Episode 399 Karis Meier Transforming Trials into Triumphs Transcript

This transcript is from episode 399 with guest Karis Meier.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.

Scott DeLuzio: Hey everybody, welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and today my guest is Karis Meyer. Karis is a military wife of 18 years and an inspiring author dedicated to helping others navigate through suffering. With a background in Christian education and counseling, Karis brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to our conversation in her latest book, Suffering Redeemed, Finding Strength to Endure.

Purpose in pain and hope for tomorrow looks into her journey with chronic illness while offering insights and [00:01:00] practical tools for finding hope and purpose amidst suffering. Today, we’re going to explore how Karis wisdom and perspective can provide valuable guidance to military veterans and Those who have faced and continue to face challenges.

So before we get into that, I want to welcome you to the show, Karis. I’m really glad to have you here.

Karis Meier: Thank you. It’s great to be here.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. So let’s take it back a bit. Can you share a bit about your journey as a military wife and maybe how your experiences have shaped your perspective on suffering and resilience and those types of things?

Karis Meier: Yeah. So I met my husband through my sister who went to college with him. I had never really thought about the military much before that. My grandfather was, um, a soldier in the, in the military, [00:02:00] World War II. But other than that, I hadn’t really I didn’t have any previous experience with the military. So I knew he was going to be, I mean, he had went to RO2C at Wheaton College.

And so I knew he was going to be in the military at least for a little while. Um, but I honestly will tell you, I had. No idea what I was getting into. Um, so we actually ended up speeding up our wedding because we knew he was going to be deploying. So this is in 2006. Um, and we knew he was going to be deploying to Iraq.

And so we. Got married in April, 2006. And he left a month later for, um, Thailand for training. And he was stationed in Alaska. So I moved, moved up to Alaska, didn’t know anyone, didn’t know anything about the military, and then my, my husband leaves, um, So he went to [00:03:00] Thailand for a few months, came back for a couple of weeks, and then went off to Iraq for 15 months.

And so it was, uh, it was like, uh, you know, just kind of a shock, a shock start.

Scott DeLuzio: I was going to say, talk about being thrown in the deep end when you get married, not really knowing a whole lot about the military, and then You’re basically your first year plus of marriage is dealing with a deployment with your husband away and being in a unfamiliar location. Um, you got all of the, um, you know, the check all the boxes as far as things that military spouses have to deal with all in a very short period of time.


Karis Meier: Yeah, yeah, it was well, and on top of that, so on our honeymoon, actually, I started feeling quite sick and started losing weight and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Um, you know, a lot of people are like, Oh, [00:04:00] it’s just nerves. You’re nervous. You’re getting married. You know, you’re moving to Alaska.

Ben’s deploying. There’s a lot going on. Um, but throughout that, um, summer and even into when my husband deployed, I continued to be sick. Um, and they found out later on that I had parasites that I had gotten, like really rare parasites that I’d gotten overseas in Pakistan when I was visiting my sister earlier that year.

And so, um, It was quite a process then of, you know, the whole medical, the military medical system was all very new to me and I never really been sick in my life. So everything was just very, um, surprising. I remember the first time I walked into, um, You know, the, the hospital and the, and the, the doctor was wearing, uh, you know, an army uniform.

And I was just like, what? Like there’s a soldier who’s my doctor? Like, I just remember [00:05:00] thinking it was so strange. And now looking back, I’m like, that’s normal. But to me, like everything was just Yeah, just very new, very, um, a very hard, and I remember too, just, just some of the, like the culture shock. I can remember having dinner shortly after we got married with another couple who was in the military and just all the acronyms they were saying and all this military talk that I had.

Like literally, I felt like they were speaking a different language and I was, I had no clue what was going on. Um, so yeah, it was, it was just a lot of different things kind of within those two, about two year period. Um, that was very difficult. Um, and yet I was able to bond pretty closely with some of the other wives whose husbands had deployed.

So I didn’t, going up to Alaska, I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t. You know, everything was just very new, but, [00:06:00] um, I quickly learned the, you know, just the, I guess the bonds and kind of the closeness that military, um, people have to kind of form right away, if you’re going to be able to make it. Um, and I, and I was able, I was blessed to, to find some good friends pretty quickly there.

Um, so yeah, that’s kind of a, a little bit of the beginning of the journey.

Scott DeLuzio: Sure, sure. And it’s good that you found that, especially, um, being so new to the military environment and culture, um, because, uh, I can see a lot of times someone who isn’t familiar with that, who’s just like you were being kind of thrown in the deep end, uh, with that, um, might Kind of have the attitude of all, I’ll figure this out on my own and I don’t need this community or the support network or any of this kind of stuff.

