Questions for Reflection
In each episode, we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. Our supporters over at Buy Me a Coffee now have exclusive access to the PDF versions of all our Questions for Reflection. Join us today!
Beth Demme (00:03):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:05):
Where we share personal experiences so we can learn from each other.
Beth Demme (00:08):
Our mission is to talk about things you might relate to, but that you don't hear being discussed in other places.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:13):
Our hope is that you're encouraged to have honest conversations with people in your own life. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:17):
And I'm Beth. On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled "I'm Broken and It's Beautiful".
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:23):
Then we'll share a slice of life and the show will close with Questions for Reflection, where we'll invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life. Hi, Beth.
Beth Demme (00:31):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:32):
I can see you in front of me.
Beth Demme (00:33):
Yay. We're not remote.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:34):
Not on a computer screen.
Beth Demme (00:36):
We're in the podcast studio this morning together. Amazing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:40):
You're talking so fast. Oh my gosh. That is so great. We should probably clarify. In the last episode, Beth thought she sounded like she was talking slow.
Beth Demme (00:48):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:48):
I let her know that I digitally went in and slowed down every single time she talked because, you know, that makes sense.
Beth Demme (00:56):
I don't know why. It just sounded so slow. I got to tell you, having a podcast and then like listening to yourself is a weird experience. I don't even know why I do that last part. I don't even know why I go back and listen. Why? It's done. It's out there. It's in the world.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:10):
I listen to it many times.
Beth Demme (01:12):
Right. Because you have to do the editing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:13):
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Beth Demme (01:14):
I just do the transcripts so I just see our words. I don't have to listen to them.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:20):
Yeah. Do they take all the ums and the in transcript?
Beth Demme (01:23):
Sometimes. I take out as many ums as I can.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:25):
Beth Demme (01:26):
In editing. So... Actually the one for the last episode, we said "like" a lot and they left them in.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:32):
Beth Demme (01:33):
And it was annoying to have to edit.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:35):
Beth Demme (01:35):
And some of them had to stay in because otherwise it didn't make sense, but it was like, you know, wow, like, come on, you couldn't edit out the uh, filler, uh, words, uh.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:46):
Or we could stop using filler words.
Beth Demme (01:48):
We could try to stop using filler.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:49):
There's no way I will be able to stop that.
Beth Demme (01:51):
Right. Yeah. By the way, we use this service for the transcription so we upload the audio and then they create a transcript and then I clean it up and then, poof. We have a transcript and you can access those transcripts of all of our episodes on our website, Dospod.us.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:09):
Very good plug. Thank you, Beth, for reminding.
Beth Demme (02:11):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:11):
Because we definitely spend the time doing that and this episode that you're listening to right now will be transcripted after we record it.
Beth Demme (02:18):
Yes. Not before.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:19):
Transcribed. Yes, not before.
Beth Demme (02:21):
Yes, that will not be transcribed before we record it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:22):
Beth Demme (02:22):
Because that would be a script, and that's not what we do.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:25):
We don't script it, as you can tell, from this really long intro that I will not be cutting out. So today Beth, let's get into this episode. We're talking about broken things that are beautiful.
Beth Demme (02:37):
Right, well, I mean everybody's broken. Everybody's broken. We all have brokenness in us and it can be beautiful.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:47):
Mm. You're saying that I'm broken?
Beth Demme (02:51):
Oh yeah. You're like real broken. And so am I, by the way. And it can be beautiful. It's like a beautiful mosaic. I'll try to put a picture of this in the show notes, but you know, Hannah, who's been on the podcast, my daughter, she was born outside of... Actually, she was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and there's this cathedral there called the Church of the Spilled Blood, which is a terrible name for a church. I'm just going to say it. It's a terrible name. And it's called that because somebody was assassinated outside of it. But anyway, inside it's filled floor to ceiling with these beautiful, incredible mosaics. They're just teeny, tiny, broken tiles, but it's such an incredible art form. So it's all broken and it's beautiful.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:39):
That's a really good example. Yeah. I was watching a YouTube video this morning where they were showing at Disney, but there's the really pretty mosaics in the Cinderella castle. And I was thinking about that. I was like, "Yeah, this is all broken pieces, but it creates this beautiful artwork that you would never get otherwise." So that's a good example. Well, Tosh recently got broken.
