Ep. 17 - Podcast Thumbnail

#17 – Keeping Sex Simple | Seijin Tranberg

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Ep. 40 - Podcast Thumbnail

What would you give up for the love of your life? Would you give up your bad habits? Would you even give up your cell phone???? Well, we discuss matters of the heart and mind with our great guest Seijin.

  • How did Seijin prepare for his marriage/Blessing?
  • How did Seijin realize he was in a negative space with his sexuality?
  • How did Seijin begin overcoming pornography through his relationship with his father?
  • What tricks does Seijin use for overcoming his bad habits?


Episode Transcript:

Andrew Love: All right, everybody. Welcome back to another beautiful day here on planet Earth. And I am again in the jungle. And I, I’m interviewing this. I, we love, Sammy and I love talking with each other, obviously. But we also like, we really secretly love taking breaks from each other and talking to new people, new blood. And I sought this guy out specifically. His name is Seijin. And I’ve known him for a few years now off and on. But I feel like the amount of time that we’ve actually spent together physically is probably under 45 minutes, but we’ve spoken on the phone numerous times. And we just have this, to me, he’s one of those guys that I’m always interested in what is Seijin doing? Because he’s one of those guys that is always looking under stones within his own soul, looking for how he can clean himself up, looking for truth and honesty, and I really respect that about him. And I’m always, whenever we check-in, I’m always, I think our record is I think we spent two or three hours on the phone together, which I don’t ever do, but I did with you. And I, I just, I love this guy somehow. And I don’t know. It’s strange because I don’t know. Like, we haven’t spent a lot of time together. But we,

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: I feel like there’s an affinity there. Yeah.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: And so I wanted to invite him on so that we could benefit from all the hard work that he’s done in his own life, trying to build himself up with a lot of intention. Like he was living a totally different life five years ago, seven years ago, from what he is now, and it’s not by accident. He’s really been working on himself a lot. And I’m sure he’ll tell you he has a long way to go. And that’s, that’s the point. Life is long, but I wanted him. I wanted to really like, you know, look at his brain, look at his heart and find out what can we get to offer all you people out there. So let’s welcome to the stage and the microphone Seijin Tranberg everybody.

Seijin Tranberg: Clap track, clap track.

Andrew Love: Yeah, we need some sound bites.

Seijin Tranberg: I really appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you, Andrew, very high praises. And I think, you know, I think everybody knows and sees. What’s that quote? It’s like, your number one critic is yourself. And I think, you know, you always see how far you have to go. And so I kind of hear that, like, I aspired towards it to become that kind of a person. You know, as I said, five, seven, you know, years ago when I was young man, I guess I still am, but when I was, you know, emerging as an adult, so to say long ways to go. But, but it’s nice to still be able to look back and take stock of how you’ve developed not just in yourself, in your own head, but also in relationships and how you meet with people. I think those are very telling of kind of internal qualities and characteristics that are sometimes a little hard to parse out yourself. So now I appreciate it.

Andrew Love: Yeah, no, it’s, it’s, it’s sincerely, there’s probably a handful of people that I know that I’m, if I had, if, if humanity all had baseball cards, I would collect this Seijin Tranberg baseball card and see how you’re developing and all that?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew Love: Because yeah, you just a cool, dude. So I’m glad. I’m glad you’re here. And we’re gonna pick your brain and pick your heart a little bit.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, let’s go.

Andrew Love: So you are… how old are you right now as of this recording?

Seijin Tranberg: I am thirty years old as of this recording.

Andrew Love: Thirty.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah. Thirty, I know. Yeah. Just, just woken up the 30s.

Andrew Love: Does it feel different up here in the 30s? I’m here with you. I’m, I’m on the other end of 30, but how are you feeling?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, it does feel definite, it has definitely a little more pressure. I think most 30-year olds can probably relate. You’re just like, kind of like this oh, crap kind of, ah! time is going a lot faster now so, but it’s welcomed. It’s nice.

Andrew Love: And you are, you’re recently blessed and married? Yes?

Seijin Tranberg: Yes. Blessed and married. Honestly, it’s actually been about a year and a half now.

Andrew Love: Oh really.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, 2018. 2018 is when in August we got married and blessed and we had our daughter about seven months ago. So…

Andrew Love: Okay.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, recently married and a new father as well.

Andrew Love: So we, we explain on the show what the Blessing is and all that.

Seijin Tranberg: Okay, okay, cool.

Andrew Love: Did you get, did you get blessed first and then married? Or did you ever get married? Or is that important to you? Or…

Seijin Tranberg: No, that’s…

Andrew Love: What did you…

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, that’s a great question. I actually, not know but yes, that’s, that’s a great question. So we actually got legally married and blessed in the same 24 hours.

Andrew Love: Oh wow!

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, we didn’t want to have like different dates and fly people out for all these different kinds of, you know, different events. And so we said, hey, you know, let’s just do everything in the same 24 hours. We got the Blessing date and time. It was in Las Vegas. And then we planned our, our wedding around that as well. So we got married…

Andrew Love: …in Las Vegas?

Seijin Tranberg: …in Las Vegas. Yes.

Andrew Love: Really?

Seijin Tranberg: So we, we planned, we planned, we planned our Las Vegas wedding months in advance and had, had both of our families fly out. We got a nice big rental home for them. It was for friends and family, a really small group of people. And we had our legal marriage 24 hours before the Blessing. In 24 hours we were blessed, you know, bing, bang, boom. Yeah, yeah, we’re good. So, so that was basically how we planned on we did it.

