The first clue that Aaron Rodgers would spend a lot of time talking about love (not Jordan) came during the twice-reigning MVP’s first press conference of training camp. Asked to explain what currently motivates him, Rodgers said, “Love, probably.”
Love, actually, has become the theme in recent days for Rodgers. From the ayahuasca podcast to his comments to Peter King of Football Morning in America, Rodgers is talking a lot about a four-letter word that can be said on FCC-regulated broadcasts.
“I love myself a lot better so it’s easier to love other people and give them forgiveness and not jump on somebody’s ass if they make a mistake,” Rodgers told King.
The key was the ayahuasca.
“I think it’s unlocked a lot of my heart,” Rodgers said. “Being able to fully give my heart to my teammates, my loved ones, relationships because I can fully embrace unconditionally myself. Just didn’t do that for a long time. I was very self-critical. When you have so much judgment on yourself it’s easy to transfer that judgment to other people. When you figure out a better way to love yourself, I think you can love people better because you’re not casting the same judgment you cast on yourself on other people. I’m really thankful for that.”
Following up on Rodgers making reference to loved ones, King tiptoed toward one of the most sensitive issues for one of the most sensitive players in the league. Estranged from his immediate family, can Rodgers now repair their relationships?
“Honestly, that was a big intention I brought into the second journey this offseason,” Rodgers told King. “I really felt like I wanted to surrender and open up to the medicine for some healing to come through and some direction on how to kind of go about that. And it didn’t. It didn’t necessarily. The big message was unconditionally loving myself is the key to being able to heal all relationships—with them, past relationships with lovers, whatever it might be. . . . So that gives me a lot of hope in healing at some point. There was nothing specific that came through in my three nights of journey, per se, but it was everything to learn how to love myself better because every relationship is changed from that standpoint. Including the way I look at them [family members] and the hope I have for reconciliation at some point.”
That’s the best news regarding the current status of Rodgers’s journey. Life’s too damn short, and family is the most important part of it. It’s impossible for anyone who has fractured family relationships to establish and maintain the balance needed to survive and thrive, especially in these strange times.
So here’s hoping that Rodgers is able to have that reconciliation. Until then, it will be interesting to see whether the kindler, gentler approach that Rodgers is bringing to the field will make him more effective — especially in the postseason.