March 1, 2022

Warren A. had to hit rock bottom to be the phoenix, rising from the ashes

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If you have ever struggled with approval issues, I hope you hang with me  for this episode.  My guest, Warren shares his story of emotional abandonment, a lack of belonging, being date raped and how it set him up to be an extreme people pleaser.  For many years, he actually used money to buy people's love, attention, and approval.  He talked about how out of alignment he was with his core values and just how bad it had to get before he asked for legitimate professional help.  He had his "phoenix rising from the ashes" moment in mid 2021 and his life doesn't remotely look the same.   He is experiencing a level of relationships like never before.

Warren works in the childcare industry.

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Coach Maddox  0:02  
Hello, Warren Augustine, welcome to The Authentic Gay Man Podcast. I'm really glad you're here today.

Warren Augustin  0:10  
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Coach Maddox  0:14  
Well, I'll start off with telling the listeners a little bit about how you and I know each other. And once again, we've known each other for maybe about a year. And we met in Yes, you guessed it, the large virtual gay online group. Yeah. So I won't go into more detail there. But he's heard this story. Do you have anything to add one?

Warren Augustin  0:39  
Yeah, no, we definitely met in that community. And, you know, it serves this purpose. And I'm so thankful that through that purpose, I was able to make some really personal relationships, like yourself and others.

Coach Maddox  0:53  
Thank you, Warren. Yes, I agree completely. And, you know, we you and I have said in some classes together, we have been in lots of group calls together. And we even were at a live retreat at one point together. So we've had breakfast once when you came through my city. And so yeah, it's been it's been pretty amazing. Pretty awesome.

Warren Augustin  1:21  
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Like, it was totally amazing. And, again, like, I'm really I'm really thankful for the opportunity. Because, yeah, like, it's a definitely a special time.

Coach Maddox  1:33  
Yeah, I agree completely. So my question that I asked everybody weren't what how do you define? Or how would you define what it means to be an authentic a gay man?

Warren Augustin  1:45  
So how I had that means for me being authentic is just really being at my core, like, how do I bow? How do I feel like, like, what allows me to feel good, what allows me to feel pleasurable, what allows me to feel honors, and really breaking down like my walls, like nothing that's pre scripted work comes into alignment, where I'm not ashamed, and I can just be myself and not have any judgment around me. So essentially, just speaking, without a filter, or acting without a filter, and knowing that I'm going to be loved and cared about.

Coach Maddox  2:23  
I love it. I absolutely love it. You know, I've heard so many individual definitions of what it means to be an authentic gay man. And they're, they're all they have all been amazing. And it's almost like, at some point, I can combine them all in a book, you know, but it'll all be just defining one thing. But it's been amazing. So Question of the day, what is the biggest challenge in this lifetime that you have either overcome or are in the process of overcoming?

Warren Augustin  2:57  
You know, I'm always going through some type of process. But you know, the major thing that I have been working on for majority of my life, but more specifically, in the last six months, is really claiming back my power as an authentic gay man, African American gay man. And that's really been the biggest challenge for me is because I have to kind of rework or rewire some programming that I had in my psyche, in my mind, you know, in regards to like, what is what how work can be loved? How can Warren be accepted in the gay community or in life in general, you know, growing up, I had some kind of trauma experiences that really kind of shift me in a different direction. And in that direction, it just, it just put this pressure on me to always perform. And I believe I took that into when I came out when I was 18. So that's kind of been the biggest challenge in regards to coming back to myself coming back to who I am as an as a gay black man, and really owning that and being proud of being African American, and being proud that I'm gay, and that I have value and purpose on this planet on this earth.

Coach Maddox  4:26  
Wonderful. So if you're willing, I would be interested, and I'm sure the listeners would be interested. Would you be willing to share a little bit about those traumas that you experienced that set you up with this challenge to begin with? What put you in that place of challenge?

Warren Augustin  4:42  
Yeah, absolutely. So I grew up. I grew up in the north east of the United States in New York specifically, and I my parents are of Caribbean descent. So growing up, there was a lot of different dynamics in the home, because essentially, my mother took care of me, my father was always working. And there was just a lot of different dynamics. You know, in transparency, I was adopted. So in that adoption, there was a little bit of a resistance, or there really was about, like, how do we do this? Thankfully, the, thankfully, my father is biological to me as my uncle, so I am still kind of in the family. So growing up, I really felt abandoned. I really felt. In a sense, I was always alone. Like, I was always just the third person, like, oh, we like this is our responsibility. But there was never any love, there was never any connection. There was it was just, I was just an obligation.

Coach Maddox  6:05  
So Warren, how old were you when you found out that you were adopted?