Andrew Love: Well, can I ask you what, what, did you feel like it was different? Obviously, the ceremonies themselves are different, but like, did you feel that the spirit of the, of the room or the atmosphere, was kind of different in both or was it similar? Getting blessed and married? I mean…

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, I would say they’re pretty… you know, for us, they were so close and we kind of plan them together to be like 24 hours of our coming into oneness and celebration. So in many ways, you know, they’re kind of one in the same. I’ve, you know, some people say, oh, you know, one’s a religious married, marriage ceremony and the other is legal, which is true, I think (inaudible). But, you know, I think from just a personal relational perspective, I am, we didn’t want to make those different things. We just wanted those to just be like, you know, our oneness, you know, us coming to be together and one. And so, so I think our intention with that kind of set the mood for that 24 hours in general, but, I mean, hey, I will say the Blessing was great in the sense that I just didn’t have to like plan and prepare a lot of stuff to like, come up. And she got it and I was like, oh, man, this is great. This is like, super streamlined. I was pretty happy with that just from like, logistical stress perspective. That was, that was awesome.

Andrew Love: Yeah, yeah.

Seijin Tranberg: Because we had to do the whole wedding thing ourselves. But yeah, I mean, I think yeah. I mean by the Blessing we’re pretty exhausted, too, because we were going for 24 hours just like a wedding, you know.

Andrew Love: Did you sleep? Did you sleep in between?

Seijin Tranberg: We did. But just like, I mean, it was just like a few hours because then we had to get up and get ready and you know, we, we rented a big rental home. And you know, our, my entire family flew out. Her entire family flew out so it’s kind of like this big family reunion at the same time. So it was like, it was big, it was a big thing. But so we were, I think, at the end of the Blessing, we’re just pretty exhausted and tired but…

Andrew Love: It sounds like a good plot for a rom-com you know, just…

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: … both your families. Getting married twice in one day. Nothing but, you know, the potential for disaster.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: That is a miracle that it all went down.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah. Honestly, that miracles a good wordplay not that like it’s like, well, I’m surprised that happened but at the end of it I’m like, why I can’t believe we just did all that. And this is the day that I’m, we’ve been looking forward to for so long and been preparing for and just like, wow…

Andrew Love: Well, that’s my next question.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: I really want to get into this idea of preparation because Sammy and I have been hot on this. There’s recently another Blessing in Korea. And we knew a lot of people, a lot of people are actually you know, the guys especially had been through the High Noon program, but we knew a lot of the women as well that they had their own stories or you know, we’ve been working with them. And so we really felt like the ones that we knew had done the preparation. We felt so much more confident in them showing up prepared for the Blessing, instead of some of the other ones that we knew that was kind of sneaking in, kind of through the backdoor of the Blessing in a way.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: And so, when you showed up, you said you were looking forward to this day for a long time. Did you really feel like you’d worked for this? That you had prepared, that you showed up prepared? Like, do you, do you have a sense of preparedness,

Seijin Tranberg: Oh yeah.

Andrew Love: For, for receiving your wife?

Seijin Tranberg: Oh, yeah, yeah. And I mean, like, it, you know, nobody’s perfect. I, you know, got my shortcomings too, but like, prepared, like, you know, put, put a lot of time and effort into being; put a lot of time, effort or energy into being the best that I could be for her. And, and that, really, it’s, it’s not all the activities and things that you do to prepare, but just that mindset and that attitude get carried into your relationship every single day. So, just that, that mindset and that energy of, you know, I’m going to be the best I can be, for this person doesn’t stop at the wedding. It’s not like I’m preparing my best, to be the best for her on our wedding day. You know, nobody really thinks that it’s like, you know, for her, and that’s, you know, add, you know, you know, going on for an infinite stretch of time. And, and, honestly, infinity sounds big, but it’s really just a day at a time. And so,

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, I mean, I, you know, we’ve had our challenges and I’m, you know, you know, have my shortcomings and I’m sure we’ll delve into some details as we go on. But, but yeah, preparation, I think more than external preparation. So it was a lot of internal stuff.

Andrew Love: Well, it was kind of interesting because it seems like if you, if you pull, definitely in the West, I can say this with absolute confidence from the number of conversations I’ve had, but just from if you look at the data that people are pushing off marriage, you know, definitely in their 20s a lot of times in the 30s, sometimes forever. And the main excuse is given or excuses given, are usually external, right? Like, I don’t have enough money to get married. Or if they do get married, we don’t have kids because it’s so expensive to have. You know how much college is gonna be in his 20s or something.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: Whereas that is not the important preparation, like what you were saying where it’s, it’s actually the internal preparation. Did you do the internal work?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah, those external things. It’s like, you just can’t, it’s just, I don’t think it, it doesn’t help, like focusing and putting energy into that. I mean, it’s good to be aware of them. But like, you know, we have the Internet. Education is changing so much. It’s like, will the education system even be what you think it is, like, in 20 years? And you know, sure there will…

Andrew Love: Sure, sure.

Seijin Tranberg: …be like some, you know, some constants. But part of the… it’s just so nice to have somebody to share the simple things within life and be able to look back and just, you know, strip away all that kind of extra stuff and just…

Andrew Love: Yeah.

Seijin Tranberg: You know, just, like, be with somebody and have, like, these really simple memories and just… it’s, it’s really sweet. I think that’s something that kind of has emerged a little bit more. It started to emerge as we’re a year and a half in and that’s, that’s really nice. It gives energy and kind of gets your mind working in creative ways to tackle all those rising costs and kids and you know, all that, all this other, all this other kind of stuff. Like the only thing that does is it just, it just trains your mind, it trains you to like, psych yourself out and just kind of, I don’t know put you into like analysis paralysis.

