I've had the pleasure of interviewing Cathy before and I always feel so inspired after talking with her. Not only is she passionate about the work she does but she's a walking, talking testimony to the power of faith in restoring the deepest wounds to our emotional, psychological and physical well being. She is a SURVIVOR in every sense of the word and she has not only survived her own trauma but now she works tirelessly to help others survive their own. Join Cathy and I as we explore the nature of trauma and the nature of the denial that is perpetrated by those responsible for causing trauma in others. Cathy is not only a wealth of knowledge but also a powerful advocate for victims of abuse and a persecutor of those who would prefer these sorts of problems stay buried instead of being brought out in the light.
Cathy worked as a consultant for many years by assisting numerous not-for-profit organizations to raise money to do work in communities that fills a desperate need. She has also given speeches and conducted workshops around the country specializing in fundraising techniques as well as help trauma survivors recover. Her current full-time project is Gather My Lost Sheep, which focuses on helping trauma survivors return to Catholic parishes and to restore their faith in Christ. She did this as a result of realizing that Priests aren't always trained in this and aren't sure what to do. In addition, stigma keeps the laity from talking about mental health issues. This results in Impacted families feeling isolated. Cathy became convinced that this isn't who the Church is meant to be. Gather My Lost Sheep strives to teach people to ask "How do I accompany someone who is hurting? How can I be Christ to them?"
Over 70% of the population has experienced trauma. The events and isolation in 2020 have simply added to the strain on our mental health. Cathy decided to rethink evangelization and pastoral care when she saw the impact on people living with trauma and their mass exodus from the Church. As a national speaker working with US bishops and priests, she has talked about leadership in the Church at the parish and diocesan level. She brings technical knowledge and lived experience to this conversation.
Oh and by the way, the icons for this week's and next week's shows are both pieces of Art that Cathy painted as part of her journey to health and well being. If you'd like to see more paintings from Cathy check out this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0lvzlrbgo7ufzvg/AABDJucrJRBX4_csVOtuiQoua?dl=0
Welcome to frame of reference informed intelligent conversations about the issues and challenges facing everyone in today's world, in depth interviews with SOC counties, leaders and professionals to help you expand and inform your frame of reference brought to you by the max FM digital network. Now, here's your host, Rauel LaBreche.
Well, welcome to another edition of frame of reference, where we try to talk about local issues that have global significance. And the today's show is obviously not an exception to that because the topic is something that people all over the world deal with. My guest is Kathy limbs, the founder of a organization entitled gather my lost sheep. And as the title would suggest, it is a Christian organization that was formed within her own diocese and her own stems from her own Catholic faith and her desire to heal people help heal people that have dealt with some significant trauma in their life. And significant is all about the the trauma II, it's, we all have different things that will traumatize us, and that's okay, what your trauma is not my trauma and vice versa. What's important is that you recognize that you do have this trauma and how it's affecting you and what you can do about it. So that's part of what we we need to talk about. So Kathy, again, welcome to part two of our two part interview. So thanks again, so much for joining me, thank you these, these conversations are always so illuminating for me, and I Oh, gosh, I was I was I was not a good person there. So I need to go back and fix that somehow, as well as my own things, you know, thinking about my mom and dad arguing and not realizing how much that really did impact me because I still remember things. So clearly. Anyways, when we were wrapping up, last week's episode you we were talking about peer support, and how important it is to not get trained professionals in these groups that are supporting people. But to just queue the rest of us the people that have a heart that wants to help serve that wants to deal with their own trauma and help others to deal with theirs. What tell me more about that peer support network and how you set it up.
So there's a couple of things I want to put out. There's, there's working with our church members to say how do we be smarter supporters, many Christ's as I say, because gosh, if you look at the ministry of Christ, he spent a lot of time healing. And in creating that healing space being being present to that and training
people to do that to be that apostles, come on WhatsApp, repeat that whole process over and over and over again, disciples, hello.
