We had the good fortune of connecting with J.J. Shegog and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi J.J., as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
Great question, and I think it is a question all parents have to reevaluate daily. I made the decision, to have my child; therefore, I was obligated to try and give him the best life I could. And I knew that meant healing the most parts of me I’ve protected from healing because of the pain it would unsurfaced and the change it required. Some people believe a person’s life doesn’t have to change because they have a child. I completely disagree. I believe the best thing I could do for my child, was to not make room for my child in my current way of life but acknowledged that this child comes with a new life because he was a new life entering the world. Here’s my chance to give what I didn’t have to a child. And to do this I have to acknowledge without, blaming anyone, my defects from childhood that guided my actions and reactions in life. The best thing I have done that impacts my child’s life to the core was reparenting myself to parent him ….and that required much faith.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is very simple: healing; I want to help heal the world (lol). I know this sounds so cliche to say but I think most adults are walking around trying to heal from their childhood. There’s so many doctrines and organizations to try and decipher through because we what to find what really works. Nobody sets out to fail. And when we walk around unhealed, that open wound manifest itself in the most darkest way to the most darkest places that success and restoration seems so out of reach, then the cycles just continues down to generations.

As a teacher, I saw this 1st hand. I couldn’t blame a child for their lack, socially, emotionally, or academically. And when I met the parents, in my heart I couldn’t fault them either… it was this vicious cycle of what is called today “ trauma” that keep reading its ugly and unholy head and yet it is so much more than that..

So when I began writing, I started with the children but I wrote the books in a way that parent learns as well. As they are reading they are learning how to respond to their kids with love yet still guiding them.

I’m most proud of my writings and books. I’ve stated publicly before that I never sought out to write books, I just had a habit of writing, loved children and wanted to help people learn. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realize it’s our habits that decide our future. I simply did what I love to do. Writing found me. My personal story is simple: be bold enough to face yourself, forgive and release (because we tend to forgive without releasing it) and choose your habits from your passions and plan to do them. If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh wow, I’m a native to Chicago, and it is still one of my favorite places to visit probably because of the Shed Aquarium, itself. I love seeing animals, I mean their so in their natural mind that they don’t even know their not clothed (lol).

The best people to be around is little kids because they will tell you the truth. I mean don’t have a bad hair day and go around kids because you will hear about it. But at the same time I think that realness is precious. Because at that same token, if a child tell you, you’re beautiful- you know it’s true and if a child tells you your breath stinks and more then likely true. It’s the innocence of truth that is the salt of the world- persevere it.

My favorite food would hands down be anything Mexican and not the texmex versions but authentic one!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d definitely like to credit my 1st century Rabbi’s teachings, the lord Jesus Christ.

I call him that because the culture today sometimes miss this point. Amongst others, He was a in fact a teacher. And from my experiences from being a teacher myself, I know that to be the foundation to life because right and sound teachings brings understanding that leads to application.
Without his guidance, words, wisdom and sacrifice, I wouldn’t be here.

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Image Credits
Jessica Toles

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