Andrew Love: How did you go from an over-complicated relationship with sexuality, where it was kind of a hindrance and you notice that you were involved in you know, say pornography or whatever? And then and what did the process look like for you to… Let’s just even go with how did you identify you’re in a negative space? Because, like myself, like you, you were an explorer. You know you don’t have a perfect history. There’s a lot of people who have, they live this perfect template of just abstinence prior to marriage. And then you know, they get blessed and then they’re happy but like, what are, what if you fall outside of that? How, how did you identify, “Wait, this is not healthy”. Let’s start there, just with like, at what point did you realize, “wait this, I’m involved in something that is not healthy?”

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah. No, that’s, that’s a good question. I think sexually you know, I think with pornography I always knew it wasn’t something that was healthy I just lacked the kind of self-control to really or really did discipline or you know, I or the tools and mechanisms to like kind of overcome and get through it. So I was, I always knew I had a problem. I’d be pretty open about it even before you know, not, not enough bragging kind of way but just like you know, if they were like camps and the guy’s group and girls group or just like, you know, maybe like when I did like a two-year gap, you’re a programmer. I’m not sure. I can’t think of specific instances. But I feel like I’ve always tried to be open about sexuality in general, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think how it’s used and expressed is unhealthy and bad, but I don’t think it’s inherently a bad thing. I don’t think I should. I don’t think I ever really have, I think that’s part of where my exploratory kind of personality kind of came from. I’m like, well, I don’t know what’s good or bad, but I, you know, I know that there’s some, like, really bad things I shouldn’t do or else I’m gonna, you know, go to hell. But, you know, I mean, this is when I’m, like, you know, younger, like, you know, 12, 13, 14, 15,

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: 18 or something. 20. But, yeah, I mean, there were times that I kind of just, like, let go of all of those kinds of restrictions because I just didn’t feel like I was, it just didn’t feel like I was getting better, and then it shouldn’t be so hard to like, you know, go at it, and I did it alone for a while.

Andrew Love: But I mean, you, you tried to overcome pornography alone? Is that what you’re saying?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah. Oh, yeah, for sure. In the beginning. Yeah, absolutely. Totally. Yeah. I mean, it’s just didn’t help but so, I always knew that I don’t know if there was like, kind of like a rock bottom moment with pornography and sexuality, so to say, but I think just, I could see how I treated and kind of related to women and other people and was getting to a very, just really painful place both for them, and myself. Probably more emotionally painful for them. But for me, I think it was in order for me to keep acting and behaving and thinking and having the same attitudes as I did, I had to kind of suppress my emotions or kind of dull them or kind of desensitize those painful ones. And, and that was kind of scary, just kind of that was really, it’s just, it just kind of seemed really bad. Like just go, like just, you know, creating, absent, it like emotionally absent like personality just, just, it just wasn’t who or where I wanted to go like, you know, I could see how that would negatively impact me and many other people in the future. And so I think I started exploring and trying to better understand why am I behaving this kind of way? Yeah, yeah, I think I ended up going back to, I think for me personally, my relationship with my father was kind of not the best. And so I kind of was a little stunted in certain ways emotionally or kind of went to escapism or kind of escaped or did not I like handle my emotions in the most productive constructive ways and so, I would go to pornography just as an, as an escape. Yeah, so I started more than that relationship. Not, not in a sexual but just kind of like what is like a healthy, you know, Father-Son relationship, you know, just, just in a pure, not, you know nothing sexual but just kind of like just from a just a pure like, you know, what is it sent to a father and how can I be a good son and I think by being a good son, I’d be a good brother and that’ll help prepare me for marriage and stuff. And, you know, running parallel to that, of course, is the whole pornography thing. And, but it was more of an expression of just like bad, like, some fundamental relationships in my life were lacking. And I think that expressed itself in running to pornography.

Andrew Love: Just to kind of recap you were…

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah

Andrew Love: You were feeling numb and you’re feeling disconnected from people? And do you feel like you’re going to pornography because of that feeling or do you feel like that, that pornography at that point was kind of driving you, driving this feeling of numbness?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, I think I think it’s a little bit of both. Yeah. Because, because it’s not like I had the numbness in the beginning. It’s like a chicken and egg thing. It’s like, it’s not like I had numbness in the beginning. Or like I, you know, had some emotional void that I was trying to fill, like looking for something to fill it. Pornography kind of just like popped up and, and, you know, I’d no idea you know, I absolutely did not actively seek it out and just kind of force itself upon me, but I think that there were emotional voids and kind of emptiness I wasn’t aware of that it filled and I didn’t want to and I, and I felt just, just so bad. You know, I mean, I was 12. But I just felt so bad when I was exposed to pornography, but it fills some void and so it was just so confusing to me that like, this made me feel so bad, but it kind of filled some sort of need I had. And so it was kind of like this really sick twisted, like, you know, this is really bad but like, kind of you know, so it was confusing but like I, you know, in a weird way I kind of really want this and it wasn’t pornography, it’s like, you know, I want this void to be filled. And, and so then I numbed myself that bad feeling to get that kind of, that fixed that, that pornography to fill that void, which felt really good. And then it felt really bad. And then I would numb myself and then I would go to it to feel good. And then, and then that kind of like, cycle. Really, really cool. I’ve actually never described talking, this is really messed up. But like, as I talk about it, so…

Andrew Love: Yeah, well, you’d be surprised. You know, how common this, this is, right?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: Just this cycle because it’s, you’re inheriting thousands of years of baggage as a 12-year-old and you have no way to process it.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: In a way, that humans have never been exposed to high definition. Hardcore porn.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew Love: By themselves at 12. It’s never been, you know, it’s never really been an option. So…

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: I’d love to hear like, you grew up in a religious household?