Beth Demme (03:58):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:59):
My dog, Tosh. Long story, I actually will put a link to a video I made about it.
Beth Demme (04:04):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:04):
If you want to hear the full details of it. But she got a big cut on her arm and had to have stitches and she's broken. But you know what? She is so beautiful and her spirit has been so beautiful through this. She has shown me, you know, I don't even know that she under... I don't even know that she knows she got hurt because she's just-
Beth Demme (04:24):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:24):
She's just been so excited and loves life and just to see her really not be affected and just move on like it's life, it happens, but I'm still here and I'm beautiful.
Beth Demme (04:37):
Yeah. So she was broken. She got repaired. She's going to have a scar.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:41):
Beth Demme (04:41):
And it's not going to lessen her beauty at all. In some ways it enhances her beauty because now you can see how resilient she is.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:48):
Beth Demme (04:49):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:50):
Same thing, Mac had to have stitches a while back, and same kind of thing, it's just hard things. You know, you never want to see something, someone, you love have to go through that pain, but kind of seeing them through it and helping them through it, it's a beautiful process when you are able to step back and kind of observe all of that together. So yeah, I think my dogs are even more beautiful for their scars and for the life that they've led.
Beth Demme (05:23):
Yeah. And you know, with people, when we have something that's happened to us, an experience or a trauma or even a physical injury, and we heal from it, and whether it leaves a visible scar or an invisible scar, even when it's healed, the memory still exists. And so it's helpful I think to see not just the memory of the traumatic thing or the injury, but to also see the beauty that comes from the healing. So I think that's kind of where we're hoping to be, for ourselves at least.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:57):
Yeah. And when I think back to all the guests we've had on our podcast, like Samuel who had acid burns on his face.
Beth Demme (06:06):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:06):
And has gone through many reconstructions and all those things. If that hadn't happened to him, we wouldn't know his name, we wouldn't know his story, we wouldn't be able to connect to him on a level that we wouldn't with him otherwise. And you know, his story is beautiful of how he has been able to... All the things he's done in his life to be able to grow and live and not let that kind of define him. So everybody, everybody we've had has some kind of something that an outsider would call them broken for and that's what makes it beautiful. And that's how I'm able to connect to them on a human level, is to see those broken pieces and to see the beauty and the journey that that has brought them on.
Beth Demme (06:54):
Yeah. And it's the same with emotional trauma, emotional scars as well. One of the people who I really like to read and listen to is a Catholic priest named Father Richard Rohr. He's out in the Midwest. He's just an amazing... Probably lots of you have heard of him. But one of the things that he says is that we will either transform our pain or we will transmit our pain, so better to transform it, I think, than to transmit it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:25):
Beth Demme (07:25):
So see the beauty and the healing, accept the scars for the healing that they represent. You can find... Even if you don't feel like your scar itself is beautiful, the fact that there's healing that's happened, is beautiful. And so embracing that so that then the pain doesn't get transmitted. Because I just see a lot of hurting people who hurt people. Right? Isn't that one of the ways we-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:52):
Beth Demme (07:52):
Heard it in CR.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:53):
For sure. Yeah. And there is so much hurt in the world. I mean, you can just... If you want to find the hurt, just look outside your window, turn on the news, you can see that hurt, but you can also see people doing a lot of good with the hurt they've been through and something that I always find interesting and cool to see is when a... Somebody will choose a path based on a family member they've had, so when I worked at Disney, we could take these free classes, just random classes, just different classes. And one of the classes was a sign language class that... I always wanted to take sign language in school, but it didn't count as the right credit for foreign language, and so I always kicked myself, I didn't do it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:35):
So I took a sign language class, and the guy that taught it was just... He wasn't deaf. He was just, you know... His story was that his brother was deaf and that's how he learned sign language. And he was an interpreter at Disney and his whole career was based on having this family member that had something that was different. And speaking of beautiful, whenever I'm at a big concert or something.
Beth Demme (08:59):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:00):
And I see someone signing.
Beth Demme (09:02):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:03):
That is so... That's all I'm watching.
Beth Demme (09:05):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:05):
Is them signing. And I don't know what words, what it's... You know, I don't know what the signs necessarily mean, but I obviously know because I'm hearing the words, but so beautiful to watch someone sign.