But it was good that you did have that group of people who [00:07:00] was around because, uh, you know, you’re, you’re. Especially in Alaska where it’s, it’s cold and probably a lot darker than probably where you’re used to. Where, where are you originally from?

Karis Meier: Well, I’m. It’s kind of interesting. My parents are missionaries. So we grew up kind of all over the place. Um, I did go to college in Minnesota, so I was used to the cold.

Scott DeLuzio: Well, you’re used to the cold. Okay.

Karis Meier: but I don’t like cold and I really don’t like dark. I, I’m a sun lover. And so that aspect was, yes, very difficult for

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, I could imagine. Yeah. It’s certain, certain times of year in Alaska, it gets really dark and, um, yeah, that, that can’t be good for, uh, you know, Probably physical health. I don’t know. I’m not a doctor, but even mental health, um, where it’s just dark constantly. And, uh, you don’t get a lot, really a lot of sun or, or any of that type of stuff.

So, um, you know, definitely [00:08:00] having that group of people going back to what I was saying before, um, was, was probably super important and you may not, maybe didn’t even realize it at the time, but, uh, having that, That group of people who you could, you could talk to and ask questions and do things with and stuff like that.

So you’re not just alone for, like you said, 15 months when, when your husband was deployed or, um, you know, anything like that. Uh, you, you have that group of people, so that’s good. Um, uh, So let’s kind of fast forward a bit. Um, so I want to talk about your book. Uh, I briefly mentioned it in the intro. So Suffering Redeemed is the name of the book.

Um, and. Talks about some of the lessons that you’ve learned along the way, um, through your own personal journey. Um, tell us about the book and tell us about, you know, some of the stuff that you, you share in there, some of the stories maybe, and, [00:09:00] um, you know, how that might resonate with some of the military veterans who maybe are facing their own unique challenges and hardships.

Karis Meier: Sure. So I, like I mentioned, I, I picked up these parasites overseas and, um, was able to, it took a while, but anyways, got, got rid of those. Um, but it kind of catapulted me into this journey of chronic illness. Um, just kind of, I never really fully recovered from that. Um, and because of a lot of the treatment that I had, it lowered my immune system and, um, I was, you know, I was young, I was 20, 26.

Um, and I started this, this journey that I had never expected myself to be on, you know, just feeling sick all the time. And just, it was like one thing after the other, it was one diagnosis after the other. Um, and [00:10:00] so I never. I never planned in my life to write a book, um, but about six years ago, I really felt, um, the calling to, to start writing.

And, um, it ended up being a huge blessing for me because I am more of a I’m not so much of a verbal processor, I’m more like I process more through writing. And so for me to start processing the, the journey, the, the sorrows, the grief, the, the struggle, um, on paper was really, well, I really did it more on my computer, I guess, but just through words was really therapeutic in a way.

And I also saw how it really opened up doors for me to start sharing with other people. So I started, uh, Um, a Facebook group of, um, you know, just inviting other people who were going through difficult things. Um, and then I started a blog and, um, ended up writing a book. Um, so [00:11:00] it’s, you know, I think one thing we, we know we can expect in life is suffering.

It’s something that we, we don’t want, obviously. Um, and each person has their own share of struggles in different areas. Um, but. I think a lot of the questions that we struggle with, a lot of the Seasons that we go through in, in the hardship and the trial that we’re, we’re walking can be similar. And, and so my book really is, it’s not, even though my struggle was mainly about illness and sickness and, and everything that goes along with that, it also became a mental struggle and emotional struggle, relational struggle, because, you know, just if, if something impacts one area of your life, it’s It’s going to eventually impact other areas.

And so, um, yeah, I just, a lot of the questions that I was going through, like, why me, why, why is this happening to me? Um, or, you [00:12:00] know, where, where do we turn when everything else, when the life that we had planned is falling apart? What, what do we do? How do we, how do we move through that? Um, what does it look like?

Cause for me, I, I, in the beginning, I was like, Oh, I’ll just get over this. Um, I’ll eventually start feeling better. And then I began to realize like, this might not go away. I might have to learn how to live, you know, how do, how do I live well in the circumstances and situation that I have? Um, so yeah, a lot of things that I cover is just, um, Um, like the purposes that we find in suffering and, um, the unexpected gifts even that we can receive in our pain.

Uh, for me, I have a deep faith in God. And, um, for me, it was a lot of finding, finding more strength in my, in my faith walk and, um, and also just, you know, How to [00:13:00] really take care of myself. How do, how do we, um, just like this idea of like holistic self care and the different areas that we need in the different, um, you know, cause we’re all different, we all have different needs.