Seijin Tranberg: Yep, yep.

Andrew Love: And so, was, how did that factor into? Like this process? You’re 12, grew up in a religious household. And then, you’re, you’re watching this stuff that is like, it feels so good in your body, but it also simultaneously, feels so wrong, in some part of you, either your mind or your heart or somewhere.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: So, what are you thinking about this as a 12 year old? Like I’m bad, what I’m doing is bad or like, how, how did you understand what you were doing?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, I think I was just scared. That was the big one. But I was also very interested and intrigued, I think I have a very curious personality. And so I kind of just, I just hit it, I and was just terrified of being found. And yeah, I mean, there are instances where, I mean, like, you know, the internet was just coming out it was still dial up AOL and, and I distinctly remember, you know, like, looking for some sort of like pornographic images. I mean, I just got really, it was kind of like felt really good, felt really bad, numb but also like, very curious and interested.

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: It’s so strange, but, but it’s also beautiful. Like I look at that curiosity and there is a certain innocent beauty to it. Without a doubt… Absolutely. …like I don’t think that was, was bad but I think it got kind of misaligned or put into the wrong direction. I’m glad I didn’t completely like, kill that curiosity and say this is bad…

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: I think it’s, it’s absolutely, definitely helped create the man that I am today, but I will say I could have had more creative outlets for it. Could have been a little more creative with that curiosity and where it went instead of just using the cheap stuff. But I was mostly scared as a kid that I would be kind of found and there were times that, that it was found, I did grew up in a religious household. I think my siblings are perhaps a little more vigilant about it. I think I’ve always kind of, I don’t know us, I haven’t talked in great depth with them about it. Maybe I was just really bad at hiding stuff. But like I remember internet was just coming out and there was some pornographic image I found or was looking at. You’re like load up line by line so slow, but like you know, I was patient, I have to wait for it, it’s really weird. But and I think later my dad found it and he called my older brother and me into the room was like, you know, what is this? And, you know, obviously, one of us too had, had looked at it. And, so my brother definitely knew it was me. And I had some sort of issue with pornography, but he didn’t like to say, it was like, say it was me. My dad probably knew, but, but yeah, I think it was like…

Andrew Love: Did you guys just, you’re just standing there silent and nobody said anything?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, I was just standing there silent. Nobody said anything. I just like, “Oh, my God I’m dying”.

Andrew Love: Wow.

Seijin Tranberg: This is so embarrassing. But, yeah, but, you know, I would get called out publicly like, I think it was a very kind of if you’re doing something bad in our family, you get called out publicly for it by your dad. Which yeah, for me was a little, a little difficult with this one. But I think it might have been, you know, something that helped me with being open about my challenges and struggles to, sound like well, not going to die and you know, everybody I like, really really care about already knows. So you know, Hey, what’s up world? I’ve got issues. Yeah, but, I think it was just kind of a recurring theme like there be a VHS or like a magazine that was found; you know, every now and then or something that I would sneak or like a page from a magazine or something that my parents would find. And so I think they were always concerned, but I never had like a, let’s sit down and talk and have a birds and bees conversation. All the workshops, were saying, like, you know, you go to hell if you had sex before marriage, and I was like, “Well, I’m not having sex before marriage”, but like, am I spiritually dead, kind of thing? You know, is this like, the spiritual part kind of thing? And then part of me was just like, I’m already going to hell, I guess in some sort of weird way. So, you know, I’m beyond redemption and so yeah, so I, part of me kind of gave up but another, like actively fighting it, but another part of me was kind of very intensely focused on like, other things going on inside of me internally that I felt like I had to address. So, like a lot of my energy went to like addressing other issues I feel like I had, and pornography kind of fell by the wayside. Yeah, but I would say I was never like, I mean, just a lot of shame. I just hid it from my parents, they would find things and stuff and they’d be like, some conversations. I think it was just as awkward for them as for me, but, but it, in most, the big, the big thing that develops then was kind of like, this sneaking and hiding kind of behavior at a very young age…

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: …that I think carried on, you know, even much less so I think, I think in marriage, but that is something a recurring theme and attitude. I think that was kind of baked into me at a very young age, those kinds of sneaking, hiding behaviors…

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: That you know, that I’ve spilled into other areas of my life. And it’s something that I’ve been actively addressing and attacking with my wife, just kind of like, I’m kind of like sneaking or this or that.

Andrew Love: Yeah. So, I mean, I think that’s, that’s also very common, right? Is if you can almost guarantee a certain reaction from somebody you avoided and the hard way is to actually just fix the problem. And the easy way is just to hide it.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah, but yeah.

Andrew Love: And so, especially with parents, right?