Warren Augustin  6:10  
So I was seven. So I was seven. And it was really by mistake. It really was. So in the Caribbean, we speak a different in one of the islands, there's a different language that's been spoken. And I actually know that language. So in conversation with two family members, they were having a conversation in our native language. And I understood what they said, and that's how I knew at the age of seven. So and then whenever I asked my father like about it, then it was confirmed, that was true. But then it was really like, you don't have to worry about that, because that's his past story. So just forget about it. So it really was in the sense that it was kind of as brushed away because the situation out that is, you know, everything is his son growing up, everything was a class society. My parents have a class society. So you know, it really was a shame of what happened. But then my grandfather took control the situation and, and basically had my uncle take care of me so that it didn't cause any disruption out there in in government, because my grandfather was part of government and to have something like this happen. We didn't want any bad attention on the family's name. So it was something kind of hush hush. So people to this day do not know about that. They do know, they know now, but

Coach Maddox  7:52  
how old would you say you were when you realize that it was this hush hush thing when you had the awareness that it was this big family secret?

Warren Augustin  8:02  
About 910.

Coach Maddox  8:04  
And and what came along with that? Because, you know, suddenly you realize you're, you're kind of a secret? How did that impact you?

Warren Augustin  8:15  
I remember that it placed me as very lonely. It's like, why, like, why, like, why do we have to keep this a secret? Like I always kept axing the questions why, but then I was scolded verbally, like, don't don't pay attention to that, like, you need to stop talking about that, and kind of like open threads. So I really never really adjusted I just kind of just played in my own mind. Like, why is this happening? You know, like, what does this mean? And now at this age, I'm really thinking about like, oh, well, like, no one really left me like, why did this happen to me or the baby? Like, did they not love me, you know, things like that. So there's a lot of questionings processing through that. And through that, I had to find like an outlet to really love myself. So I started having alter egos. I started pretending I started, you know, telling people like telling my peers like in fifth grade when we moved here, when I live in Texas, and when I lived when we moved to Texas, you know, I started telling you know, my parents in my closet, oh, my dad owns a bank and you know, I have a butler and I have this and I have that really trying to perform because I was seeking that love. And, you know, maybe to give a little bit contacts. You know, when I moved to Texas, it was a completely night and day. So I was the only African American child in my class. And I felt like an outsider. So you know, I I like I dealt with abandonment as a child. Now I'm coming into a new environment when I'm 1011. Now having to relive that pain of being the outsider being the, you know, being the one that's different, and I wanted to do a search to fit in, I wanted to do was to be cared about and to be loved. And at that time, I felt that I had to create these alter egos and really tried to buy and impress people to loves me, and like, I didn't believe that my authentic self was lovable. Like I had to create something outside of me to be loved.

Coach Maddox  10:47  
So you fabricated a whole life, in an effort to have to gain validation and to gain acceptance?

Warren Augustin  10:56  
Yes, yes, I certainly did that. And I remember that I would never let people come to my house because it's like, you're you're telling these lies at a young age at 1011. And you have to like, run and like hide, and you have to kind of make pretend. So at a very young age, I knew that once you tell one lie, you have to have another lie, and that lie and it became all of these lies. And also, during that time, the word gay started being thrown around, Saiga it used to be around that time was thrown around. So you know, I was going through a different a different layer of bullying, or while I was at bullying, but I was going through a new face of bullying that was around the time when I started being bullied about my voice, about how I walked my mannerisms, things like that. So now I in my, in my life, I have three things I have the abandonment from an infant, I have not fitting in a community when I'm 10. And now I have bullying. So I have three things that I'm navigating at the age of 1213 1213. And really understand really asking myself, How am I going to do this? Like, how am I going to have this love and acceptance, and it just created more time for me to play pretend have more alter egos? And

Coach Maddox  12:37  
I would think that all of those those layers of things that you describe would contribute to a pretty deep sense of not belonging.

Warren Augustin  12:46  
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Not belonging, I felt like an outsider. Even even the adults around me, I like my teachers and people of the faculty of the school that I was going to, but I felt like an outsider. When I would ask for help, or I would ask for guidance, I was always looked upon as crazy as you know, you know, I like I had a lot of interpretations back then that I was very dirty, and I was very unworthy. And that was probably something inside of me. But I, I felt like there was no assistance for me. So I just kept quiet. And I just continued being alone. And that was really damaging for me.

Coach Maddox  13:39  
So what was the there was out of all those experiences? And that came with the first one, but it kept being reinforced. What was the the message that you were getting? If you were to distill that down into one sentence? What was the overall message that you were getting about you it would it would have probably shown up in the form of an I am statement, what was that message?