And instead of trying to compare ourselves to someone else, it’s like, no, we need to learn how to, how to take care of what, what my needs are, um, or. And so, and then also just, um, so the, the face group I started, um, was called Suffering Well, because I, I realized that there’s a way to walk through, I say suffering, you could use it any, and I know suffering kind of sounds intense, but like whatever struggle that you’re walking through is like, how can you walk through that?

To the best to live the life to the fullest that we are given. Um, and I think a lot of that depends on how we respond, right? How, how am I going to choose to respond to this situation [00:14:00] that I really don’t want in my life? Um, but. I have a choice, you know, we all have choices to make. And, um, so yeah, it’s, it’s kind of a broad, the book is quite broad in the way that, um, the topics and the way that I approach it, but it, it, it’s real.

I’ve heard people tell me it’s relatable to a lot of different struggles. Yeah,

Scott DeLuzio: to that you had mentioned in the beginning that you were talking about this is How that the writing process itself was therapeutic for you that you’re you process things a little bit better when When you’re writing versus, you know, maybe some other, uh, forms of, of processing.

And, uh, one of the things that I learned through some of the therapy that I have gone through is that when you slow down to when, sorry, when you write things, um, whether it’s [00:15:00] pen to paper or you’re typing it out, um, I found pen to paper is, it works best for this, but. Other people may have other, uh, uh, other, uh, experiences and they may, they may think it’s better to do it another way.

But, um, when, when pen to paper, you’re, you’re actually slowing down, um, your, your processing because you can’t write as fast as you think. So when you’re slowing down and you’re writing whatever the experience is that you’re writing about. So in your case, maybe, maybe the illness that you, you came, uh, You came down with and, um, you know, the experience that you might be writing about with that, um, as you’re, you’re writing, you’re, you’re slowing down.

You’re not thinking, uh, as quickly as you would, if you were just telling the story, like you just did to, to me, um, and you’re slowing [00:16:00] down. So then your brain. Kind of wanders off and starts thinking about these other little things that might have occurred that maybe you’ve forgotten about and other, other things start to crop up and you’re like, Oh my God, you know, I haven’t, I haven’t thought about that in years and it just starts to come back up.

So you’re absolutely right. That writing process itself, whether you’re, you’re writing. Intending to write a book or not, or a blog or, uh, not ever intending for the world to see it, even if you’re just writing it and you’re going to go put it in the shredder and nobody ever sees it again. Um, it still has a purpose, uh, to, from that, from that therapeutic standpoint.

And I know that’s not necessarily the purpose of your book, but when you mentioned that, it kind of just triggered something that I wanted to make sure I made that point. So who’s out there, who’s, who’s listening, who’s, who’s dealing with something they’re trying to go through, um, sometimes just writing it down might help you process through it.

Um, but you’re right, um, [00:17:00] you know, about that. And also, uh, you mentioned how there’s unexpected gifts in pain or suffering or whatever the word is that you want to put to it. Um, those, those unexpected gifts and, and that might sound strange to some people who maybe have never had a significant, uh, you know, either loss or grief or, or suffering of some sort, some illness or, or whatever in their, their own personal lives.

Um, that might, Sound strange, but I’ve heard from a lot of people who I’ve had on this show or other places that I’ve talked to that sometimes, uh, a person might say the greatest gift that they ever got was getting cancer or something. You know, it just opened up a whole new, uh, perspective to them on, on life.

And, and they said, you know what, I’m, I’m going to beat this. And not only am I going to beat it, but I’m going to live life to the fullest once when I do. And, and it’s going to [00:18:00] be a whole new, uh, outlook on life. And, um, and they do, they beat it and they, they are making the most of their life. And it’s, um, you know, not something that I would ever prescribe to someone like, Hey, figure out a way to get cancer so you can turn your life around.

Like, no, like there’s other ways of, of doing that. Like that’s not my suggestion. So please don’t take me the wrong way on that. But, um, But there’s, there’s these unexpected gifts and we need to accept those. Um, you know, because, um, you were talking a little bit about your, your faith and I, I believe that God will put us in the right place at the right time.

He’ll give us these, these gifts or tools or whatever you want to call them to help make the most of the hand that we’ve been dealt. So one [00:19:00] of the themes in your book is. Finding strength and purpose amongst this, this suffering. Um, a lot of times people are dealing with various traumas or adversary adversities. Um, and, uh, how can they use kind of what you’ve talked about in the book to navigate their own journeys of, of healing or bouncing back from, uh, you know, whatever it is that they’re dealing with.

Karis Meier: it’s, um, so I, I think just what you were talking about, about the, the opportunity that we have in these difficult situations we find ourselves in. Um, I, I recently was reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning and just was really struck by how two people, you know, he wrote about the, the concentration camps and [00:20:00] how, how.

