FreedHearts

FreedHearts

Changing the human conversation of love and inclusion. Susan Cottrell is the Mom of two LGBTQ children; the founder of FreedHearts; an international speaker with a viral TEDx talk; a pastor and theologian; an acclaimed author; and a fierce advocate and ally. In her unique tender, relatable style, Susan is a prominent voice of unconditional love and lavish inclusion. Powerful, authentic, and relevant in today’s society, Susan has a lot to say. The Advocate calls her their “Favorite Affirming Matriarch.” OutSmart magazine calls her "The Mother of all MamaBears!" Reverend Ashley Harness from Auburn Seminary says, “Susan has this fierce, loving, don’t mess with me, Mom vibe.” If you have been excluded, or if someone close to you has been excluded because of who they are or who they love - or maybe you have been the one doing the excluding - the FreedHearts podcast is for you. Join Susan, along with her husband Rob, on the journey. You are not alone. Welcome home!... Show More

Episodes

February 24, 2021 32 min

The teaching of contempt, the teach of “us vs them,” has seeped into our culture and thinking. 

There’s no magic answer to fix it, and it has taken root in our lives, in society. So, what can we do? 

In this powerful episode, we discover how to recognize and deal with contempt in our lives - that we are receiving and that we are giving. This episode is about beginning to truly see ourselves and each other. 

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February 17, 2021 31 min

If you could write a love letter to your past self - to little Susie Q or little Bobby - what would you say?  And if you could write a love letter to your future self - in 10, 20, 30 years - what would you say?

In this episode, we talk about the thread of love running through your life, what may be hindering that, and how we can free our hearts to love and be loved - as we deserve. 

The most important love you will give or receive is...

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February 10, 2021 31 min

How often do you find yourself responding to the same old questions and hurtful comments from non-affirming people?

In this episode, we discuss why you should never waste your time, never waste your heart debating with, or explaining yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you. It can be toxic!

You don't deserve it, and we'll talk about how we can respond instead. 

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By the time Susan turned 24, both her parents and three brothers had died! She had been relentlessly bullied; and was married and divorced.

This personal, intimate episode is for those of us who have experienced pain and heart-breaking loss, and how to turn that into heart-freeing love.

Susan opens up and shares her heart and her incredible story in this special episode.  

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So much pain has been inflicted in the name of God. We have been deeply hurt, we get triggered and we want nothing to do with Jesus. But what has been used to hurt us has been absolute lies and is not really about God or Jesus!

One of the worst things that ever happened to Jesus was the religion of Christianity, and non-affirming Christianity has largely gotten him wrong. Jesus is still one of the best-kept secrets because his truth...

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In this beautiful, intimate episode, Susan talks openly about her decision to have her breasts and ovaries removed as part of her battle with cancer, and how it impacted her femininity.

"I learned the power of loving my body. I learned how much I took my body for granted and how much more I wanted to love it. We have tied our femininity so much to our body -- our shape, our size, our sexiness -- a lot about how others see us. A...

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December 23, 2020 27 min

In a beautiful, very special holiday episode, we share three stories - one from Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple; one from Sandra Cisneros; and a unique retelling of the Biblical story for us outliers, the rest of us. 

I hope these unwrap the way we see and celebrate this Christmas holiday season.  

It is about reconstructing Christmas in the midst of a deconstructing faith. 

Celebrating for the rest of us. 

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December 16, 2020 33 min

Why do parents struggle with loving their LGBTQ children?  The false teachings and faulty arguments that lead parents to reject their LGBTQ children. 

Why do LGBTQ struggle with internalized homophobia, with loving themselves? The false teachings and faulty arguments that lead LGBTQ people to reject themselves. 

Important information; and a tender, powerful message on how to respond to those who use these false teachings to hurt us. 

...

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December 9, 2020 37 min

Our first visit to the FreedHearts Podcast Inbox! 

In this special episode we answer questions we have received from our listeners. I am pretty sure you have heard them, or even asked them yourself!

Questions about supporting an LGBTQ person who is in the middle of a very non-affirming environment; talking to anti-gay pastors and church leaders; the difference between a welcoming and a truly affirming church; microaggressions; when i...

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“My child is walking away from God!”
“I know I don’t believe what I used to but I don’t know what I believe now!”
“How can I believe in God at all anymore?”


What happens when your faith starts to change?

Deconstructing our faith is letting go of any part of whatever you believe that does NOT tell you that you are absolutely, unconditionally acceptance, included, loved and beloved.

It can be scary and feel overwhelming.  But it is one ...

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Have you been uninvited to a holiday or family gathering?  

Is that kind of event the last place you would want to be because of things that are said or just because of how you are made to feel?  

Let’s talk about how to navigate difficult family situations, and also about options for when you can’t, or don’t want to go home for the holidays. 

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How do we deal with infuriating family fanatics?  

When we are afraid, angry, and even hurt, how do we love people we don’t even like that much? 

What does that mean, and what does it not mean? 

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November 11, 2020 30 min

What a time it has been! We have been through a lot, almost like going through a war together. Many of us are exhausted! 

And for a lot of you, all of this is in addition to the daily rejection and hurt we receive from family and friends - just because you are LGBTQ.  

Now is the perfect time for self care. 

Now is the perfect time for a love letter… to ourselves.  

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Even the most optimistic people, this year is doing a number on us. It seems as if every day something else is happening – wildfires, floods, protests, politics, racial tension, and deaths and suffering on so many levels from COVID.

Our emotional and mental health is fragile. We just can’t seem to get our footing. And it just keeps piling up.

We are stressed, afraid, angry. The present is overwhelming and unbelievably painful and dif...

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There has been so much hurt justified “in the name of love.” We all think we’re loving, so why do so many people feel unloved? 

What is love, really? The answer may surprise you. We will give you the definition of love in 14 beautiful, powerful words.

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In this episode, we talk about one of the two deadliest teachings in all of humanity.

It is at the heart of our division.

It is responsible for some of history’s most brutal treatment of ethnic groups, religious groups, women, LGBTQ; and it is rampant today.

What is it and what can we do? 

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We have gone from being leaders in the evangelical church to fully affirming parents of two LGBTQ children, as well as fierce advocates and allies.

Our faith evolved without asking our permission.

What can you expect on a journey that asks you to deconstruct your faith? How does that impact our core beliefs and our community?

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Our first daughter came out more than 10 years ago. We started FreedHearts in 2013 and have reached millions of parents and LGBTQ. After all this time, why a podcast and why now?

Who are we, why we are doing a podcast, and who is this podcast for?

Our focus is to change the human conversation on love and inclusion - so what does that mean? 

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