Warren Augustin  14:02  
I am dead. Like, I am dead. Like I literally felt like I did not want to live because of the the pressure, the social pressure and the pressure that was around me. So I am like, I am dead, but came to me very instantly around that time, but I really wanted to die. Because I didn't like being blocked. I didn't like being dark skin. I didn't like any of that. I didn't like any negative attention to me.

Coach Maddox  14:29  
Yeah, I can only imagine. Well tell me how to story progress. So you're at around age 13. Now, where did you go from there?

Warren Augustin  14:42  
Yeah, so at age 13. So I went to high school and that's when the major bullying started happening. And I just kind of navigated through 13 a while 14 1516 and then You know, around 1718, that's when I started to see something was different, right? Because you know, I started having some, some information being presented to me that was like, Oh, this is going to be my golden ticket. So I got some, I got some money when I was younger around that time. And, you know, I thought that this was going to be my golden ticket, because now like, I have access to some financial resources. And now I can really give people what they want, and really by love, because I have access to these resources. So you know, I remember when I got my first credit card, immediately, I went to the store and bought people gifts, like I bought, like the girls in my class that were breaking with their boyfriend, I bought them like handbags and wallets. And it was like a, it was it was a little too much. But at that time, I was just seeking love and approval. And that actually down spiraled very quickly. Because I realized that I was being used, but I didn't want to knowledge that I was being used, like I was very, very in denial, like, I would have the indications I would have the intuition or the feelings within myself that this you were using me, but this is like my only way to have my temporary validation of love and appreciation. So if I have to go and buy someone a gift card or buy them someday, to get that validation, you know, for my image of being loved, then I'm willing to do that. And you pause,

Coach Maddox  17:05  
did you realize at the time that it was not the real deal? Did you realize that people were taking advantage of you and that you were actually, you know, buying their attention?

Warren Augustin  17:19  
So in the moment, no, but eventually when I continue like buying like stuff with like the same person or the same people I knew I knew based off of the patterns, like okay, I give you something on a Thursday, Friday, we're friends Saturday, we're friends Monday, I don't know who you are. It just kept repeating that cycle. So I was familiar of the cycle of events, but I was basically lying to myself that oh, they're my friend, they're my friend, I just need to just support them and I just didn't listen to this sad stories and just give them what they want so they can be happy. So that's where the people pleasing started because I allowed people to tell me their sad stories and I will feel very sorry for them. And you know, you know, most of the time it was around relationships and love like Oh, my boyfriend broke up with me. And around this time it was mainly girls like around like the 17 1819 It was really gross. I really didn't have a lot of guy friends because the guy friends were all straight. The the guy, the guy people around me we're all straight like masculine people that didn't like gay people that will push me down and really bully me so I always kind of surround myself with the girls. So yeah, so the people pleasing started around that time of really utilizing you know, just my resources to buy relationships. And how this turned into is when I actually started going out there in the gay community I just brought that same that same pattern of events into the gay community and understanding you know, I first I thought that this was going to be my opportunity to really be among my people among my kinda understands me that you know, this buying into the the I don't want to call it propaganda but just going into this around this time, I think was maybe like 2008 2009 where it was like love is love. We love one another and I'm like, Oh my gosh, like these are my people not realizing that in my opinion. At around that time the gauge community were was pretty prejudice raises employee in a cliquish life thing, just like in high school, and I'm like, oh man. I now have to buy into these groups to be accepted. And there were some pretty big mistakes that I made in regards to my finances. Because immediately when I revealed who I was, immediately, I had a lot of sharks around me. And it felt good to have the sharks around me because I was having all of this love and validation. But then once the money ran out, once the resources were no longer there, now, I'm just damaged goods. And this is where we come into me being very desperate for love and attention that I would compromise myself. And I would drink heavily to just break down my walls, so that I can meet someone and some of the people that I was meeting in that season, they were not the best people to be with. And unfortunately, one of those individuals took advantage of me. I'm really still unclear. As of today, I'm still unclear what exactly happened. But based off of how I can piece it, and based off of just, you know, just things that I that I know, I was either borrow one Friday evening, and I was given a drink around this time, I would just drink anything that was given to me. And I drained the string. And all I remember was awaking up in somebody's bed, and like having a lot of pain, like in my lower body and having a lot of excessive bleeding. And yeah, that was that was really traumatizing to to go through some type of sexual trauma like that.

Coach Maddox  22:06  
And as you're describing date, right, basically, they slip something in your drink, and then completely took advantage of you.

Warren Augustin  22:14  
Yes. And that is something I'm still navigating as of today. I'm still navigating that. i Yeah, it's something I'm definitely still navigating through. But I know in community, you know, I will definitely the process through that, that that healing and that shame that is around that. But that was the first incident of that. So,

Coach Maddox  22:42  
so worn Have you have you worked with a professional like a therapist or done any type of trauma recovery around that particular experience?