Seijin Tranberg: Yes and no, I think it’s definitely easier in the short term, harder in the long run, and easier in the long run. And, you know…

Andrew Love: And so, you’d, I mean, this started at an early age, but then, so, and that’s great. Thank you. That was, that was my initial question.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: But then evolving, you know, I’d love to hear a little bit, like an overview of the process of you going from somebody who lives this secret double life to, to reaching out to your dad, because you mentioned that you, you just kind of intuitively felt like you need to establish a healthy relationship with your dad right? As, as being a gateway to wherever you want it to go. So like, is that because you reached some crappy feeling like this, this critical mass of crappiness inside of you? And you just said, I need to reach out to somebody and your dad made the most sense. Was it? Or was it just like you weren’t even thinking, you just reacted? And you called your dad out of desperation? Or like, how did that happen?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: I mean the reason I asked, just the reason I ask is that there’s a lot of people out there who are gonna be listening to this or who are kind of, they’re in those murky waters, where they’re kind of sick of where they’re at. And they have this very strong sense that nobody in the world, you know, could understand me. And especially if I told my parents, they would kill me or they’d be disappointed in me or whatever. So, and that’s usually the biggest barrier for people to have a breakthrough is to invite another person into their shortcomings into their iniquity, you know, in, into their darkness, right?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: What was it? What, what helped you actually invite your dad into knowing what you’re really grappling with?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, right. No, that’s a really good question. So I think for me, this was kind of like, the biggest issue that I didn’t want to let people in on like, I didn’t want to let them in on like, I don’t know my issues and my struggles and challenges all the kind of, I just like, the darkness inside my heart and stuff, you know, and so I ran so hard and I wouldn’t say like, I ran away from what, what you asked about letting people in is definitely the scariest thing I’ve ever done particularly with my dad and kind of, I don’t think it’s, it’s sad for everybody but there’s, there’s kind of like, there are foundational relationships, I think, to who we are that character kind of existential kind of way, on to logical kind of way. I feel like there are foundational relationships that make us who we are. Whether we, you know, whether we admitted or not, you know, I think it’s kind of, kind of, really ingrained into us and I think there’s a real, there’s a real beauty to that. So I would be open with everybody and anybody except my dad.

Andrew Love: Yeah.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, and so I…

Andrew Love: Can I just ask, do you think it’s because you value his opinion so much or because you’re so afraid of him or like at that time?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, it was a little bit of both. I think he was a very influential person in my life, and even more than, even more, than I realized. And, and I think I intuitively understood that on some level, maybe subconsciously, but not really, consciously or cognitively like I didn’t really think you know, why I’m like scared of him or his opinion, or I value his opinion a lot. If anything, I would tell myself the opposite, but I think it was kind of a denial kind of way, maybe, but…

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah, but I think I did understand that he, his opinion carried a lot of weight in how I thought and acted and behaved beyond what I was, what I was aware of. And that scared me because you know, I’m emerging as a young man as an adult and I want to be my own independent man, I want to kind of I don’t want to be influenced by others. I want to be an independent thinker. I want to like, stand on my own. I want to make my own mark, I want to, you know, I don’t want to be my father’s son, I want to be, you know, Seijin Tranberg, like his own, his own guy shaped my own destiny kind of thing,

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: Which is awesome. Like, that is so cool. Like, I really, I love that. I mean, that’s such a great thing whenever I see that you guys like that’s, that’s, that’s awesome. But I think, you know, there’s this emphasis on an individual as the building block of society. Right? And, and I don’t believe that anymore. I think relationships are actually the building block of society, you know, and communities and all these things. There’s this big intense focus on like, individuals and building there, which is good. I mean, individuals make up relationships, right. But I think, you know, as far as community goes, I think what really builds community is, not a bunch of individual people doing their own things that happened to work together. But I think it’s that working together itself, it’s the relationships, because both people are kind of, you know, building something greater than themselves. That’s the first point where it becomes just a bunch of loose pieces into something a little more coherent and cohesive together.

Andrew Love: So at some point, did you feel like you were just done being an individual? Done struggling and you wanted? You wanted the help, you wanted the help from your dad?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, more or less, I think, a very unconventional circumstance. I don’t know if there are ever conventional kind of normal circumstances around this. But yeah, honestly for me, it was, it was. It was not how I would have expected it. Let’s say that. I kind of, I was just kind of really, you know, I was running away to pornography and drugs and you know, dating a little bit and trying to kind of, you know, a lot of that kind of behavior of me running away. And so, I was at a pretty unconscious AP, I was using drugs and stuff and kind of, I was having a conversation with my dad and it just kind of like I could see, I could see how he was still trying to like, connect and reach out to me and relate with me. Regardless of all the crap that I put up here, just all that just, you know that he was still, he wasn’t running away, he was there. He was doing his best and he was just, you know, regardless of all the kind of, you know, how much I had lashed out at him and kind of the trauma kind of there, you know, because he, he, you know, he was trying, he was there and he hadn’t given up even though I couldn’t see it. Just kind of…

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: You know, at that moment, I could see it and I just, and I could see myself, just this kid who’s just like scared and just running away and just trying to, you know, and escaping. But I couldn’t see that until that moment. And so I could just, you know, it was funny because I was like, oh, like, you know, my dad’s kind of got this old thinking, he like, doesn’t really know what’s going on in the world and stuff. So like, anyhow, I’ve graduated top of the class. I’ve kind of worked two years and like this prestigious position, like with smart friend, like, you know, I know what I’m doing. I know, you know, I could, I could debate this guy and totally, like, break him down. Just pure arrogance. And, and so I was just like, okay, let me have this conversation with him. And I was in this conversation trying to prove them wrong because by, you know, showing him where he was wrong, he could get better and, and, you know, that’s, it’s because I love him. And his love really just transcended all that and I could kind of see him kind of, you know, I was like, I’m not backing down. I’m gonna like, you know, show him and I don’t know what it was. I don’t know what my dad really did. But he, I mean, you know, I know, he, he never, he never gave up and he just kept trying. Even if it wasn’t in the way I wanted him to. He was still there, you know, he didn’t run away from the family. He was there. And, and, you know, holding a place where he could receive me, like, where I could come back and where we could, like, work out these issues once I had developed the ability to communicate about them. And so, yeah, I just, I cried, I, I just bawled like a baby, because I had never, I guess, you know, I had expectations and you know, I want my dad to be like this or that, why isn’t he like, you know, these cool dads or all this kind of stuff. But he was still my dad, he was still there and he still loved me and that was kind of… and, and, you know, I put him through the wringer. I mean, we’re talking about like, a decade of just like being a total like God, I was just, just so vicious with this guy, and the fact that after…

Andrew Love: Total winning

Seijin Tranberg: Oh man. Yeah, or something like that boy I was, I was vicious to my dad.