So there's the greater church population. And then there's also the opportunity for peer support, where people who live with and are dealing with and want doing their own recovery, walk around trauma, to involve them in leadership roles, as well as to involve them and say, like support groups, and other programs, this is a time where they can help build trust and collaboration, because they're talking about their own experience. I always like to refer to it this way of Who better than to talk to talk to the caterpillars than the butterfly. Because the butterflies like Been there done that I realized it's terrifying, I realized, it looks pretty terrible to be going into that cacoon. And yes, you will become mush before you get wings and come out the other side. But you will develop wings and come out the other side. So it's having that person and those people who have that opportunity to actually provide that peer support. And what's so interesting to me, as I look at different support groups is that often most of them are led by peer trained other folks in recovery, actually taking advantage of that opportunity. And what I love about that is they said, you know, people who are in that position when they actually compared that to actual therapists, there's some things that they are pretty equal with on therapy. But there are other things like encouraging people to go into treatment, to actually take their medication, to think about what life skills they can use, that will help make their daily life better. They actually score better in the research than some of the therapists, you know. And again, it's the nothing wrong with therapists, they have a place at a time, but there's a place at a time for peers as well. We want to make sure that we bring folks in. And it's interesting, because in some ways, some of the church folks are like, yes, but they have mental illness issues. And I'm like, Uh huh. There are a lot of people who do and that does not mean that they have nothing to contribute. And I once said to me, if you don't see the target population that you're trying to work with in the planning and leadership, you should really question the recommendations. We should have some concerns about what you're putting forward
when it strikes me that you should question what Your real motivations are in the whole thing. Because it's not me I think of it like an apprenticeship program almost right? I mean, who, who better to train apprentices and how to do electrical work than somebody who's done a lot of electrical work and has seen it through up now. Not that a professional who has the objectivity and that's probably one of the best things that a therapist can bring to a relationship is objectivity, breadth of knowledge, breadth of resources, that you know, will help a person that is ready to deal with and has been dealing with those things. But I keep coming back to this whole idea of how much courage and how much energy it takes to want to confront and go through the mush process. i That's a beautiful analogy. I love that, you know, the butterfly comes in, hey, I know this is tough, but look at me. Okay? Not that I necessarily want. I'm no monarch butterfly myself. But I did. I'm been mushing for a while. So how, how do you help a person? And I know you've talked about safety? But what does a safety environment look like? And how can I? If I have people and I know I do have people that have suffered significant trauma in their lives? How can I best keep myself from doing things that will short circuit, a safety environment that safety or worship
re traumatize them? Yeah. Um, it's giving them the space. And someone said to me, Well, can I have them tell their stories? Only if they choose to not because you requested on demand read telling their stories can actually re traumatize people? Because they were like, Well, can you like, and I actually, it's funny in the settings, I was in church, as well as in the fundraising committee, they're like, We want people to tell their stories. And who's there for them after that, because sometimes things that they haven't thought about settling their down thinking about again, and y'all have gone home. And that's all now come back to roost. And they haven't really thought about how I'm going to deal with that part of it. Right?
Like when they're like, sorry, and then the doctor goes home. Right? So So is that
just like, don't make them tell their story unless they choose to right? Give them the space to decide which way they want to go on that
one, then what's the scenario? Some people want to tell their story, it seems to anyone that will listen, what about the person that you know? Yeah, yeah, thank you in too much information, right, which is, I think, another place because that's our own protection, our own amygdala getting a no, no, no, no, no, I don't want to go here. I know what happens with these situations, they're going to get all they're going to start weeping, I don't want to deal with weeping whatever, right.