Warren Augustin  22:52  
So no, as of right now, I am in the process on doing that, because that has been revealed to me and some experience I've had that has been revealed to me that that is something that needs to be addressed completely. So yes, I am in the process on exploring different options to address that. Because I do believe that once I address this, this will really help me. We enforce me being authentic to myself, and really opening myself to new opportunities where I'm not fearful. And I can trust and I can be safe. And I do believe that when I'm able to trust, and I'm able to be safe in environments, it supports my authenticity.

Coach Maddox  23:46  
Absolutely. And I'm very pleased to hear that you're going to take some action and get some professional help on this. Because in my experience, trauma of that nature is it will affect every relationship. And I don't mean just romantic relationships, it will affect every relationship in your life left unaddressed. So, I think that trauma never goes away on its own. It's like we don't sweep something under the rug and come back later and lift the rug up and it's clean under there. We know when we lift the rug that whatever we swept under there is right there. It didn't go in anywhere. So I'm really very pleased to hear that you are exploring and going to address that with a professional because it will play a big role. This is my own opinion, but it will play a big role in your journey and in your recovery and in your quest to live life as an authentic gay man.

Warren Augustin  24:49  
Yes, I totally believe because that has definitely been an area that has restricted me especially in my dating my daily In life, you know, I would, I would meet man, very nice man. But of course, with any type of process on getting to know someone, then you get to that intimacy parts. And, you know, my turn for intimacy has changed recently, but in this context, like I'm talking about sex, and then that's when I was freeze up. Because then now I have to kind of explain to someone why I don't want to do certain things. And then you have this resistance, and then you have this way. It's just, it causes a lot of issues. So for a long time, I would not date, or I would not even explore the option of getting to know men. Just because I didn't want to face that question of why can't we not do this, and, you know, I didn't have around this time. So my mid 20s, like, 2023 2425, I didn't have the capacity, I was still processing some of the trauma of when I was 21. And, yeah, like, I just did not have the capacity for that. And actually, in transparency, like the two years after that assault happened, I actually went through a very downward spiral that, like, I just was partying every weekend, and, you know, like, my homegirls, will all go to like the bars, and we will just do like some crazy stuff. And you know, just like, I don't care about the world kind of thing. And, you know, all of that. And, you know, thankfully, I had some safeguards placed put in place that actually got pretty bad that I had to basically, you know, have a conservative shift for 10 years because of the patterns that I have. And that actually was a godsend that I signed the paperwork to have conservative, a conservative ship. Because, like, if I didn't do that conservative ship, I don't know how I would, basically, I would, when I would be I don't know what I would have now. So, you know, things happen in the blessings. Right. So, you know, I really, you know, I'm just so thankful for that. But yeah, I went through hard time. Yeah.

Coach Maddox  27:32  
I have a question for you. You talked about that assault experience, making it very difficult for the physical intimacy aspect when you're dating or in a relationship? How did that experience affect your ability to be emotionally intimate? And I know, and you can speak on in those, you know, romantic relationships, but we also, there's such a thing as emotional intimacy, in our friendships, or in our relationships with family members. Speak, please speak to how that assault affected that emotional intimacy in your life.

Warren Augustin  28:17  
So it affected me because I did not trust like most people. I didn't, you know, I didn't trust most people, like people would tell me Well, okay, Warren, I'm gonna do this, and I would never believe it to be true or war. Um, you know, Warren, allow me to do this for you. And I would have a very negative attitude and very bitchy attitude to like, leave me alone. Who the hell you like I used? It was it was a basically a 360. Like, I had like a lot of anger, a lot of emotion. So I didn't allow myself to be vulnerable. I didn't allow myself to

Coach Maddox  29:00  
say ions. Sounds like you had specific ways that you pushed people away when when you sensed emotional intimacy when it was starting to get close to that. Am I understanding correctly, you had just ways that you push people away?

Warren Augustin  29:15  
Yes, I had some very strong boundaries. In regards to Yeah, just in regards to how I did things, like I would allow, like, So in regards to like, you know, actually people touching me, I didn't want people touching me. I didn't want people in a certain. I still kind of do it today. Like if people come up to me at a certain point, I actually naturally back away. So it's,

Coach Maddox  29:41  
well, and I know you use the word boundaries, and there may be a little bit and then there, but what I'm sensing that you're describing is more of a coping mechanism, almost like a defense mechanism or a coping mechanism. I agree. Yes, because a boundary is usually from a cleaner place you You know, what you were doing there was more out of a triggered place rather than a grounded place. And so they're very, they're very similar. But a, I think of a boundary as being something that comes from that more grounded place. And what you're describing was not really grounded, it was more triggered. It was like, whoa, what what the fuck up? You know? And, and that's kind of a coping or a defense mechanism. Does that make sense?