Beth Demme (09:16):
Especially at a concert.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:18):
Beth Demme (09:18):
Have you ever had that experience?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:19):
Beth Demme (09:19):
Where you're at a concert and they have gone to the effort to have an ASL interpreter there and it's incredible what they're able to communicate.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:28):
Beth Demme (09:29):
Really love seeing that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:30):
Yeah. Yeah. And I think there's people that would say, you know, deaf people are broken and I think it's so important to have people that are different from us and people that have different needs and different abilities, because it is beautiful to see that. And it's, you know, anytime I hear someone's story that's different than my own, some struggles, something like that, it helps me just understand the world better. And it helps me understand their viewpoint better.
Beth Demme (10:01):
I think our tendency is to think that our own experience is typical or normal or the standard. And so we tend to assess or judge other people based on how we are. And I think we really miss out when we do that. I think we're learning this in a lot of ways with white privilege, that we've kind of said, "Well, the white experience is the normative experience." Well, no, that's not true at all. Or I'm learning more and more about this with say ADHD as compared to neurotypical.
Beth Demme (10:33):
So my son has ADHD and if I expect him to do things in a neurotypical way, I'm really setting him up for failure. So how do I encourage him in a way that he can really receive it? It's worth that effort to me because I care about him. But if I had just said, well, no, he's got to be neurotypical, that's not going to help anybody. So trying not to use our own experience as normative.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:00):
Yeah. And even when our experiences are something that a lot of people experience, how we processed it or how we went through it is still going to be unique to us and is still a story we're telling. When I was... And that was actually what led me to write my book, is sadly, there is so many women out there that have been abused. There's so many children out there that have been abused, which is just heartbreaking and horrible, but we all have our own stories in our own ways that we dealt with all of that, and the emotions, and everything. And there's a lot of people that deal with non-suicidal self injury. I could find many people that have dealt with that. I have friends that have dealt with that. But the way that we learned how to overcome or how we have learned to survive in life is different.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:57):
I know when I talked to people that have coped with NSSI in the past, it helps me to see their journeys and their paths. And I think the things that make us broken are the things that need to be shared. That's how I look about it, at it, in my life. I would never tell somebody, "You got to share that. You got to go share it." I would encourage it but that's everyone's journey and path to figure out what that looks like and if you never want to share it, that's your choice. But I think those are the things that really connect us as humans.
Beth Demme (12:32):
Yeah. And when people do share, then we learn something about ourselves. It's like the example with my son, and the ADHD. I didn't even think about the way that I think about things until I realized that he thinks about things differently. And so it was an opportunity to learn not only about him, but to learn about myself. And I would imagine that it's the same when you hear... When you meet someone else who has used NSSI as a coping mechanism, there's probably something in the shared experience there that teaches you something about yourself. And so that's the value of sharing, but I agree with you, we should never expect or require, or demand that people share their pain. But I do hope that their... That each person is working on finding ways to transform their pain so that they don't transmit it. That they could see that they can see the potential for beauty through the healing process.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:25):
Yeah. I don't know if this is relevant, and I haven't really been following too closely, but recently there was a young... I think she had won beauty pageants, but there was more to her story than that. But she had recently died from suicide.
Beth Demme (13:43):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:44):
And I saw it on somebody's Instagram. And then I saw some news articles about it, and I haven't followed enough that... I can't recall her name, but I saw a headline that said her parents shared that she was struggling with depression privately, and no one knew that. Because everyone's like, "She had it all. She was a beauty queen."
Beth Demme (14:07):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:07):
And I think she was a correspondent or other high profile things and nobody knew it. She was privately broken. She was publicly beautiful. And no one knew. I don't know the answers to those things.
Beth Demme (14:22):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:22):
And I don't know that we'll ever know what the answers are to people that die from suicide at such a young age.
Beth Demme (14:29):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:29):
And what the circumstances were. And all I know when I hear those stories is the importance of working on my stuff. That I ever take from those things. Because it's always tragic. It's always hard. And especially for anyone that personally knew her.
Beth Demme (14:47):
Yeah, they'll be feeling that loss for a long time, and that's hard. That's hard, because now they'll have their own pain and their own opportunities for healing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:56):
I am glad we did that episode. We actually had Dese'Rae.
Beth Demme (15:01):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:03):
On the podcast and we had a whole episode about suicide, just an honest conversation. As much as there's no easy answers to anything, that episode is really helpful for me to process when we hear these kind of stories. So we'll link to that in the show notes.