Some people were able to, um, really find purpose and able to get through those horrendous situations because of their mindset, because of their attitude in the adversity versus like the people who would just crumble in defeat and say, I’m just going to give up and die. Like they would just literally die because they wouldn’t.

Have the hope or see purpose and what they were going through. And so I think that’s a huge thing, especially when we’re in a situation that we have no control over or something’s happened to us that we have no control over. Um, and then it’s, you know, we always have that opportunity to, um, to either be completely like, just.

We’re, we’re at the end of ourselves, or we can be challenged to change and to rise [00:21:00] up to that situations. And so something I talk about a lot is just the purpose that we, that we have. And as you mentioned, whether you call that like, you know, seeing, seeing the bright side or seeing the positive. And I’m not a big proponent of like, Oh, just pretend everything’s good.

And it will be, cause that’s not how life is. But. One of the big things I have seen in my personal walk and, and, and just experience of people who’ve really gone through very difficult things is the potential for significant personal growth and maturity, um, that you’re like, that person has gone through that and they are the most.

Joy filled, like, just giving generous people that you’ve ever met, you know, and, and that really starts with, you know, am I gonna have this self pity, woe is me, um, I give [00:22:00] up, or am I gonna I just see this as an opportunity. Um, and, and really how we think, and there’s been so much study in our, you know, about the brain and how it affects so much of the other aspects of our lives.

And so I think that’s just a huge, huge aspect in these situations is like, what are, what are the things What am I telling myself? What am I repeating to myself? What am I dwelling on? Um, you know, there’s so many different aspects of life, life that we can really focus on. And that’s, again, that’s, that’s a choice.

And I think, so there’s, there’s the, how it impacts ourselves. And I think the other part of this is how it, um, Really shapes us and enables us to, to be compassionate people who see an opportunity to help others who maybe are in a similar situation. Um, when we’ve gone through [00:23:00] something, it, it just provides that empathy.

You know, when you’re going through a specific struggle, um. Like, let’s say you lost a baby or had a miscarriage. You really want to talk to someone who’s gone through that, right? Because it’s like, yeah, that person might kind of understand, but when you’ve gone through something and you’re able to encourage and be vulnerable and relate and to give and, you know, just, there’s just such a, such a gift.

It’s such a gift. And I’ve had people in my life. Who have done that for me. And so that’s really like this mind shift really happened in me about six years ago when I was like, Oh my gosh, I have all of this life experience now that I can share with others. I can walk with others in their hopelessness because I’ve been there.

I’ve been to the lowest points, you know, very low points in my life. Um, And I’ve been able to get through it. And a lot of that is, [00:24:00] is by the help of others and through the help of, um, my relationship with God. But, um, it’s, it’s a very unique opportunity then to pass that on.

Scott DeLuzio: Sure. Sure. Um, You know, one of the things that you mentioned is that you, you see these people who have suffered in one way or another, uh, they’ve gone through some adversity and you look at them and you’re like, Oh my gosh, this is like the most joyful person I’ve ever met. Like they’re just so happy and they’re energetic, they’re full of life.

Um, and I think you can go, you know, One of two ways with this, and there may be others, but there may be, this may be on a scale. So it’s not, um, you know, but maybe the, the, the far extremes is where you can, you can be that, that joyful person and you can try to make the most of life and, and things like that.

And, and you can go in that direction, but you can also go in the other direction where you’re, [00:25:00] you’re dwelling on this. It, it defines you. It is just dragging you down and it, There, you see no hope for the future, but I think the people who are on that joyful side of the spectrum, um, they’ve seen how bad things can be, and they’re able to appreciate the good things in life because they’ve seen how bad things can be.

So they, they have a greater appreciation for when things do go good and they are, you know, in a, a good situation. They’re, they’re able to appreciate that much more because they’ve seen just how bad things can be. Um, now that’s just my, you know, I’m sure there’s some scientific research or something that tells us, you know, why is it that people can be that way?

But, um, in my opinion, I feel like it’s, it’s because they’ve [00:26:00] seen how bad things can get. Um, they, they’ve gone through some suffering and pain and everything. And so when there is something good, they grab onto that and they’re like, Yeah, I want, I want this. This is, this is what I want in my life. And they grab onto that and then they, they seek it out.

They find those, those good things. And yeah, they’re going to be positive when you’re looking for that. Versus the person who is latched on to the negative, and All they see in life is the negative and they’re just searching, uh, through life and they’re looking for stuff, but all they find is the negative because that’s what’s on their mind.

Um, and so, so you end up getting those two extremes and yeah, there’s going to be people in the middle. I, I get that because it’s kind of a, a spectrum, but, um, Like, you kind of get those, those two, uh, extremes when, when people go through some sort of adversity at some point, right? Um, [00:27:00] but you also talk about how You could relate to others who have gone through a similar situation, you know, a miscarriage or, uh, you know, loss of another loss of a child or a divorce or, uh, you know, you name it.