Warren Augustin  30:25  
Yes, yes, it does. It does. So there was a lot of us a lot of defensiveness. And there was a lot of times where, because I feel like I hit that within myself. You know, I really, I couldn't tell my parents, I couldn't tell people around me, because then that would be like, Oh, my gosh, why did like, it would have been my fault. Right? Like how like, like, You're a fool, you're stupid, you're dumb. You know, it was it will have kuch Kasam, negative, like, attention towards me, I didn't need any more attention and negative attention in my life. So I just kept, I just kept it to myself.

Coach Maddox  31:07  
Well, now it at this point in your life is the experience with you assaults, something that you more openly talk about.

Warren Augustin  31:17  
I'm starting to gain the power and the strength to start talking about that for a very long time, I wouldn't even address the topic. But today, recently, actually, I realize that is an area that I really need to unfold in a very safe container. So I am in the process on on doing that. Well, and

Coach Maddox  31:45  
I want to plow I'm at all in the moment. I mean, I'm

I'm in awe. You know, because you're, you're here and I do everything I can to create a safe container. But you've just discussed an intimate detail of your life that's going to go out on the waves for you know, anybody in the world, listen to it that wants to. And that's a huge step, my friend. It's a huge step in your journey to be able to open up. And because I know from some of the other guests that have divulged something, during their episode, something but that they were speaking of for the first time. It's been very freeing for them. It's being incredibly freeing for them. And so whether you realize that in this moment, you know, we, you know, a says that we're only as we're only as sick as our secrets. And these things are secrets that we keep you just mentioned for many years that you have kept this as a secret. And our secrets become our shadows. And they're the things that eat us from the inside out like a cancer. Mm hmm. And this is no longer a secret. Yeah, like, you know, it's you don't have to look over your shoulder. Wondering when someone is going to find this out about you now, because the cats out of the bag.

Warren Augustin  33:29  

Coach Maddox  33:30  
So what a bold, bold thing you've done, and I just want to I'm honored and to be audience to that. And I'm just inspired and honored. And thank you for that. What a bold move.

Warren Augustin  33:47  
Yeah, you're very welcome. You know, I do believe that, like a voice is our gateway to our life. And that's something recently that I had to really embody that in, in my life is that when I'm vulnerable when I'm transparent when I just allow those experiences that I've kept hidden for so long, it's allowing someone to be free that as well. So it goes back to my core vision of my life. So I appreciate your words. Your words,

Coach Maddox  34:27  
thank you. It's beautiful Lauren. So you said something a few minutes ago that I'd like to backtrack and visit for a minute. But at one point you said you know the meaning that you took out of those experiences I am dead in all of this process through all of those years from when you were seven and found out that you were adopted to even up recently have in the in that feeling of I am dead. Did you ever consider taking your own life?

Warren Augustin  34:58  
I have Consider Yes, I have considered taking taking my life actually when I turned 30. So about three about three years ago, because of this, the tension and just the rejection and the trauma, like all of this stuff that was bottled up inside of me. But guess such as your question, yes, I have and something totally just to keep on I think I, I don't think I know I had some divine into interference when it came to that. Because at the time, I thought I found the solution. Like, at the time, I felt I had hope. Right. And yeah, at the time, I felt like I had hope. That was when I found this social group that that we met in. And that was my opportunity. That was my hope. Right. So yeah, essential question. Yes, I did contemplate taking my life. But I, in a moment, I actually did get hope. And I think that was divine for that season. And I'm so thankful that I, that I found that because that's ultimately what saved my life. Well,

Coach Maddox  36:24  
and you made a choice. Or, and because you accepted that hope, because that hope could have you could have been presented with that hope. And you could have just negated that hope. But you chose to accept that hope. And you might not be sitting here having this conversation with me right now, if you hadn't accepted that hope.

Warren Augustin  36:47  
Yes. So I chose to live on because I knew there was there was an opportunity there was, yeah, there was an opportunity. And I wanted to explore that opportunity. Actually gave myself one more chance, let me see what this opportunity is about. So

Coach Maddox  37:05  
well. And I know you mentioned to me very briefly, very briefly, in a previous conversation that sometime last year, there was a massive turning point, right? I would love to hear what led up to that, what that turning point was, and how it's changed your life. What's what's what's going on, since that, that shift, so please, I will be quiet let you share.