And those cases, it becomes the let's talk about what might be an appropriate time to share that particular story. I don't know if you're familiar with wise, it's the Wisconsin Initiative for stigma elimination. It's a number of different mental health organizations that have come together, and they have formed an organization. So they can do training with people who live with mental health challenges, to help them tell their story. And once they've gone through training, they can then decide, do I want to do that? Or do I not want to do that. And if I do, here are the things that will make you most effective, to help in advocacy, in help and support to help other people understand more about mental illness. So it's a training that we've actually did out of the Glenn after following the gathering of mental health back when we were doing those kinds of retreats, we invited them in, and they spent the day taking people who had signed up to go through that training, just to have that opportunity. And they said, even though you've gone through this training that does not obligate you to have to tell your story. But now you know, what might need to go in a story how to phrase it, you've had a chance to practice it, you can think about what makes the most sense at that sense of time. And it's a huge thing. I mean, you never know where that's going to show up. Because when I talked at the gathering on mental health, I talked about like some of those issues. And just this last year, I mean, that was, you know, back in 2016 2017, just this past earlier this year, I actually had someone come up to me from the community and they said, I know you may not remember this, but you spoke at that on the conference. I went and got I went into therapy because of what you said you were so willing to talk about what you needed and what that would involve and what it would mean if someone goes in for treatment. They're like, that made all the difference for me. I went my life is better, because I went and got the care that I needed. If you hadn't spoken up and said that I would have never done it. And I think that's the other part is helping people feel safe to go to get the medical treatment and care that they may need. We have the chance to be first responders, but it would help us to know, who are the resources in our area. And that's the biggest thing I hear from churches like, we don't know where to send out, we don't know what to do, right? Like, you know what, contact your county health department, most of them have their list of all the mental health providers in your county, in a PDF electronic form, you can download that habit available at your church have extra copies there. So if people come in, because the research shows that if people aren't starting to develop and have problems with mental health, one of the first places they go are churches. Right. So it behooves us as parish secretaries, as the ministers as the whoever to actually know where the resources are. The other place I would recommend people go is to Nami. And Nami actually has a peer to peer training. It's a free eight week educational program for people with mental health conditions. And so that they can then in turn, help support and educate and talk more about this particular issue.
When I know I'm SOC pre Hospital Foundation, I believe is doing a Mental Health First Aid Clinic and has done them a number of times in Sauk. County area. And that's another thing but look for mental health first aid courses.
And that's good for everybody. Yeah, because what they do, as a first responder posted the time, like the pair secretaries and the others, like, when they show up here, like every week, I don't want to deal with them. I call the police I call the I'm like, Okay, let's just take a step back, they're gonna take you through it and help you understand the different types of mental illness, and what's happening, why it's happening, and what are the best things that I can say and do in that moment, it will not make you a medical professional. It takes way longer than you know, an eight hour day of training to do that. But they will take you through and help you know what to say. And I had one person say, well, it's so long. And I'm like, well, in some cases, they help you know what to say for say someone's thinking about suicide. I would rather make sure that you don't just get talked out about what it is. But you actually have time to practice what words would you say to them? And she's like, Oh, I would rather that I have a chance to practice. Because now that you say that I'm like, that's part of that eight hours is there making sure you're ready. So that you can in fact, intervene. It's not just about getting the information. It's practicing the skills so that you can do that part, right,
it makes me think of all the plays that I've directed in, you know, people come and enjoy the performance, like, oh, my god, that was so fantastic. And they have no clue how much work it takes, you know, that six weeks or seven weeks or eight weeks of rehearsal, you know, spent learning and doing blocking, learning, whatever. And then you know, it comes out with this final thing and you go home, that's wonderful. Same basic principle, right, we have to spend the time no pain, no gain, you know, basically comes down to?
Well, it goes back to the very thing we're talking here, because some of them are like, can you just come in and do an introductory program for our cover everything in an hour? And I'm sure we'll be all better? And I'm like, no, no, that's actually why we want to talk to you about Parrish mentoring, because part of the first step is figuring out in that planning stage, assessing, where are you now doing some focus groups with some of the people who live with this challenge, who can give you some feedback on exactly where you're doing well, and maybe where you need to look, when you think about the core elements, your environment, your activities, your policies and procedures, how you communicate with people, they could give you some direct comments right away, about what kind of things that you might be able to improve on taking that feedback, then lets you take a look and say, so what is it we must want to do? Where are the areas because if they give you a whole bunch of stuff, you can't take care of all of it at once. It would be too overwhelming for any congregation any parish, right? So it's like, let's create a plan then of what are we going to do a year one? What are we going to do in year two? What are we going to do in year three, but the biggest thing is to get you start to thinking about this is why they're acting out in this way. This is what we don't know what it is that they've experienced. But universally, we know a large number of people have experienced trauma, what can I help do to help people feel safe? And what kind of things can I implement in a way that makes a difference? And then I'm going to go into part three of that parish mentoring, which is to say, so then let's make sure we embed this in our evangelization conversation in our form, we have missionary disciples, and our pastoral care. It's not just our structure and our things. It's the how do we make this a part of everyday life not just in our church building, but for everybody who's going out into the world because cuz that's, of course, what we're trying to do with missionary disciples.