There’s, there’s too much suffering to sit here and just listed them all in the world. But, you know, you’ll, you’ll, you tend to gravitate towards those people who have gone through a similar experience. And I’ve heard this, you Time and time again, from other veterans that when they go to the VA, uh, they get frustrated when they are assigned a therapist who has never been in combat.

And they’re like, I will only talk to somebody who has been there, who knows what I’ve gone through. Um, and, and then they write the VA off altogether. Cause VA doesn’t. necessarily have that person in their area or whatever who has, has been in that [00:28:00] similar situation. So they write off the VA altogether and they go down, uh, and, and just don’t end up finding the help.

So, um, you know, there is that, I do, I do say to those people, stick it out because the therapists that they have are better than nothing. Um, but I do get it. I do get why someone would want to talk to somebody who has been in those same situations because, um, you know, especially the people who, uh, have, have suffered, um, through, you know, whatever the adversity that they’ve gone through, um, They want to maybe know that they’re not alone in whatever this is, right?

Karis Meier: Yep.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Um, now you talked about a little bit earlier about kind of the importance of this holistic, I can’t talk today for some reason, it’s holistic. A view [00:29:00] of self care, uh, that you talked about in the book and, and that you, you kind of have utilized in your own life. Um, talk, talk, uh, talk to us about that as far as prioritizing the physical, the mental, emotional, uh, well being as, as, as well as the spiritual side of things, uh, as well.

Karis Meier: Yeah. I think, you know, our bodies are so, um, just connected in so many ways. Like I shared earlier, just like, I didn’t realize how much my physical, um, um, um, Weakness, illness, sicknesses, pain would impact over time, especially, um, my relationships, my mental health, my emotions, you know, just, I, you know, it took, I, I’m someone who for the first several years of this thought, oh, I’ll just stick it out.

Um, [00:30:00] I don’t need to get help. I can be strong enough. You know, I kind of felt like I would be a burden or, um, I don’t know. I just have this mentality, I guess, of, um, It’s I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want to, um, have to, and I think that some of that comes from, you know, you, you compare yourself to other people and think, well, they don’t need to do this or that, or they don’t need to get extra rest.

Um, and so I think part of it’s just, we all have our individual journeys and weaknesses and struggles that impact who we are and, um, how much we can handle. And you just have to get to know that and accept it, right? Accept, um, that is part of who you are and not see it as, Negative, necessarily. And so I, I think like it took me several years and I think I’m still figuring it out.

[00:31:00] Um, cause I’m the very much of a, I like to check things off and get things done. I’m very much, um, I like to make progress on things and stay busy, but my body does not like that. And so I’ve had to learn, you know, like, so I kind of, In my book, I divide it up into three different categories, you know, a body, your soul and your spirit.

So your body, um, just learning how to get the rest. You know, we all have different needs of like how many hours of sleep we need. Um, what, what you need to eat to be healthy. I have a very different diet than most other people because my body can’t digest a lot of foods, um, which is hard, but that’s just part of how I’ve had to learn to adapt.

Um, and, and then just learning to be. I don’t know. First, when I heard this, I was like, what? But like the, um, self compassion, like kind of like learning to be gentle with [00:32:00] yourself, not being so hard on yourselves. Um, ourselves, you know, when we give other people advice that we love, um, oftentimes we wouldn’t give ourselves that same advice because we, we think we have to measure up to something in our minds, you know, when, when, no, we, we should be, we should be giving ourselves that same kind of.

Love and compassion that we, that we want to give those whom we care about. Um, so that’s, that’s gonna look different for each person, what their physical body needs. Um, and then there’s the soul aspect of our emotions and, um, how we’re relating to other people. Um, part of that is, um, you know, how, how do you view emotions?

Some people are very. Like, don’t like to show their emotions. And that was me that I’m growing into it, but I was someone who has especially negative emotions. I kind of categorize them as like the bad emotions, [00:33:00] you know, and then these are acceptable. Um, but you really have to process and work and walk through those emotions.

And like we talked about earlier, if that’s, if that’s writing for me, that a lot of that was writing. And I, I didn’t. I didn’t even know what I was thinking or feeling until I started writing things out. And I’m like, Oh my, that’s surprising to me, um, about how deep things really, and how, how much, um, desperation I was in or even depression at different times, you know?

So just, um, or it could be, you know, working that through with a counselor or a friend or exercise, um, you know, just, there’s so many different ways that we can process our Our emotions in a healthy way. And, and then they won’t come out at the wrong moments. You know, there, I think we’ve all had times where we’re dealing with something that is a little, little deal.