Andrew Love: It sounds like, it sounds like you, you showed up, like in a showdown, you brought your gun, and you’re gonna take them down. You had the fastest hand in the West.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: And your dad showed up and he was just a volcano and you’re like, what? I didn’t prove and he’s just like, oozing love and you don’t bring a gun to a volcano fight.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: And he absolutely obliterated you, with a love that has existed forever. And he just embodied that right?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Andrew Love: I mean by the sounds of it not, I don’t know if you would agree with this. But just as a bystander listening to this, it sounds like you know what3 we fear especially in our parents, in our hubris, is, it’s like, we fear the voice of God because we think, we know better than God. And that’s all we need actually is to communicate with our parent, who represents God, they brought us into this world, right? And… You got just the dose of what parental love is, and it’s not something you can debate. It’s something that just is, it stands there. And it’s just, it’s just sturdy. You can’t knock it down, right?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s, yeah, something like that. For sure. I think if people like, or even if people are generally familiar with the idea that we’re God’s children, and so by extension, God is a parent. And, you know, the closest representation we have to that parent is our parents. And so it’s kind of like, you know, we think of, you know, there’s a lot of imagery of like, God, you know, being like, who grew up in the sky and stuff, but yeah, I think for me, I think it’s a lot more primal. A lot more, you know, a lot more intimate than that, that kind of imagery associated with God is our parent and let’s all float into the sky but it’s just kind of like, I think it’s much more primal much more raw and much more…

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: …satisfying, I think. And so, that relationship with my dad kind of, me kind of like crying like letting go and just recognizing that he was still there after me being vicious for a decade. I, it was a very real expression of love. It wasn’t like, oh, God loves me and me, you know, felt it through this song or this word. It’s like, here’s a human being who’s still with me after 10 years of me just being just a god. Ooh. Just like God and so and, and, and yeah, so it was like, very raw and like primal is just like, wow. You know, this is love and, and yeah, and I think that was when I kind of like really let go and was like and I could see myself or, you know, honestly for once for who I’d become in the implications of my actions and what I’d done, you know, trying to figure things out I was kind of really rash and haphazard in how I approached it and, and it was, yeah, it was, it was, it was tough but it was also just like, I’m a mess. I need some help. Like, I need some serious kind of like, rehab, rehabilitation kind of stuff like, you know, I didn’t have to check into like a formal, real, like my substance abuse wasn’t, you know, to the point that I felt like, I had to check into a rehab center but I was like, you know, like health-wise, I took it from a really health-centric approach, I’m just like, my attention is scattered everywhere, I am using drugs like, I am kind of like using drugs as crutches, like I am, you know, using pornography or like running away from like relationships and stuff, like, I’m not exercising, like, I’m smoking cigarettes, my lungs probably need to, like, get cleaned out and everything. So I’m just like, you know, there’s just this huge daily use of issues. And just like this honest perspective of, just taking stock of like, where I really was, if that I was able to just like, honestly just be able to, like, look at myself, or who I was and what I’ve done. And you know, that I had chosen to become that kind of a person through my choices. And that through my choices…

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: I would’ve done it. And so I thought, oh my God, like this is, it’s, it’s a lot. It’s a lot, but at least I knew.

Andrew Love: So that was clarifying indeed, was in, in that. I mean, I’m just trying to a, I think this is such a powerful testimony and I would love people to understand the power of reaching out to somebody. That’s…

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: It is. I appreciate you clarifying that because it is, it’s not necessarily a Paul falling off the horse meeting God moment, but at the same time it’s, it’s kind of God in His simplest form, through relationships that we can only really receive all the love we’re running away from, when we just allow ourselves to be embraced by the people that we, we are lying to and avoiding and hiding from and it just seems like you finally went home right? Like you’d been running away in spiritually, emotionally in every way possible from your home. Which is the place? Your father? Right?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And, and like, and it was a process like even though I was, you know, I was a very conflicted kind of spirit. And so I think a lot of people can relate to this as well, like, on one hand, I was running away, but on another hand, I was trying, I was just trying in all the ways that kind of scared me but didn’t like terrify me. Which would be like my father to the point that like, I couldn’t even acknowledge that, that was something else afraid of because, like, I’m not afraid of talking to my father kind of thing, you know?