Warren Augustin  37:36  
Okay, so where do I start? So, I'll start in July of 2021. So, you know, for the pot? Well, let me start from here. From February 2020, to July 2021. You know, I was part of a gay social group. And, you know, essentially, throughout that, that timeframe, I was I have a lot of like intuition. Like, I might my, my myself, like not myself, but like, I have a lot of feeling that something wasn't right. But again, from what I just share from, you know, my early years, I would just really neglect those feelings. Like no, like, I'm in a loving space, this is what I want is very addicting, I'm getting a lot of attention. It's like, I'm getting all of this love. So why, like, you know, shut up like intuition. Like, like, like, this is what I want, I don't care. Like if you know, whatever is happening is happening, it's not happening to me. So I'm just going to just just be here and just accept all the love and quite honestly not not pay attention to my feelings. So I

Coach Maddox  38:49  
pay attention to your your, your higher self that was giving these messages, right

Warren Augustin  38:56  
as my higher self, I wasn't, I wasn't listening to my higher self. Because I was just so fearful. And this is where the codependency comes in. In my case, I was being I was being fed verse of affirmation, and I was giving attention like, essentially I was a poster I was a poster child for say, if I gave an example, it would be like a poster child, one of the poster children. So there was a lot of love and attention. And you know, I had a lot of, I won't say a lot of people, but I had some people around me that really kind of saw these, these these behaviors and started pointing it out to me, and I would take your word of advice, but I wouldn't. I wouldn't body it. And, you know, going to July of 2021 that month, something was not right. You know, I was making some new changes in my life and I was getting more into my spiritual growth and I was more intentional Having people for me to be revealed and those people who are not for me to be removed from my life, and I didn't understand what was happening. Right. So, you know, July 2021, a lot of shifting starts happening. And I had a choice, I had a couple of decisions that I had to make, I had a decision to stay, not trusting my intuition and just being fed a lot of bullshit and just a lot of things, or I had an opportunity to just see the bullshit for what it is and move on with my life. So I was kind of in the middle. And going back to the people pleasing and the codependency I, in this time, I really wanted to save people, I wanted to wake up people I wanted to, you know, just everybody be kumbaya because, you know, we're all you know, we're all gay brothers, we're all Kumbaya. But what I learned today is that you cannot, you cannot change people, you cannot force people, you can't, you can do the work for them. So essentially, in a nutshell, I, I had the voice some information that someone told to me in the attempt to awake up somebody. And today, I know that was very long, because also when someone is very vulnerable to you and confided in you, that's like, that's like a gem. Like that person has really just unleashed all their walls, and they're coming to transparently and I actually say, accountability, because I broke that trust. But I did it in a way. At the time, I felt that I wanted to wake up someone so that we can all be saved and all be Kumbaya and love. But, you know, in August, I had a big awakening, because that came to the surface August 2 of 2021, that all came to the surface. And it was in that point where I knew that the stuff that my higher self was telling me the higher the stuff that was being confided in to me that told me You better watch out, this is what's going to happen. It all came blown into my face. And I had a conversation with an individual that same day, and I basically acts as an individual, tell me the truth, what is happening, and this person just lied, right to my face, actually on a zoom call. And it was in that moment, it was in that moment, that that I knew I had a problem, I lost some good friendships, I lost, you know, I lost everything I lost, I lost everything, but I lost majority of the the friends that I had accumulated within that year and a half, just because I refuse to listen to my higher self. So it was in those broken moments where I was kind of winging my

way myself off of the codependency drug of just the love and attention and just praise, where I knew that I needed to find help. So I actually found myself in another community that gave oriented and I asked for help, I sent a message to a gentleman and I said, like, Hi, my name is Warren. You know, this is some of my problems I'm dealing with, I need community, I need help. These are my my problems, and I needs a community to work on it like I need, I need to be in community. So it was in my vulnerability of asking for help the people started a pairing in my life to really showcase my authenticity for me to work on loving myself loving my race, show me what is authentic gay community, in my opinion, what is authentic coaching? And it didn't, it didn't, it didn't cost me 10s of 1000s of dollars. It required an investment, but the investment was very minimum compared to some of the investments I've made previously. So that's that, in a nutshell, that was the awakening. And I would have dreams around this time that the August of September 2021 of my deceased grandfather, either like at a tree and this showing me like this is why like I had these things taken away from you because if I didn't take these things away from you, this is what you would have done. And also let me put it on the The Record recording, I was, before this awakening, I was very close very close, because I was really heavily co dependent of giving 10s and 1000s 1000s of dollars to to people that were not in alignment to me, but my higher self. Like my, my higher self was saying no, but my mind was saying yes, because you need to be that this addiction, okay, so you need to let this money go give this money away, and just to get more love and validation. But I do believe that my mistake was actually my blessing. So my mistake was actually sharing this information to another individual to wake them up. But actually, it was a blessing. Because if I didn't do that, I would have lost big time, I would have lost, I probably would have committed suicide. And let me just be very transparent, because of me doing something that I knew I was not in alignment to, but because I was very dependent on love and attachment and praise that I was going to do. So essentially, that person that I'm no longer friends with actually saved my life. So I will always love Him, He will always be part of me, because essentially saved my life because he essentially stopped me from taking my life.