And then all of a sudden it like, Whoa, like that was not an appropriate response to [00:34:00] that situation, but that’s often because we aren’t allowing ourselves to work through those. at the times when we need to. Um, and so, um, and then the third aspect is our spirit and just how we are relating. And for me, that’s, that’s relating to God.

Um, so for some people that might just be meditating or a different religion, but I think we all have, um, more of the deeper parts of our beings that we need to connect to something that is, that is. Um, not just on a surface level, you know, and where we are drawing our strength and our purpose for life and, and looking beyond the here and now.

Um, and so that for me, I I’ve really, um, grown a lot in the, So there’s a book in the Bible, the Psalms, that’s a lot of prayers and laments and, um, really processing of a lot of [00:35:00] emotions, which again, for me, for someone who did not process my emotions very well verbally and with other people, it was so helpful to kind of have a tool to kind of have a, the words to put to my, to some of the things I was feeling, um, and to kind of get that out.

And so, and I was able to, to continue to do that, but it’s just, so finding the right, the right tools, the right ways to connect, um, at a deeper, deeper, deeper level, um, I think is so important.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And, and you know, in your case, the Bible maybe was one of those tools, right? And, and your, your faith. And, and again, not everyone, like you said, has that same, uh. you know, belief, but there’s something that they, they believe in and they can, you know, maybe it’s a different religion or it’s, uh, like you said, meditation or, or something [00:36:00] else, but, um, you can turn to those things to help you, uh, get through.

Uh, you know, whatever it is that you’re, you’re going through. And one other thing is that physical aspect you mentioned, you know, exercise and exercise even is going to be different. You know, we’re talking about like on a spiritual basis, it could be different for people based on what their religion is or lack of religion.

It could be different. Um, The exercise could be different too. And what that looks like. Some people like to go for a run. Some people like to lift weights. Some people like to do yard work and, you know, get, get and do something productive. They, they feel like that that’s a better, you know, use for their, their physical energy, but whatever that looks like for you, just go and do it.

And. It’s, it’s strange, but the days that go and do some sort of exercise almost always have a, [00:37:00] a better day. Doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a great day, a hundred percent of the time, but it’s, it’s, it’s usually better than the days that I don’t. Do some sort of exercise. So, um, you know, it’s, it’s kind of like my reminder.

It’s like the end of the day, I’m like, man, today was kind of a crappy day. I kind of just felt down and things just weren’t feeling right. And it’s like, Oh, let’s think back. Did I do any sort of exercise? No, I didn’t. Okay. Well, there it is.

Karis Meier: Mm

Scott DeLuzio: Go do something, you know, it, it’s just, it’s just like, uh, that that’s like your body’s reminder to like, get off your butt and go do something, you know?

Um, uh, you also mentioned that, that the self compassion, uh, aspect of things too. And, uh, You know, think about if you had a friend or a relative or somebody who you’re close to who was going through the same exact scenario that you’re going through and you were [00:38:00] going to go and talk to them and give them some sort of advice or whatever and you go and talk to them, would you talk to them the way that you talk to yourself?

And I guarantee 99 percent of the people who are listening to this know exactly what I’m talking about, because we have that voice inside of our head that tells us that we’re, we’re stupid, that we’re too weak, we’re too not good enough, we’re, we’re just, you know, insufficient in whatever these situations are.

And, It’s like, no, you wouldn’t tell a friend that you wouldn’t go up to him. It’s like, man, you’re stupid. You’re, you know, you’re, you’re just not a good person. You’re, you’re a terrible person. Like, no, you wouldn’t do that to somebody that, so why do we, why do we do that to ourselves? Like people do that, uh, All the time.

And of course you’re going to feel down and depressed when you’re talking to yourself that way. Um, you know, you gotta, you gotta look at it from the angle of like, what would you want that friend to [00:39:00] be saying to you and be that friend for yourself and, and say it to yourself and, and get through that, um, that negative thought that way, you know, and, and try to try to help yourself instead of, uh, you know, dragging yourself back down.

Talking yourself in a negative way, try, try to turn that around. I think that’s, that’s probably a, uh, big driver towards, you know, getting to that depressed state or, um, just not making progress towards being more of that joyful type of person, right? Yeah. Um, so. Whenever we talk about any sort of, uh, adversity or loss or grief or, uh, overcoming some medical issue, uh, there is a transition or change that happens in our lives, uh, [00:40:00] and it’s like you’re grieving what once was, you know, that I once was a healthy person.

