25 years.

It's a journey and it's a willingness to own your story in a different way and speak all of those truths to where you truly step into your life's potential. The life God wants you to lead, the way that God has trusted you with that pain, the people's whose lives you're gonna affect because you make the choice to own yours in a way maybe you never have before.

So it's time to stop running. It's time to stop playing small with it. It's time to stop letting that one thing that maybe, maybe you've done a lot and it's the one, like you said, it's, I was still hold it onto a little bit of shame in there. It's time to let that one thing go. So that you can truly live in the abundance of what God has wanted you to be and what he created you for.

To me, it's another level of power, and there's other stuff I teach, but if you gotta start with that one. So find your one trusted advisor. Find your one trusted friend if you have to say it in the mirror to yourself first. Look at yourself. Own your story, and own that warrior. That you really have every single time you do that.

And I'm telling you, it will transform your life in a way that you won't even realize until after you do it. Well, I think about like the layers and I think about the freedom element to it. Uh, honestly, when I started my podcast, this very podcast before I knew that it was gonna be an element of, um, entrepreneurial lens or, or people who are, are on track to be a trailblazer for Christ or any of those pieces.

I was still on my self exploration journey. I had not yet written my book at this point, but it was inside of me and I knew it was something I was going to do, and I did start later that year. I was actually interviewing people so that I could learn their stories and learn how to get through what it was that I was walking through.

And it truly transformed the way that I show up, the way that I ask questions, the way that I sit with people, because I recognized myself in every single person's story. And I got to extrapolate the the goodness and the kindness of the father and how it can actually propel me into my layer of freedom.

And it was mental health. It was physical health, it was spiritual health. It was emotional intelligence. It was relational understanding. It was learning how to communicate. It was learning how to be a good friend. I mean, when you talk about layer. You think about the layer of the human experience, there are way too many to talk about in one book.

There are way too many to talk about. In one podcast. There are way too many to talk about, and I know you have so much more. Even as you experience what it is that you're experiencing as a teacher now and training people that you're like, oh my gosh, this is another thing that I need to talk about. This is another book that I could write.

This is another way that I could show up in the world that God is revealing to me. And so I wanna encourage people who are like, I don't even know where to start. And the story is so grandiose that I'm not sure I could write it or speak it, or even tell myself in the mirror, start with the one thing and slowly unpack it with the Lord.

And as somebody who's, who's live with us right now, they're saying, making sure you recognize the trusted advisor is very important. Yeah. Because some people will go out to just like, Post it all and blast it all on social media. Meanwhile, they haven't effectively healed or walked through some of the healing that they need to, and what can come back at them can actually propel them backwards versus pushing them forward.

So lots of things in the midst of that. But I remember specifically just a couple of months ago when I had a bunch of women at a book writing retreat, and it was an intimate experience and some of these women had never really processed, they knew they wanted to write their story in a book, but they hadn't set like you were asked with the stories again.

And so we do this mind mapping, storytelling, fun, post-it, colorful post-it note, colorful, surprise, surprise, uh, experience on this poster board. And I honestly won't, wasn't prepared for what was gonna happen. I was just like, okay, they know what they're gonna do, they're gonna write it all out. And I forgot when I took those book writing retreats for three years to write my book, how many emotions were brought to life.

Yeah. As you relive and you want. You wanna put yourself in that space so that the reader can understand the depth of that emotion. Yes. And they can be brought back to that space for themselves and recognize the possibility. As we talked about this entire conversation, this whole thing has been about possibility, infinite possibility when you're surrendered to God and he wants you to utilize your story to help other people live and live fully free.

So when I sat there and I witnessed all these emotions and I was praying over people and holding space for them to share parts of their stories they've never shared with anyone, even their spouses, I remember just being in such surrendered humility to the fact that we get to do this work and we get to sit with people in those dark spaces that are eventually gonna be the generational legacy levers in goodness rather than in.

Well, you know what's really cool is like this isn't somebody tells you how you helped them. To me, this type of work is not a compliment. It is by far and away the most humbling thing a human being can ever say to you. That's why, you know, I'll talk just about some feedback someone gave or, or somebody will reach out to me because maybe they won't like or comment on a post I create about it.

But every time I do it, it removes the stigma of talking about it for them, and then they'll reach out to me behind the scenes. Yeah. Um, because a worry is still worried about the self-judgment and everything else that comes with getting that power back in the healing process. And to me, that's why it's not about the likes.

It's not about how many people have commented, it's about the back conversations that you have with people that nobody else sees. Like the retreat you talked about, where you give people the voice that maybe they've never even had. Because they're in a space that's safe. They're in a space with others so they don't feel alone.

And when each of those individuals start to write something on a, on a sticky, when they, one person says something and it triggers something in somebody else, in a good way, right? We always think triggers are this bad thing. Like, no. I'm like, if you're triggered when I'm talking, good. Yeah, that's okay.

People look at me. You don't ever do a trigger warning. I'm like, no, I don't do no trigger warning . And, and you remember at ey, the whole room's crying? Yeah. And I don't get, doesn't make me feel, I'm like, yes, Christ some more. Because emotion, connecting in that kind of a deep space with somebody means change is coming, means power is coming, means they're gonna be in their life's potential.