Coach Maddox  46:36  
Wow, that's powerful. Oren, you know, I want to, I want to acknowledge you on several levels, first of all, for reaching out for the help that you reached out for. That's so hard, and and so few, you're capable of doing that. And so you set a beautiful example here for our listeners, what can happen when we reach out, and we ask for the help that we need, and then better than that, we allow ourselves to receive the support. The other thing I'd like to acknowledge is that you have come full circle, you've already realized that what appeared to be like the biggest, like, you know, turd in your life, suddenly, you realize has been the biggest gift you're able to look at. Yes, it blew up in my face. And thank God did,

Warren Augustin  47:30  
yes. The big guy. Yeah, thank God

Coach Maddox  47:33  
it did. And you know, I find that's true. It takes some of us never really get there. But if we can get there if we can come to the place where we realize that the biggest trauma that we lived through the biggest wound that we have, also can be our biggest gift depending on how we respond to it. I like you went through an insane amount of bullying growing up, like insane amount of bullying. From the time I was as back as far as I can remember until I was in my early 30s. And it was painful, it was awful, I would never want to relive that. I would never wish that on anyone. But I also realize now that I wouldn't be the man that I am. If I hadn't gone through all those painful experiences. And I like the man I am I would not even be remotely the man I am. If I hadn't been through all those experiences, as a person for the first 33 years of my life, endured and accepted an insane amount of bullying. Any friend that I have now will tell you, Maddox doesn't take shit off of anyone. And I wouldn't be able to do that. If I hadn't been on the other end of the spectrum, and experienced or the other end of the continuum, however you want to word that and experienced that. And I love what you're sharing about this is you have been for a lot of your life in a dark space. And you have had this major Cornerstone turning point in your life, not that there won't be more there's rarely just one. But sometimes there's one really significant one. And you're on a different trajectory. Now, I can sense that in your I mean, although we had a lot of inner interaction last year, we have had very little in the last six months. Yeah. And so this is all a new story to me. I didn't know any of this. And it's a beautiful story and I I can just say wow, you know, you've come a long way. I mean, I can see it. I can hear it and I can Felix? Warren I can. It's on every level. And it's just amazing to be audience to this. Yeah,

Warren Augustin  50:12  
thank you, I really appreciate that. You know, I told myself, I don't want to feel those feelings again, those feelings of betrayal, not betrayal, but that I let people down and betraying others, like, I don't want to, I don't want to do that anymore. So, like, I like it. Ultimately, I had to tell myself, like, wake up, Warren, like, you need to, you need to ask for help. And I'm thankful that I did.

Coach Maddox  50:36  
Well, and in this awakeness, and in this, like, really, I guess, blossoming into authenticity and vulnerability? What has that shift made possible for you in your life? Oh, that wasn't possible before.

Warren Augustin  50:58  
Oh, my goodness, I when I deal with people, from a, from a romantic standpoint, you know, I'm very vulnerable, like, I won't sell in the first conversation, but, you know, I like it sets my intentions, like, I'm very confident in how I'm presenting myself to men, like, this is me, you know, you know, put everything on the table, you know, and being okay, if they are not agreeing to who's in front of them, right. You know, there's no persona, there's no like, Oh, I gotta hide this or anything like that. It's like, I'm just speaking who I am. And, like, take it or leave it kind of thing. And it provides a provides me a confidence, because I have learned that a lot of men that I'm connecting with right now, is they appreciate that they appreciate that vulnerability, they appreciate that directness, because no one wants that time to be wasted. So, that has allowed me to seek opportunities in my connections and relationships in regards to opportunities. You know, as I have allowed myself to be authentic, I actually had a lady I used to, like, kind of hide that I was gay, cuz I think that is very obvious. But many people think sometimes I'm straight. So, you know, I've been very open like social media wise, writing wise, you know, about talking about me being gay and things like that. And I had a lady lady, that is a connection to me, in my business, you know, to me, it's like, hey, you know, I really appreciate your words of wisdom, because I have a gay son. And and through those conversations, I was able to land a new opportunity, a new partnership with a childcare, childcare brand. So, you know, just my authenticity has allowed me to open up in different areas, if it's my business, my personal life, and it's all free to me, is because I'm the person, I'm the person that's choosing to share myself to the world, and then people are attracted to me based off of that information.