Beth Demme (15:21):
Yeah. That's probably the episode I share more than any other actually.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:25):
Beth Demme (15:26):
Now that I think about it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:27):
Beth Demme (15:27):
Because there are so many people who have been affected from losing a loved one who has died by suicide or people who confide in me that they're dealing with a... Actually I haven't had anybody tell me they're dealing with suicidal thoughts, but they've told me that they have someone close to them who is dealing with it. And so to know how to... Just to offer a little bit of support, it's like, well, this episode might help you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:53):
What would you say if somebody said that they were dealing with suicidal thoughts to you?
Beth Demme (15:57):
I would help them connect with a counselor, right away. Because I'm not equipped to really counsel in that way. So I can be a point of connection, but I would just... I hope that I would reinforce for them the beauty and the value that I see in their life and the gift that I would see them to be. And why I think it's worth them doing this work, with a counselor.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:24):
Yeah. I think for me, if somebody said it, the first thing I would say is, "That's okay."
Beth Demme (16:30):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:30):
You know? It's okay to have suicidal thoughts and I have struggled with that as well. And then also really thank them for sharing that.
Beth Demme (16:38):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:38):
With me and confiding that, and then kind of move... I agree.
Beth Demme (16:42):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:42):
Like obviously, therapy, always is a good thing, but I think a big thing is just allowing someone to talk and share, you know?
Beth Demme (16:50):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:50):
I think that is something that's so important and just be quiet. Just let somebody share.
Beth Demme (16:55):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:58):
And talk because... And that's something we learned in that suicide episode is it's all over the board, how death by suicide happens. And a lot of it is if they had... It's a split second.
Beth Demme (17:13):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:13):
It's kind like a split second decision. So if somebody's talking to you, you've gotten past that moment, and keep them with you.
Beth Demme (17:20):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:20):
Keep them talking, keep them processing. Why are you broken, Beth?
Beth Demme (17:27):
Well, I think some people would say I'm broken because I had cancer or that when I had cancer, I was broken in that there was something in me that was broken, but it's gone. Got that taken care of. I have some scars from it, but the scars remind me that it's gone. So that's a good thing. But I think also I feel broken in the ways that I give in to my own selfishness and my own need to be self sufficient, which means that I don't always include people in projects or in ideas or in things that need to be done because I'm just going to do at myself, which then kind of cuts me off from people, from friends, from people in my church and that's not healthy. That's not good. What about you? How would you say you're broken? Or do you need me to tell you?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:22):
Sure, sure. Yeah, no, that's great.
Beth Demme (18:23):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:24):
Go. How am am I broken?
Beth Demme (18:25):
I'm not aware. I don't know. You tell me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:27):
Oh my gosh. She is aware. She rolled her eyes when she said that. I'm not aware. I don't even know.
Beth Demme (18:34):
You seem so perfect to me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:36):
Well then you're not looking hard enough. I would say in a lot of ways I'm broken. I'm dyslexic and I don't read and write the same as a typical human would, and that's always going to be a broken part of me. And you know what? It's beautiful thing because I have had to learn to work harder than people, that it just comes natural to them, and I've learned to adapt and kind of structured my life in a way where I'm able to really succeed in life with those differences.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:16):
I would say, I have a physical scar on my arm from the brokenness of self injury, of physically being my arm, being broken open, and I have... I still struggle with depression. I still have PTSD. Things that when you're born and your brain is formed and here is your beautiful, perfect on a platter, child. I'm not that perfect child anymore and of how I was created. But what I think is beautiful is none of us are.
Beth Demme (19:58):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:58):
None of us are that perfect thing that God created and put out here in the world. And I don't think God ever wanted us to just stay that perfect little bubble child. We're made to all experience these broken things. And that brings us to where we are and how we're able to move in this world and make change and do good things in the world. From the things that have hurt us, we're able to actually do more things and better things in this world.
Beth Demme (20:29):
So why aren't we saying, "I'm broken, but I'm beautiful"? We're being really intentional with our conjunction there.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:36):
Beth Demme (20:36):
I'm broken and I'm beautiful.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:40):
Well, I'm going to also say it is a song that has randomly come up on my music player. I'm not going to say it, because it will make it make noise, but it plays and it's a Kelly Clarkson song and it's from some movie.
