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Showing posts from June, 2016

Going Through Grief - The Pulse Shooting Memorial

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  Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”  ―  Audre Lorde A week ago, I was still really struggling and sad about The Pulse Shooting.  Ok, so I'm still struggling and sad about it but I was much more so that day.  I decided to do a memorial service during the two LGBT support groups that I facilitate where I work  and I had written something long and angry.  Fortunately, I had a therapy session before the service and it was so helpful.  "I want you to feel how connected you are," my therapist said.  She reminded me that I needed to be part of my community, the importance of not hiding and taking care of myself.  I felt bolstered up, being reminded of the interconnectedness of all people and I left knowing that I needed to rewrite my service.  I majorly edited what I wrote, which was a mix-match of several blog posts, and ended it with a question about self-care.  In our quest to make sense of the h

Going Through Grief

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The point of DBT is not to be perfect. The point of DBT is not to never feel pain. I am grieving.   The best way to feel better when something tragic has happened is to allow yourself to go through the grief. Ignore the grief and it will gradually catch up with you. I am grieving The Pulse shooting. I feel like the world is no longer safe. But it was never that safe to begin with. I worry. I go to a church with a large gay population, plus our minister is a lesbian.  What if it gets blown up?  My church is both a safe space and it is not. I lead two LGBT support groups where I work.  What if someone comes in shooting? These are questions, anxieties, that I have had that have gone unspoken until now. Unless you are LGBT, you do not know the fear I feel when I go to church or when I agreed to lead not one, but two, LGBT support groups. The point of DBT is not to never be anxious but not to be crippled by it. The best way to allow myself freedom is to let myself grieve. I give myself perm

Unchurching by Richard Jacobson - Book Review

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Return to the Lord your God, for [S]he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and [S]he relents from doing harm.  Joel 2:13 Speakeasy sent me the book, Unchurching: Christianity Without Churchianity  by Richard Jacobson .  Here is my review:   If I could sum up this book in one word, it would be, “unity.”  It is what the church needs to be and why so many are leaving it.   If I could sum up this book in one phrase, it would be, “the priesthood of all believers.”  All the members of a church are capable of leading and teaching church members.  In fact, it is our responsibility and we are all equal in this.   Why don’t we do this?  As Richard Jacobson points out, “we desperately want someone  else to take responsibility for our relationship with God” and I think this is true.  He also says that, “the church was never meant to become a corporation.[…] the way to unlock  our calling as a genuine church community is to remain focused on Christ, not by becoming di

All I Have Are Questions - The Pulse Shooting

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Moreover, the Kingdom is not somewhere else, rather it is among you, inside you, and outside you.  Neither is it some time in the future, for it is here, spread out on the earth; people just do not see it. ~  Marcus Borg I pass as straight most of the time and so I have a lot of privilege in many ways.  But still, I possess a lot of fear related to my queerness.  It is a level of fear that I think a lot of people don't realize.  For instance, for the past sixteen years I have attended a church with a lesbian minister that is attended by a lot of LGBTQ people, which means that for the past sixteen years I have feared that someone will bomb or otherwise terrorize the place where I worship.  That may sound extreme to some but hate-filled shootings and bombings are on the rise and have been for a while now.  I don't have ease of mind before telling someone about my pansexual poly relationship for the first time.  I have not had any negative reactions so far but I know I will on

Emotion Regulation Insights Week 2

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Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life - and place it before God as an offering. (The Message Bible 331) In week 2, we looked at the model for describing emotions. We all have preexisting vulnerabilities (triggers).  Almost immediately, we interpret the event.  This is where we hold the most power, as it is our interpretation that determines how we feel. The interpretation brings on biological changes, such as hot flashes, headaches, sweat.  Our facial expressions, body language, words, and action change in response to our emotion brought on by the interpretation.  This brings on secondary emotions.  Another event occurs and the process starts all over again. And so... Feelings make a lot of sense. Knowledge is power. Once we know, we can change. The goal is to use mindfulness in order to slow down in order to determine the original interpretation of an event and to widen the possibilities.   Oftentimes we assume that

My Biggest Wish For NAMI Parents

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Last night I did a presentation for a bunch of parents at a NAMI Family to Family class .  It was a great experience - I really love talking to parents.  Here is what I wrote on Facebook about it:   Wonderful time sharing my story tonight.  However, my biggest wish for NAMI is to stop being so medication driven.  People are holistic beings, not problems needing to be fixed.  Many parents seem to view their children as problems, which is sad.  I've started becoming more blunt with parents about how to approach their often adult children. Don't lecture. Dialogue is healing. Don't focus on the medication, focus on the person.  Ask what's holding you back?  There may be a valid reason why someone doesn't want to do something. Love. Validate.  Communicate. Don't lecture. Dialogue is healing.   We are all different people who need different things-just because I take medication doesn't mean that the next person needs it too. I can't decide what another person

Spiritual Happiness

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Here are today's reflections based on chapter 13 of Tobit. Tobit 13:6b See the wonders God has worked for you, and thank God at the top of your lungs. This song of praise reminds me of my gratitude practice and why it is so important to always be grateful for something.  It is called practice for a reason.  Doing a gratitude practice consistently has changed my heart from looking for the negative to looking for the positive, which has helped my state of mind and helped my relationship with God. Today I am even thankful for my misery for it prompted me to take action and change.  People who never truly feel their pain become complacent and do not grow. Tobit 13:10b May God bring happiness to all the exiles and show love to those of us who are suffering, for all generations and all times. The more I read the Bible, the less Biblical evidence I see for the ways of Trump and other fear-mongers on keeping exiles, immigrants and refugees out of our country.  God wants us to br