I listened to John Bernthal interview Shia LaBeouf on his podcast “REAL ONES” and it had a profound effect on me. In fact, I have listened to it three times and have sent it to at least two dozen people who I thought would benefit from hearing his message. I have come to believe that everyone could potentially benefit from his message if they are open to hearing it. It has a strong message for people in recovery from substance abuse disorders, and if you are in recovery, it is a message you have heard before, but LaBeouf is both incredibly articulate and he comes from the heart at the same time. For people that have been mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically injured by someone suffering from a substance abuse disorder, it is a powerful message that may help bring a small sense of understanding to the madness of addiction (and other disorders) but more importantly help you comprehend the miracle of recovery. And if you are someone with a substance abuse issue, I pray this message finds you and you find the courage to reach out for help like LaBeouf did.
There are thousands of interviews with people in recovery but what makes this one so powerful is LaBeouf himself. He was not a likable character in the past. He was self-centered, arrogant, misogynistic, and violent. He was a train wreck of a man that was brilliant at his craft and produced some incredible performances but we secretly, or not so secretly, cheered when he failed. He was the villain in a world where we want to worship heroes. But addiction to substances, and addiction to his own success took him to his bottom, handed him the gift of desperation, and cracked him wide open. Over the two-hour interview we listen to LaBeouf as takes us through his journey of trying to tear off his masks in search of the true human he is and the salvation he realizes he has been seeking his entire life. His newfound humility is profoundly on display as he constantly stops and checks himself when he feels himself slipping back into his old patterns of behaviour. LaBeouf is less than two years into his recovery and as he talks, we witness the messiness and pure beauty of transformation in real time. The general human condition is fully on display, and I think the listener will go through a journey that begins with disdain for the man and ends with a newfound compassion for those who have fallen hard and are willing to do whatever they can to be better humans.
I personally related to many dimensions of his back story, but where I connected most strongly with him is in his experience in recovery and his new design for living. He has surrendered and let go of his need for material achievement as a source of personal power and is transforming into being powered by purpose. A purpose of “being useful to others” and making amends to those whom he caused harm. I call this the road of happy destiny, and all are welcome.
I hope you find time to listen to the podcast and reach out to us if you want to discuss it further.