Beth Demme (20:54):
Apparently it's from a movie.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:54):
We looked it up. It's from some movie. I've not seen the movie, but I do really like the kind of tag in the song is "I'm broken and it's beautiful". And every time I hear it, I'm just like, "Yes, yes, I am broken and its beautiful." Because I think those two things can and do go together.
Beth Demme (21:14):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:14):
I don't think it's a one or the other. I think it's they are the same.
Beth Demme (21:19):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:19):
They do go together. And I don't think that's how we typically look at them, which is why I think it's so important to have a conversation about it. Right.
Beth Demme (21:27):
It's the brokenness that actually creates the beauty. That's what we're trying to hone in on rather than, well, even though I've had this, you know, this brokenness even, even, even without, even despite that. Yeah. I'm, you know, I can see beauty in it. No, that brokenness actually led to something that is really beautiful and is worth honoring and celebrating.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:49):
Yeah. And what you were kind of saying is people will say I was broken and now I'm fixed and moving on. And something that I learned in recovery was I'm not just fixed now.
Beth Demme (22:02):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:02):
And I am broken, that's okay.
Beth Demme (22:06):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:07):
And I'm beautiful, and I'm still working on all those broken pieces, and I'll always be working on them, and I'm okay with that. And that's okay.
Beth Demme (22:17):
Yeah. And that's so important because in other aspects of our lives, I think we would say, well, something is broken. We have to replace it. Or something is broken. We're going to throw it away. Right? Instead of, I mean because we're kind of in that, I don't know... I should speak for myself but that's how I am. If something breaks, I'm like, "Oh, well time to throw it away and get a new one."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:33):
Beth Demme (22:33):
I don't really put a lot of effort into repairing things, but when it comes to myself, I recognize that I'm going to do the repair work.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:41):
Well, and that's interesting because a couple years ago, my washer machine sprung a leak, and it was bad.
Beth Demme (22:48):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:48):
It was water, it was, yeah, it was a whole thing.
Beth Demme (22:50):
I hope you called and got a new one.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:52):
It was dry.
Beth Demme (22:53):
Or you went shopping and got a new one.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:54):
Well, and the thing is, is I actually would have, but it was during the pandemic and you know, the height of it and everything was constrained. So I didn't even think I'd be able to get a washing machine anytime soon. So that actually... And, you know, me and my mom make do it yourself videos. That's my profession. And so I was like, you know what? Why don't I try to repair it? And we'll film a video, we'll post it whether it works or not, it's still useful to see. And we were able to fix it. And we were really proud.
Beth Demme (23:27):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:27):
And it took a $20 part and we were really excited and there was just so much... I know you don't like to repair things and I get it and I get it. And there's only so many things I'll repair.
Beth Demme (23:39):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:40):
And depending on what it is, and how involved it is, but it is so empowering to actually open something up, to see where the problem is, to fix that thing, and if something goes wrong again, I know what, I know what it is that went wrong or how to fix it because I've done that before. And lo and behold, the part we got was actually faulty.
Beth Demme (24:01):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:01):
And so we had to replace it a couple, like a month later, because it was leaking again. But now that sucker's working, but sometimes you get that. You get a-
Beth Demme (24:10):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:11):
Something like that, so we opened it back up, knew what the issue was, fixed it, done. So my washing machine, you know... And also worst case scenario, I just buy a new one.
Beth Demme (24:22):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:22):
It's fine. Like I can afford it, but it was so much more empowering to be able to fix what was broken. Even though it was broken, I was able to repair it. Although you would always be able to tell I repaired it because those are not original parts.
Beth Demme (24:39):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:40):
But it's still perfect. And it's beautiful because I didn't have to replace it. And I now feel committed to my washing machine. I'm like, "We're now one. We're now here." So if you have any issues, and there's actually been a couple more issues since, but they were different, but I fixed that sucker.
Beth Demme (24:55):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:56):
And I'm pretty proud.
Beth Demme (24:57):
Sense of accomplishment.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:58):
Beth Demme (24:58):
That you were the one who was able to fix it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:00):
And it was very simple things.
Beth Demme (25:01):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:01):
And that's the thing, like if it was something more complicated yeah, I'm not going to be that person that's like always trying to fix it until it's completely way overdue.