But for me, the ripple effect that happens when they. Like my personal goal is to help 1 million people break the, um, heal from their trauma and break the generational cycle of abuse by June of 2032. The reality is, I'll never know if I hit the million cuz I won't be able to ever do it on my own. It's me and you and people commenting here and people who are gonna listen to this and people at the book retreat.

It's literally all of us working together, not even to create a community cuz a community only serves itself. You gotta have the community first. But it's a community focused on a movement to truly change humanity, to create a safe space where people can truly do the healing that they're meant to do, so that they can expose the superpowers and gifts that the traumas that have happened into their life give them when they actually do the work to get to the other side of the pain.

And it's a beautiful journey. And you know what's interesting is you talked about the book retreat. One of the things I found in my book, I wrote it in less than two months. It's so impressive. My number one best seller. Impressive. It's crazy, right? Yeah. And now the, the editing process took about, I don't know, three to four months.

Sure, sure. Um, and, but I'm proud to say I wrote every word in that. But what I found is I just started, and this is what, if somebody's out there and whether it's a book, a podcast business, I don't care what it is, or just telling your truth for the first time, like not silencing yourself or traumatizing yourself.

Just telling that truth for the first time. You, at some point you just have to say, I'm gonna do it. I had never written a book, never even tried, had no freaking clue how I just started writing the stories of my life. I went back to Southern California and saw some of the places I was abused in. I bought the mask that used to be thrown down in the basement with me.

I bought the lunchbox that I snorted meth off of at five years in kindergarten at six years old. Um, it was like, I, because I've really done the healing work so I can do this piece of it. And I wrote my whole story and then I went back and I started from the beginning. Instead of trying to perfect everything, I started from the beginning again.

And the next time I went through this editing process four times, I unlocked smells. I unlocked sounds because the core story was done. But the core story, like you said, might be the thing that you realize you still need to heal from. And it's okay to stop in the moment because this is about creating a foundation for life.

It's playing chestnut checkers. Stop in the moment when you unlock this story. Lean in and do the healing work that you need to do so that you could feel empowered from your story instead of pulled back from it. And then when you're done with your book, it truly is a legacy piece that will last long after you're done.

Even my voice, my daughters read my book. One's 18, 1 16, and they had a different perspective on. They knew a lot of my story, but they had a really different perspective on what dad went through, so I know that changed them as young women. So it's, um, you know, I'm rambling a little bit. I just get so jacked up about this cause I, it's so be Yeah.

And I, I, I am so excited because there was so much gold in this, in this conversation. And I think above all, we're both on the same page of just saying to start, start today and start small. And recognize that your small actually lends itself to something huge and that is legacy for the generations that you might never even meet.

Um, but ultimately that's what we're here for. And I am so honored to have finally had this conversation with you. It's been a long time in the coming, but it's every time I have an opportunity to sit with someone like this, especially people who are just so aligned, um, in our faith and what God is doing in our lives, it just like seals the movement.

You said it so beautifully that it's not about the collective. Um, element of what we're gonna do individually. It's the collective movement of what happens along the way. And so thank you for doing the hard work. Thank you for doing the hard work and thanks for being a brother in Christ. You just like we're, we're cheering one another on, and I'm so excited for the impact that we're gonna continue to make together.

And I know it's just the beginning, so I'm honored to know you and so excited and I hope you guys get your hands again. Monsters in my house by Walt McKinley. You guys need it on Amazon. I'm sure you can get it on a site as well. Yeah. And then social media, you're on Instagram mostly these days. Um, so actually I've kind of been more on LinkedIn.

But really if you just go to my website, if people just go to, uh,, you, there's links to all my social so amazing. I go, I kind of use all of them because people are on a different platform. Sure, me too. Um, so just whichever one is your preference, you'll kind of get the same flavor of all of them.

Um, if you don't see the book on Amazon, you'll see it, but if you don't, um, you can go on my website and find it and then you can connect with me also, um, if you're really on that journey and you wanna have a conversation. Yeah. So I just appreciate you, my friend. Um, it's all God's timing, right? It's all God's purpose.

There's a reason we reschedule this to even later. I know. Because somebody's gonna need to hear this and it's right after growth for God, which was so dope. And I love that you continue to follow the breadcrumbs, God's planting for you Yeah. To live in the purpose he has for you too. Um, I'm just so proud to call you a friend.

And so, um, happy to be aligned, um, because it really is. The testimony that we all have together that will change humanity. And I want people out there to know, and I'll leave it with this, your history really doesn't define your legacy. Your history is the thing that will empower you and help not only you change yourself.

Not only you change your family's legacy, but it also will help change the path for those still walking in the darkness. So we all gotta let our lights shine as bright as the damn sun because people need to see that when you have a bunch of lighthouses being lit in the same area, guess what? There's not any darkness anymore and people can find their way.

And it really does take all of us doing that. Um, and it takes God continue to show each and every one of us what our individual purposes are so we can come together and use them to spread his word and use them to heal the folks that need all of us the most. Boom, mic drop. I can't even say anything else.

Let's go be the light, okay? Be the love you all. Thank you guys so much, faith Podcast, and we'll tune to you next week. Bye.

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