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Pastor | Mother | Health Coach | Spiritual Director| Trauma Therapist in Training

Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

If you find yourself in cycles of being “up” and “down” — at the top of the world or being crushed by it, stop. You’re probably not bipolar or experiencing a mental health crisis. You’re not crazy.

As tempting as it may be in moments to throw up your hands, find the most competent adult in your life, shake their shoulders and say,
“Just, tell me what to do?!” — that won’t help.

You’re stuck on the wheel.

Photo by Leroy Evans on Unsplash

Life on the wheel feels completely out of control. One day you are on…

Your status doesn’t keep you from healing, loving, pouring yourself into the world’s goodness.

What if every time you felt something, it was your body showing you that you are loved?

It’s exasperating, isn’t it, being human? We tout messages about the importance of self-care, kindness, and calls to be “decent human beings” because our country, our world is falling apart.

It’s not impossible, but it is challenging to fill from an empty cup.

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

Who is taking from yours?

We run around thinking there’s never enough time, enough money, enough of anything to accomplish what we aspire to or what the need is in a given moment.

*Not a veiled attempt to proselytize.

Photo by Ana Itonishvili on Unsplash

We have magazines and images all over the internet telling us what we should aspire to in our physical health. With our collective trauma from the Pandemic, mental health is finally getting the attention and normalizing of resources it deserves. But there is a part of ourselves that can still feel empty. These other two areas of ourselves impact that; there is a huge resource and conversation gap around our spiritual selves.

What Is My “Spiritual Self”?

The Greeks believed in a divided self — the physical body and the spiritual soul. …

It goes beyond the “F” word.

Forgiveness isn’t enough.

When someone has wronged you (or you’ve wronged someone), depending on the depth of the pain, there can be a sense of nothing ever being enough to cover the hole, fill the void, make things even.

“An eye for an eye” is the old wisdom. You wrong me, I take an equal pain from you. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” later teaching would caution. What is justice? Do people ever get what they deserve? Should we?

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

To make the call for “Justice!” in the streets or…

Photo by Clare Smallwood on Unsplash

Years ago, I attended a conference of Christian Educators with the theme “Sankofa: Flying forward, looking back” and throughout the week we explored what it would look like to equip people in their faith to go into the future without losing sight of the past. The word Sankofa is from the Akan tribe in Ghana that names the truth: it is not taboo/shameful to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.”

For the last almost two years, I’ve wrestled with what it meant that just shy of my 25th birthday, the church ordained me as a Minister of…

A story told in poem of disorienting and reorienting belief.

When a minister moves home
the stoles get folded in the back seat,
tossed about on the bed
and hung up in the closet
next to the board games
and yearbooks of her youth.

When a minister moves home
the calling turns into a job.
A theology of benefits
transforms to health insurance.
The luster wears off.
What am I doing again?
Why am I here?

Photo by Onur Bahçıvancılar on Unsplash

A liturgy has been made of my existence.
Liturgy: the work of the people.
Breaking out of it now,
letting those people no longer be my people,

Some relationships need to end, including that weird one you’ve had with the divine.

Problem: A limited picture of who “God” is in your life keeps you spiritually blocked from meaning and purpose.

Symptoms: When asked about your spiritual life/faith, your first inclination is, “nah.”

Photo by Daniel Herron on Unsplash

You look at others with faith and wonder if there’s something deficient in you that you can’t have that too. You notice the feeling of anger washing over you in the presence of white men with beards or blonde-haired, blue-eyed, long haired men as if they are to blame for “looking like” the God you…

How can you tell that the storm is over?

After every rain, somewhere, no matter how faint, comes a bow in the clouds.

Photo by Brian Taylor on Unsplash

Following a difficult event, there comes a place of silence, peace, gratitude even, that you are no longer the person who entered that storm. One wise teacher said (maybe Oprah?) that we can say something no longer has power over us when we can authentically thank it for being a part of our lives.

That advice has been a buoy on the sea of crashing waves for me, wondering in some moments if one could will themselves…

Photo by John Thomas on Unsplash

“Time heals all wounds.”

Or does it?

Time holds space for us to process events of our lives.
That space can be healing.

Here’s a thought exercise:

Growing through adversity is an opportunity to check your privilege.

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

When you go through a trauma (friends, here’s a reminder of what the definition of trauma is: anything that happens too fast, that is too much and too soon), there’s a really natural thing that happens in which you become the center of your own universe.

Move over sun, it’s time for everything to revolve around YOU.

We need to hydrate, rest, and meditate/write/reflect when healing from a hard thing. What seems traumatic to you, may not be traumatic to someone else.

You know healing is happening when you can…

Elaine Murray

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