Beth Demme (25:11):
But I kind of remember when that happened during the pandemic, because the same time, around the same time that happened to you, my air conditioner at my house went out and my oven went out.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:21):
Beth Demme (25:22):
And so I was like, this terrible pandemic, and I've got to let repair people into the house, and everybody's, you know, everybody's got to wear masks and everybody's got to stay away and we're going to have to sanitize everything when they leave. So I do kind of remember when that happened.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:35):
That's something I've kind of learned from doing things myself. And also when I worked at Apple, dealing with issues with computers, what I learned is from having these experiences over the years, what I've learned is it's usually a simple solution. Nine times out of 10, it's a simple solution to something. If you just take... Because my natural reaction when something is wrong is to just freak out and be like, "Oh my gosh, everything's broken."
Beth Demme (25:59):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:00):
But I have to go past that and say, wait a minute, okay, so let's break this down. Let's just look at it, step by step.
Beth Demme (26:07):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:08):
And restart. Yeah. And that's what would happen with computers is you'd restart and you're like, okay, it's fixed. I'd have people come to me and be like, oh this needs this and this and this. I'm like, did you restart it? Well, I, oh, hold on. Okay. It's better. Yeah. I bet's better.
Beth Demme (26:22):
I was so annoyed, I didn't think to do that one simple step.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:27):
And it's funny because I would always tell people to do that. And then sometimes I'll have a computer issue and I'll text my friend and he'll be like, did you turn off back on? I'm like, oh, hold on.
Beth Demme (26:39):
Okay. Does that really happen? Does that really happen? That YOU forget to restart?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:42):
I have. I have before.
Beth Demme (26:43):
You have no idea how much joy that brings me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:44):
I have before. Yeah.
Beth Demme (26:45):
That makes me so happy.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:46):
And he has told me, he has been like, "Did you restart it?" Well, hold on. Yeah. It's rare. It's my typical go-to.
Beth Demme (26:54):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:54):
But yeah, there's been times where I'm like... Or something so simple that I should have already done. That is a should. I should have. I should done that. And you're like, okay. But yeah, that's the go-to is freaking restart. Don't go to like the crazy place. Oh, oh, let me go in here and no, just restart it.
Beth Demme (27:11):
I really impressed somebody at my church the other day, so church is my work, and we were having trouble with the internet. And so I just unplugged the router.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:22):
Beth Demme (27:22):
And then counted to five and then plugged it back in and poof, I fixed the internet.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:27):
Beth Demme (27:27):
They're like, "That's amazing. You're like a network administrator." And I'm like, "Yeah I am. I really am." You should probably put that on my resume.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:32):
I do everything here.
Beth Demme (27:33):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:34):
Although I unplug it for 20 seconds.
Beth Demme (27:36):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:36):
That's what I was always told, is 20 seconds. But it worked from five.
Beth Demme (27:40):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:40):
So there you go.
Beth Demme (27:41):
It worked. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:41):
Beth Demme (27:41):
I didn't have 20 seconds. I needed to get stuff done. Yeah, I don't know.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:45):
Yeah. Yeah. But that is a quick way to fix it. That's usually what I have to do. If there's an issue.
Beth Demme (27:52):
Do you think that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? So we say like I'm broken and I'm beautiful. Does it matter if anybody else thinks that? Right? If I feel like I'm broken and beautiful, my beauty is in my own eyes, in the eye of the beholder.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:08):
That's okay. Is it okay if other people don't find you beautiful?
Beth Demme (28:13):
Yeah. Or don't find my brokenness beautiful. Like, I don't care.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:17):
I think it's something you have to learn to be okay with. I don't know. I question that a little bit because I feel like you very much care what other people think.
Beth Demme (28:28):
I do care what other people think.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:29):
Beth Demme (28:31):
But about this, I can say that even if someone else didn't see my brokenness as beautiful, I would be like, well you're just not evolved.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:38):
You would say that to them?
Beth Demme (28:39):
I would think that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:40):
Beth Demme (28:40):
But I care what other people think so I wouldn't say it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:42):
Beth Demme (28:43):
But yeah. But I think I would be okay with that because I really do... I really am glad for the healing that I have experienced and the ways that I can see how I have changed. And I know that that's an ongoing journey and it used to really upset me to think about it as an ongoing journey, like that I would never arrive. And that sounded exhausting to me. And now it sounds amazing. It's like, okay, okay. Yeah, this is exciting. I'm always going to be able to grow and to change and to heal and to be transforming. And that's exciting.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:16):
Yeah. I a hundred percent know that there are people that don't see the beauty in my brokenness, and I'm okay with that.