Coach Maddox  53:14  
That is beautiful. I love it. And you've driven the point home, and I'm at the risk of sounding like a broken record, because I've said this before. It's only been in the last few months, but I have definitely discovered that there is a direct link between vulnerability and manifestation. Yes, I wrecked link. And you have just once again, there have been multiple stories just in in the episodes that I've recorded so far, that have driven this point home, that when you got more vulnerable and started to let the world experience the real you opportunities, people resources, D all of the above started to show up in your life that weren't available to you before. First of all, when we get vulnerable. And when people are drawn into us because of that vulnerability. They will bend over backwards to help us. They will share resources with us, they will support us they will introduce us to the right people that will help move us forward on our quest of whatever we're working on. There's a direct link, I have multiple friends in my life and my own life where I am seeing this manifestation elevated by my willingness to be vulnerable. So thank you for that piece of wisdom. That's that's absolutely beautiful. Is there anything else you would I love the way you kind of wrap this all up and told what's really present in your life right now? Is there anything else you'd like to add the say to the listener before we wrap it up and move into rapid fire questions. Yeah, the

Warren Augustin  55:06  
thing that's come up for me is, you know, just I really would like to encourage to listen there, like, there's opportunity. So, you know, through my, through my process and through my journey, I have allowed that my authenticity has allowed me to create some beautiful relationships, like outside of the United States, like in Canada, more specifically, like, there's just so much beauty that I am being attracted to. And I may not have this in my actual like environment, like my area, but my vulnerability and my authenticity is expanding around the world, in my case, so I'm just developing like relationships and opportunities in so many areas, right? So in a nutshell, I'm trying to say is my authenticity or I believe authenticity is this is like, it's addicting. It's a will spread all over the world. And there's so much awaiting when we just be ourselves. And you know, not be conformed of why is supposed to be like, Why? Why yes, yes,

Coach Maddox  56:22  
yes. One of my favorite sayings, and this is my saying, I made this vulnerability builds bridges, opens doors and clears pathways in a manner that nothing else can.

Warren Augustin  56:33  
Perfect. I love it.

Coach Maddox  56:35  
I do have one more question before we get to rapid fire. I just I thought about this a couple of months ago, and then it kind of went away and it came back. You have a lifelong history of financially. Like paying for love attention and approval. Correct. You've had this big breakthrough in this last year. Will you ever be tempted to pay for love affection and approval ever again?

Warren Augustin  57:05  
No, the answer is no, no, no, no, no, you know, material things outside is outside of me. Right. So you know, I know, I have learned that I don't have to bring or I don't have to be money to the table. You know, I you know, love should be unconditional ish. I shouldn't. You know, I can be poor. I can be wealthy. I can be CEO, like it doesn't really matter. But I don't have to bring, like if I have to bring love. How can I say if I have to bring money to the table, then that's not the that's not the connection that I need to be a part of.

Coach Maddox  57:44  
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful and I agree wholeheartedly, you know, in in in the in my belief system. Love acceptance. Approval. Those are our birthright. Yes. All we have to do is just claim that birthright. I agree. Beautiful, beautiful. All right, let's move into rapid fire questions. Are you prepared with you ready to give some rapid fire answers?

Warren Augustin  58:14  
I am ready. Beautiful.

Coach Maddox  58:18  
When was the last time you cried in front of another gay man.

Warren Augustin  58:24  
Ooh, I don't think I've ever cry in front of another gay man. Okay, I've never I've never that's another area I'm working on my my emotional intelligence, because I don't really quite often, so but I don't think I've ever cried in front of another gay man. No.

Coach Maddox  58:41  
I love your honesty. Absolutely. If you could go back in time and say anything to your younger self. What would you tell him?

Warren Augustin  58:53  
Oh, I love you love the war and continue being this superstar that you are and slay birches. But specifically, I love you, because that's something that he didn't hear.

Coach Maddox  59:08  
Beautiful. Mm hmm. Wow. I feel that in my body right now. Warren I got cold chills running up and down me. Last Rapid Fire question. What is your superpower?

Warren Augustin  59:22  
My superpower would be visionary i that comes instantly for me is like visionary, like just thinking beyond beyond the walls. I can do for my life I can do for other people's lives. But just being a visionary and just seeing the best possibilities out there for anything.

Coach Maddox  59:42  
I love that. That's amazing. Wow. This has been awesome. So I just want to say thank you so much for being a guest coming on the podcast. I want to thank you for your very, very candid story, your very raw story. And yes, I, I think for me, you drew a picture that allowed me to not just hear it, but to feel it. And I hope that's true for the listener as well. I felt your story. And that's what makes for a good story when you can feel it. So thank you for that. Yeah, I want to leave you with one thing. I want to let you know that you warn are indeed an authentic gay man.

Warren Augustin  1:00:29  
Thank you. I received that

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Warren A

Warren A is a successful entrepreneur in the early childhood care industry. Warren continues to transform his life daily with spiritual growth coaching and embrace the opportunities to live his authentic life.