Now I’m not. So, so there’s that grief. Um, I, I once had this person in my life, but now I don’t. And so there’s that grief. I once had that job, but now I don’t. So there’s that grief. And it’s like, you’re, you’re trying to overcome That grief, but, uh, sometimes people get stuck in that and, and they make it, uh, you know, almost so that it defines them, uh, in, in who they are.

They’re, they’re the, You know, uh, you know, parent of a child who was, who was taken too soon, or, you know, uh, they, they once were, uh, you know, a doctor, but now they don’t have that job anymore. Uh, they, maybe they retired, maybe they got fired. I don’t know, whatever the case may be, um, they don’t have [00:41:00] that job anymore.

So they lose that identity and they’re, they’re grieving that, but they just don’t know how to get past whatever it is that they’re going through. Um, And that transition and change is, uh, it’s common in the military. Um, people, you know, they, they may change their job. They, they may get out of the military.

They may move from one place to another. Um, like in your situation, you, you moved up to Alaska, um, not really knowing what to expect. Um, And so how do you, uh, how would you recommend folks dealing with transition or change those periods in life that are, uh, maybe unsure to them? Like what, what, what does this mean to now be a veteran versus a service member, or to now be a military spouse versus, you know, just, [00:42:00] Dating a guy who’s in the military, you know, uh, these changes take place, but how do, how do people get through those changes and kind of make the most of them?

Karis Meier: That is a great question, which I don’t have the, I’m sure the great, perfect answer to, but I will tell you, I have been, so it was just recently we were, um, going through our, our children are asking us some about our lives and I counted, I’ve moved, 34 times. I’m 43 years old. I’ve moved 34 times in my life.

Um, so I’ve been through a lot of, a lot of transitions. Um,

Scott DeLuzio: So you’re, you should be the expert on this. If I’m asking anybody, it should be

Karis Meier: I should be. And what’s even more funny is my husband. So he’s, he’s going to be 20 years in the military. This. Actually this month. Um, and so we’re planning to retire. He’s planning to retire. Um, so now we’re like [00:43:00] looking at, Oh my gosh, we have to figure out what we’re going to do.

And it’s like. We’ve been waiting for this and now it’s scary because we’re like, this is a huge change. And now we actually have a say in what we’re doing and where we’re going. And, um, so it’s just interesting, this process of like, you know, for, we’ve been married 18 years, um, moved 12 times in our, with the, with the, with the army and each, each.

Move was hard, but also amazing. Right. And it goes back to some similar themes that we’ve been talking about. But, um, I, you know, as I look back at all the people and all the different places we’ve been, um, I can see. So many great things, you know, so many gifts, so many people that I’m like, I, we never would have met all these people if we were in one place.

Um, and there’s always [00:44:00] something new. So I think there’s part of it is like seeing, seeing the, the blessings, seeing the, The good at where, of where you’re at, but then also not clinging too tightly or making that your identity, you know, not making that, um, so a part of who you are that when it’s gone, um, you, you lose a part of yourself.

I mean, I think there is grief in letting things and people and places go and we have to work through that. Um, but there’s also a joy in. And because if we, if we don’t let something go, we can’t take something else, right? With, it’s kind of the idea of like, if you’re holding onto two things, you can’t pick up the third thing.

You got to let something go in order to receive the next. And, and that’s a lot of how life is. We can’t, we can’t hold on to being a kid and also being an adult at the same time. We have to, [00:45:00] there’s a, there’s a journey that happens. Um, and, and again, it’s, I think it’s good, it’s good to express it, like, um, express the sorrow of letting something go, but it’s also good to rejoice and to get excited about something new that we’re going to, that we’re going to walk into.

And I, I think change is always uncomfortable. Like it just, it is like, even for someone who’s moved that many times, I will tell you it’s still hard. Like, I feel like I should be used to it by now, but every time it’s hard and that’s okay. It’s okay that it’s hard. I think, I think sometimes we, we get too upset about not feeling okay.

Like it’s okay not to feel happy. So it’s okay to feel sad. Um, That’s just part of life. And then you, you’ll, something else will come in and, and it will replace, not replace it, but it will become, um, a different [00:46:00] part of, of your life experience. Um, so whether that be the location or your job or losing something, you know, I’ve, With my health stuff, I’ve lost some of the things that I used to be able to do.

I can’t do anymore, um, which is sad. It’s hard. Um, I loved playing soccer. That was like a huge part of my life, but I can’t play soccer anymore. Um, Because I have neuropathy and some issues with my feet, but, but there’s a lot of other things that I, I can do and I can watch my sick, my, my four kids play soccer, um, which is such a blessing.

So, um, yeah, that’s, that’s just a little. I don’t know. Some things I’ve learned.