Beth Demme (29:23):
So beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What about the cliche that beauty is only skin deep?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:29):
I think that's false.
Beth Demme (29:30):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:30):
And a cliche that needs to be thrown out. I think that... For me, actually, that's how I find beauty. I find beauty in talking with somebody and hearing their heart and seeing the type of person they are. That's where I find beauty actually. You know, I can tell you if someone looks aesthetically beautiful, if you ask me, but I'm not attracted to aesthetic beauty, I'm attracted to the heart of somebody and the care and the kindness of another person.
Beth Demme (30:00):
What is that cliche really getting at? Beauty is only skin deep. Is it the idea that you can be beautiful on the outside and you can be dead on the inside or awful on the inside? And so-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:10):
I think the cliche is that beauty is just what you can see.
Beth Demme (30:14):
Right. And that's not what we're talking about at all.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:17):
That's not what I'm talking about. I think beauty is, definitely not what we're talking about in this episode. We're not talking about something that society has said is the typical beauty, but for me, that's where I see beauty in somebody, is from their words and their heart and not from what their face looks like.
Beth Demme (30:40):
Yeah. And the way that they've transformed their pain, the way that their brokenness has made them even more human or enhanced their humanity. That's beautiful.
Beth Demme (30:54):
We have a ton of fun making this podcast and we love knowing that you have fun listening. Some of you have asked how you can support us in this work. Well actually there is something you can do. We're now on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can go there and become a monthly supporter or just buy us a one time cup of coffee, or tea for Steph.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:13):
Yep. To show our thanks for your support. We put PDFs of our questions for reflection, as well as pictures, outtakes, polls, and more. Your support helps cover production costs like professional transcripts we have made for every episode. And by the way, those are always available on our website with a link in each of the descriptions of the episodes.
Beth Demme (31:30):
One of the great things about Buy Me A Coffee is that you actually get an email when we post new content. You can go straight there and you don't have to deal with ads or being bombarded with other content. You see exactly the content you are looking for without a bunch of distractions.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:44):
We post once or twice for each episode. And we're excited to get your feedback as members of our Buy Me A Coffee page. There's a support link in the description where you can find out more and to sign up.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:57):
Beth. I know you haven't been in the studio super often, but there's something that I wanted to point out that you have not noticed. I wanted to make sure that you noticed because I spent time thinking about it.
Beth Demme (32:07):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:08):
So I, and you won't be able to see it because you're listening.
Beth Demme (32:11):
Is it our sign?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:12):
I put our sign here because when-
Beth Demme (32:15):
I think it was here before?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:17):
It's been a couple weeks.
Beth Demme (32:18):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:18):
Yeah. But also when we do guest episodes and we take a picture, so you see this studio for like two seconds, I realized that it looked weird having that pole up here and then this part of the shelf looked weird. So I also, this, literally-
Beth Demme (32:32):
The list that she's indicating, that you can't see because this is audio format-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:35):
You can't see it. We'll put a picture on. We'll put a picture on our BMAC page, but this actually looks balanced when we take a picture with a guest. That's why the shelf is like this, and why that looks strange, because this is for guests.
Beth Demme (32:49):
I really appreciate the thought and intention you have put into that. Thank you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:51):
I literally also took a screenshot from some of our pictures and then I modeled to see where the placement would look, and I debated on putting something on the wall, but that didn't look well when I put this here. So that's why I chose that. And all of this, again, we'll put a picture of this on our BMAC page so that you're like, I don't know what you're talking about. I do think we took a picture with-
Beth Demme (33:12):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:13):
Ryan. So we'll have to see what that looks like.
Beth Demme (33:14):
Yeah. We need to check that one out.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:15):
I think I checked it and I was like, "Okay, that's what I was looking for." So I just want to point that out is I put effort in.
Beth Demme (33:21):
You did put effort in, and I do appreciate that. So I had a random thing happen this week that was kind of a fun experience. So I want to tell you about it. I got a call from somebody at my church saying, "Hey, are you busy?" And I happened to be busy. And I was like, "Yeah, actually I am. What can I do for you?" "Well, I just met this person who's cycling through town. He's in like a national... He's cycling from one side of America to the other. And I really want you to talk to him." I couldn't do it then, so I ended up meeting with the cyclist the next day, but I went and had coffee with PositivePedals.com. I'll put a link in the show notes. And it was really an interesting conversation. It was a very random experience because when are you going to meet somebody who's like... He lives in Detroit. He's a photojournalist at the NBC station in Detroit. And he took an Amtrak train from Detroit to Los Angeles.