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: But like, you know, I still try to be open and talk to people about it. And like I recognize, like, you know, this probably isn’t the best, should probably not enable it and try to like, talk to people about it and find people who are, who are still trying to address this issue in their lives. So, I still like reach out I would like talk to people and I got turned to High Noon afterwards. But I think even before High Noon there were like, church buddies that I would talk about, like, pornography and masturbation and like sexual integrity and, you know, still try to, you know, still try to like work through those issues and be open about pornography in general, even if I was still watching it from time to time, like I, you know, I was a hypocrite. I mean, I was saying like, yeah, this thing is bad. But then I’m still doing it. But, you know, I think we’re all hypocrites at some point, but I think at least I don’t know, I’m happy that I was still trying and not enabling it and being like, oh well, at least I’m, I’m not a hypocrite. I think that there are worse things than that. And I think I’m definitely coming to a point where I don’t know it was just kind of like a, kinda like a cry for help or like a life vest where I just kind of like put it out and still just like, this is an issue, you know? And like, I would love for it to go away. But yeah, I’m going through it.

Andrew Love: Yeah.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah. I mean, it’s a battle. But yeah.

Andrew Love: Well, I mean, I did see you, you were part of the first Heinen summit.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: And, again, I remember you were part of a group of people that were seeking, like an absolute sense of honesty in public, which is really cool. You guys are having a crazy conversation during lunchtime I remember.

Seijin Tranberg: Yes.

Andrew Love: So yes, we, you know, definitely backslide. And in some areas of our life sometimes, and we don’t always meet every one of our standards. But at this point, you’ve taken measures I just want to before we wrap up here, right. I mean, you, you, you, you were telling me, before we got into this, that you have a flip phone, right?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: This is, this is common of a lot of people who are trying to gain dominance over the internet and…

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah. And I will say, you know, I, I definitely had my shortcomings in our marriage. I’m, I wouldn’t say I have had a perfect kind of record, so to say, but… Yes.

Andrew Love: To be more intentional about the internet. So, what are some steps that you’ve taken to ensure that you can be more available as a husband, and a father, and not go back to, kind of that dark place that you exist in before?

Seijin Tranberg: A lot of the, so I would say even if, even if they’re, they’re recently, married men, blessed guys. You know who are still struggling with pornography or that kind of a pull, having dominance over the internet and have even watched pornography, let me know I’m, I’m more than happy and comfortable to talk to you guys and help set up a system that, that works pretty well, a lot better. You know, at the end of the day, the only system that works is you choose and you decide not to watch pornography or masturbate and what that love, where it should go, but there are ways that you can like alter and change your environment to make it more conducive to that kind of behavior. And…

Andrew Love: Okay. Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, so I mean I, I’ve, I’ve as uncomfortable as it’s been I’ve, I’ve, in the beginning of my relationship with my wife, I wasn’t always the best at telling the truth. I was a heck of a lot better than when before we got married and getting better with every single day, but I wasn’t absolutely like High Noon, you know, no shadows.

Andrew Love: Sure.

Seijin Tranberg: And so yeah, there were, there were a couple times where I’ve watched pornography. And that… Yeah, and, and she had a dream one night that I had like, watch pornography and then she asked me the next day and I was just like, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s frustrating and I do understand why people want to be completely clean and free before they get married and all that stuff, but I wouldn’t say you know, I’d say if there are shortcomings or you know, let me know I’m, I’m it is something that I’m very, very engaged in on a daily basis and something that I’m working to make better and that’s something I’d be happy to move others into. But yeah, so I mean, after my wife had that dream, and I let her know, “Yeah I’ve watched pornography a few times”. It was just very difficult for her and I just never wanted to see her like that I was like, I am going to do whatever it takes to never see her, put her in this kind of position again. And so it was really difficult. We had, you know, conversations and she’s extremely gracious and forgiving and just the most supportive. I am just unbelievably blessed and lucky to have Emily as a wife. But yeah, she was very, I mean, it was painful, but she was very open with that pain and we shared it and you know, I shared some of how I was actually thinking feeling and just, you know, I committed I was just like, I’m, I just as not something I ever want to see her, put her into, put her into that position again. Yeah. And so after that, yeah, I committed to just doing whatever I was like, obviously, I’m not doing enough to make this work and I’m gonna do you know, no matter how inconvenient it is, like, there is, you know if it ensures that this never happens again, is it really an inconvenience? Right? Like, oh, this is tougher…

Andrew Love: Yeah, priorities.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, priorities right, exactly. I’m just like, what is numero uno? So I had Covenant Eyes, and Covenant Eyes is and was awesome. And I use that and I put, yeah, so I had Covenant Eyes and I was working but you know, you can still, there, you know, I had my, my smart phone. And because, you know, I was working for a tech company online, I just work 100% remotely, still working 100% remotely. And I was just like, oh, I can’t not have a smart phone because, you know, like work and stuff and I, you know, the issues not the phone or anything, it’s me and stuff. And so I can just like, you know, take care of it. But, you know, I work remotely I work, work home alone and it can get isolating and difficult. So yeah, I mean, there was my phone and I was going to like Reddit, I don’t know, just like working around and stuff, you know, I think even, I just went straight to porn sites sometimes, though, with much, much, much, much, much, much less frequency than before I was married like, yeah, but so yeah, at that point I was just like, okay, there’s no question like phone’s gotta go. I’m like, whether I work with it or not like, I can and I will figure out a way. So I told my wife “Hey, right now, let’s go, I’m comfortable with just getting rid of my smart phone right now. You take it.” Like I grounded myself, I was like, “Take my smart phone. I don’t want to, like touch it. See it. Let’s get a, let’s get a flip phone.” Like that will get rid of this one kind of tempting (inaudible) because Covenant Eyes pretty much secure my computer. I was like, let’s get rid of the phone. You know, so then, yeah, she took my phone and I was like, you know, for work, I’m gonna have to use your phone a little bit, maybe download a couple apps. So I can like, add some emails or log into some things, but like, I found a way and you’ll find a way like, I don’t think, if I could do it, working 100% remotely, was that, like I, I think, you know, there are workarounds, if you can find ways around porno – pornographic kind of like blockades and stuff. You can find a way around, you know, not having a device like, you’ll be fine.