Scott DeLuzio: Sure. And yeah, so for someone who has moved so many times, there’s definitely many transitions. It’s almost seems like an annual tradition in your, your world, probably, not quite, but almost. [00:47:00] Um, and, Yeah, one of the things that I was thinking of as you were talking about all these changes and transitions is if, if I was to have moved that many times and we’re roughly the same age, if I was to have moved that many times in, in my life, um, what would I do in all of those new places?

And, um, you know, You think about the stuff that you take for granted around your area that you live in. If you’ve lived in that area for any number of years, um, you gotta go find all those things again. And it’s, it’s a new discovery. You’re finding, you know, where’s the best grocery store, where’s the best, uh, you know, place to go to just do your normal everyday life.

But also you’re, you’re in all these different areas and there’s, you know, Stuff to explore, you know, you’re, [00:48:00] you’re in, I’m in Arizona now. There’s, there’s the Grand Canyon. You can go explore that. It’s like one of the great places to, to go check out if you’re in this area. Um, if you’re in another area, I’m sure there’s other things like that.

That you can go check out that you wouldn’t experience if you weren’t there. Um, just like you said earlier, you wouldn’t have met some of the people that you met. Had you not been moving from place to place, um, you know, through, uh, through the military and there’s, there’s more than people to that. I mean, obviously that’s a big part of it, but, um, there’s, there’s just things that you can explore and discover and, and check out.

That go beyond the day to day stuff. Um, there’s, there’s all these new things that you get to experience. And if you look at it that way, as I get to experience these things, as opposed to, Oh no, I got to move again. Um, See, that’s like a total mindset shift, um, [00:49:00] so you’re, you’re thinking about it in just in a different way.

And I think that could help people kind of get through some of these things is I get to do this versus I have to do this, right?

Karis Meier: Mhm. Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: Um, so to kind of wrap up this episode a little bit, um, could you tell people, uh, where to go to find out more about your book and, uh, anything else that you have going on? And I know you mentioned a Facebook group and, and things like that, but just places that people can go to get in touch with you and find out more about, uh, what it is that you, you have to offer.

Karis Meier: Sure. My website is just my first and last name, karismeyer. com, and you can find my book on there. Um, I have my blog on there. Um, there’s different podcasts I’ve been on. Just, yeah. Several different things on there. Um, my book is mostly on Amazon and Kindle [00:50:00] and, um, paperback form. And then I’m also on Instagram and Facebook.

Just look up Karis Meyer author. Um, you’ll find me on there. Oh,

Scott DeLuzio: get in touch with you that way, or find your book, uh, have a link to that in there as well. Uh, so, so people can grab a copy of the book and hopefully that will help them through their journey of whatever it is that they may be going through.

Um, now before we wrap up this episode, um, I always try to end an episode with a little bit of humor. I think if. Um, and anytime I can put a smile on someone’s face, make them laugh, even if it’s just like a, a light chuckle, that, that’s just a good thing in my book. Um, sometimes some of the topics we talk about on this show are a little heavy and, and, you know, if we can end it with a, a little bit of humor, uh, you know, then hopefully, That, that makes somebody [00:51:00] laugh and puts a smile on their face.

Even if they’re just laughing at me, I’m okay with that. Um, so, um, so I got a quick joke here. Hopefully, hopefully it’s funny, but if not, you can laugh at me for thinking that it is, and that’s fine. Um, so, uh, you mentioned. Religion and faith is a kind of big part of your life, so I thought I’d have a, uh, use that as kind of the theme for the joke here.

So, there was a preacher who fell in the ocean and he couldn’t swim. Uh, when a boat came by, the captain yelled, Do you need help, sir? And the preacher said, No, God will save me. And a little later, another boat came by, and a fisherman asked, Uh, hey, do you need help? And the preacher replied again, No, God God will save me.

And eventually, unfortunately, the preacher drowned and went to heaven. And the preacher asked God, why didn’t you save me? And God replied, I sent you two boats. What else were you expecting?[00:52:00]

Karis Meier: my goodness. So take help when it’s sent,

Scott DeLuzio: Take help when it’s sent. Yeah. It, it may not be in the form that you’re expecting, but. It still helped, so take it. I guess that’s the, that’s the takeaway, right? anyways, thank you, Karis, for taking the time to come on and share your story, your personal story and, and your journey and some of the insights and lessons that you’ve learned along the way.

Hopefully that will be stuff that, that folks can take along with them and, uh, utilize in their own life. Uh, again, The links will be in the show notes. Get a copy of Karis’s book, again, um, called Suffering, Redeemed, Finding Strength to Endure, Purpose in Pain and Hope for Tomorrow. Uh, find a copy of that book that will have the link in the show notes.

Grab a copy and, uh, check it out. So again, Karis, for taking the time to come on.

Karis Meier: Thank you.

Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive [00:53:00] On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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