Beth Demme (34:15):
And then he cycled from Los Angeles to Tallahassee. He was on his way to Jacksonville. He was going to go to Gainesville, and then go to Jacksonville, and then he was going to make his way home because you know, he had to go back to work, but he was doing it because he wanted to, he just wanted to do something meaningful in his life. And so he decided he would do this as a way to raise money and awareness about colon cancer.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:36):
Beth Demme (34:36):
Because he has a good friend who's living with colon cancer and is having to do chemo and all those things. So anyway, it was just such a random but cool experience. And I'm not always flexible in that way to be like, oh yeah, I'll go and hang out with a stranger.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:53):
You're an easy yes.
Beth Demme (34:55):
I'm an easy yes but, but, but-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:57):
You don't like to change your schedule?
Beth Demme (34:59):
Right. I have things I have to get done. So I'm not always willing to make time for those experiences. So I was really glad that I did and I want to put a link to Dave's blog.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:13):
Are we having him on the podcast?
Beth Demme (35:16):
Maybe when he gets home, we should.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:17):
Yeah, we could.
Beth Demme (35:18):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:19):
That sounds interesting. His journey and like why he did it and all of that?
Beth Demme (35:23):
And everything he learned while he was doing it. Yeah. And how did he get hurt
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:27):
In any way? Like blisters and stuff.
Beth Demme (35:30):
He didn't. He took some extra care before he went on the trip to have things on his bike done, to where it wouldn't create chaffing and blisters and things, and he had never ridden. He was like, "I had never ridden more than 500 miles before this". And I was like, "That sounds like a lot to me."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:46):
Beth Demme (35:49):
But yeah, in one part of the ride he had to ride on the Interstate. It was the only route that was available. And normally I guess from what he was telling me, it's illegal to cycle on the interstate, but in these... There were two places where it was allowed because it was literally the only option and how terrifying that was because there's so much tire debris and you know, obviously cars are zooming past and all that.
Beth Demme (36:10):
It was just incredible some of the things that he learned about himself along the way and about people. One of the things, one of his takeaways that I really appreciated was that he works in a news department. A lot of his work is all about how divided the country is and how divisive politics are and how nobody can get along anymore. And he was like, "And I've just ridden across the country. And I found the exact opposite. That people are lovely and that there's a lot of value put on our shared humanity"and I thought, "Oh, that's so encouraging, a glimpse of hope."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:44):
Did he take any video or pictures when he was?
Beth Demme (36:46):
Yes, yes. He has lots of video.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:49):
Beth Demme (36:49):
Yeah. From along the way.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:51):
Nice. Why did he come to Tallahassee?
Beth Demme (36:54):
He was trying to get to Jacksonville, that was the termination point for the ride.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:57):
Beth Demme (36:58):
But also because he works in news, he was able to kind of set up some interviews along the way.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:03):
Beth Demme (37:03):
And since his point was to create awareness about colon cancer, he was also kind of targeting his stops based on where he could do interviews.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:11):
Beth Demme (37:13):
Yeah. Anyway, I'm going to put a link to all that in the show notes because it was a random experience, but it was fun. And you know, kind of goes with our topic of broken and beautiful. He was really... That reflects the experience that he was sharing with me. That he was meeting people along the way and that there was just a lot of beauty in that, in spite of the brokenness, or because of the brokenness, or however you might look at it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:35):
And at the end of each episode, we end with questions for reflection. These are questions based on today's show that Beth will read and leave a little pause between for the answer or you can find a PDF on our Buy Me A Coffee page.
Beth Demme (37:48):
Number one, how are you broken? Number two, do you think you're beautiful? Number three, how do you know if something is beautiful? And number four, are you transforming your pain or transmitting it?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (38:06):
This has been the Discovering Your Scars podcast. Thank you for joining us.
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Mental Health Advocate. Author. Podcast Host. DIYer. Greyhound Mom.
I'm a mom who laughs a lot, mainly at myself. #UMC Pastor, recent Seminary grad, public speaker, blogger, and sometimes lawyer. Learning to #LiveLoved.