Andrew Love: Sure, sure.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah. So I did that.

Andrew Love: Yeah, the same skill set can be used to, for self destruction or self edification. Right?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, totally.

Andrew Love: You can use that craftiness to get around pornography or to get to pornography.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Exactly. And, and I really I like it actually. Because when I had my smart phone on me work was, work was always in my pocket. You know, but now like it’s on my computer, it’s in a very specific time and place. And like, I don’t know, I just don’t get all these random dings and buzzes like, I think it’s totally cool like, I hate texting on, on like flip phones but like, it drives me nuts but so it’s basically like a glorified pager now, if I get a text from somebody, then I’ll read it and then I’ll respond to them on messenger. But like, you know, there, there are workarounds and stuff and, and that helped (inaudible). I also, when we came back, I was like, I’ve got to check in with like a group of guys. I’m in the middle of Tennessee there aren’t, there’s not any kind of church community that I’m really close to or guys my age. So, you know, I was like, okay, like, we’d gone to a Christian church with some friends before in the past that we liked and I was like, okay, let me just look around online for Men’s groups, like guys who, like are, you know, studying how to become, you know, are working through sexual integrity issues from a biblical perspective. I was like, even if like, I’ve never done one of those small groups or stuff, it’s just like, you know, I put my wife in such a position that I did not think and don’t feel like it’s fair to be like, oh, like going to this small group. I don’t know, it makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like talking about these things and like, Oh, smart phones (inaudible)…

Andrew Love: You lost the privilege to complain.

Seijin Tranber: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I’ll just like, I was like, there, there is no, like, there’s no debate here. Like this is not up for debate. And she didn’t talk to like, that is something that I subscribe to. And, and it’s been good. Every, you know, they’re, they’re, you know, I haven’t watched pornography in seven or six months or; and there’s been a couple of like masturbatory episodes but, but I do like, you know, I get I’m, I’m getting better at communicating how I’m feeling and you know, even just like sexually with my wife and if the Internet’s pulling my attention this way or that way and I was spending a lot of time on like Facebook and Reddit and Instagram so I like, you know, use Covenant Eyes to blacklist those sites so I couldn’t even visit you know, those types of things anymore. I’ve since uplifted or lifted the bans, self imposed bans on Reddit and Facebook for, kind of work purposes, but Reddit is off limits. I’m completely fine with that Reddit, you’ll be fine without Reddit. My wife has the Covenant Eyes password, so I can’t change you know, any settings or anything, and yeah, yeah, it’s really good. I think sometimes like we’re giving recommendations like “Oh get this program and it’ll solve your problems this or that”. But like, you really have to be the master of your (inaudible) and like have to customize, you know, your environment is an environment, like, for you. It is a custom tailored like environment, nobody’s experiencing your environment like you are, from your perspective. You’ve got to like, find things that work for you. And you know, just reapply that creativity and that craftiness into controlling yourself. It’s kind of actually really fun. There’s this really, sweet sort of freedom that comes with discipline and structures that, that I’ve really come to appreciate. And so you might be a little brain dead and not have ways to like oh, I don’t know how to like, customize my environment to control myself. But you know, so hopefully this has kind of this gives people certain ideas of things to do or not to do. But you know, I’m also really cool with like talking to people about how to make it, how to make these things work.

Andrew Love: It sounds like you’re crafting a very cool life because you have a clear purpose. Yeah, you want to serve the wife that you committed to. And that’s very honorable and very cool.

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: And I don’t know if the listeners will hear in the edit, but there is a baby in the background for a bit. So he’s, you know, he’s juggling a lot. And he’s just trying to, he’s trying to make it. And in this modern world, it’s like, it’s, there, if there ever was a manual for life, it has, it has been digitized. And now there is, there’s absolutely nothing because the world is recreating itself. So, it’s kind of like we just have to define who we want to be in this ever-changing world. And that, that doesn’t have to change, right?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah.

Andrew Love: How you show up, it doesn’t matter your environment. It’s who you are. So it’s really cool. I’m glad, I’m glad we got to catch up and I’m glad we got to, a lot of really good nuggets in here that I hope you guys got a lot out of out there in cyberspace. Do you have any last bits of wisdom that you want to leave people with? Or do you have some hip hop album that you’re releasing that you want to plug or something?

Seijin Tranberg: Yeah, don’t know hip hop album but if you liked this podcast, then smash that subscribe and like button. Andrew didn’t pay me to say that. Yeah, if I think people can find me through you. I have like email or Facebook. My name is really weird. It’s spelled kind of funny, but, yeah, yes, shoot me a message if anyone’s interested, but I think in the personal sphere, you know, I’m just trying to be the best husband and dad that I can be right now. And if I have some personal project, I want to plug in the future I’ll, I’ll ask for a reappearance. How about that?

Andrew Love: Yeah, we’ll help you out there, buddy with your autobiography. Everything that Seijin has in his life is something that you can have as well. And it’s, it’s a matter of what are you willing to fight for? What habits are you, are you gonna chisel into your, your invisible self and make them the new self that you’re recreating yourself as so? Thank you, Seijin, for your amazing words and for all your efforts.

Seijin Tranberg: Thank you.

Andrew Love: Thank you, everybody, for listening always. If you like us, give us a review. If you hate us, send us an email and we’ll resolve it there and we’ll talk to you soon.


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