And that all of that takes time. That's not a one hour deal, which is hard because we're we you can see just the Burger King mentality approaching this very complex situation. No, I can't just give you a hamburger, and you know, send you on your merry way, you know, and I know you want it your way, because we've been conditioned in America. I can have it my way hold the picket pickles, you know, it's like, no, because the pickles are extremely important with this hamburger. Okay, so anyways, my guest today is Kathy Lindsey, the founder of gather my lost sheep, which if you want to know more about gathering my lost sheep, you go to Facebook for one thing, I know that your Facebook group trauma informed parishes so you can see exactly what's going on there. We're gonna take a quick break here a word from our sponsors, and come back and try to deal with a bit more of this highly complex problem. And hopefully, we're reaching some of you that are either struggling with your own trauma or struggling with how you can help others with their trauma, or learning how to recognize what that trauma can and does look like often so don't go anywhere. We'll be right back. You're on 99 Seven Max FM's digital network and frame of reference. If winter is getting the upper hand fight back with Simplicity's, most powerful single stage snow throwers, featuring the snow shredder serrated auger, this powerful feature easily clears heavily compacted snow and ice, allowing you to clear snow faster compared with our other simplicity single stage snowblowers. Not to mention now you can finally tackle tough and complicated end of driveways snow left behind the snow plow Macfarlanes, one block south of highway 12 and 72. Carolina street wear service is a family tradition. Well, welcome back to our second part of a two part the so this is part four, discussion I've been having with Kathy Lindsey, founder of gather my lost sheep, which is a ministry and organization, nonprofit organization that has been formed specifically for helping people to seal not only to build their own wounds caused by traumas of any kind, but also to heal their relationship with God that is inevitably disrupted by trauma because it forces us to focus inward, instead of outward where God is. But he can meet us there too. So it's, it's an interesting way, the mysterious way in which the Lord works, right. But anyways, Kathy, is so much of an expert, because she's an expert on our own trauma, and has gone through some of the toughest trauma that any of us could imagine. And come out on the other side, not only with a sense of humor, but a sense of compassion, and empathy and desire to help. And I go there, Kathy, because I firmly believe that part of what COVID has revealed in this nation, is the abysmal lack of empathy, that there is among a large part of our population, and abysmal lack of ability to be compassionate, and try to understand those that are different than what I call the other isation spectrum of human personality. It's much easier for me to deal with my schema of the world if I can just authorize people into categories that they fit neatly, neatly into, right, those conformational biases, I think a lot of people call them. But that same process that's protecting us, many of us, is also destroying us.
So and harming others. Yeah,
yeah. Constantly, right. So if you look at Facebook, you know, in the vitriol that gets spewed out over and over again, it's like people, people, people, come on. So part of what you're training people is the healing techniques, tool skills, whatever, but also kind of opening up that thing. So we can see. Yeah, this is ugly, there's no we're not gonna, you know, try to sugarcoat this puppy. It's ugly. So get used to it. It's like, you know, the ER room, right? You got us through some blood if you're going to work on me. Yeah.
Right. And there's the, why are they behaving this way? Why are they? And it was so interesting. I mean, I myself experienced this where I had someone earlier this year screaming at me, if you need help, you need this you need. And I'm like, okay, and I've literally being told you need more therapy, you need more, like, all right. And here's the thing, I had to like, stop and share. I had to like stop and think first, and that's one of the things I talked about here is am I going to react or am I going to respond? There's a difference. And so I was like, well, what's the difference? And I'm like, Well, if you react, you're going to just blurt out the first things that come to your mind and all of your biases, and all of your fears and all of your everything else. is now going to be thrown out on top of someone else. And it could destroy your relationships. Or you can stop, breathe. And think to yourself, I value this relationship, not just this moment and winning, what response can I give that may be most helpful at this moment? And that's not always easy. And there's that opportunity be Christ like, by golly, cuz there are times where you're like, You're that that's probably not really going to help in this moment.
Right? We have enough experience with that, I think most of us to know that that will not turn out well, right. And yet
we go there
is Oh, wow. You know, and it's
much harder to crawl back from my reaction than it is to stop and breathe, just something to think about. But that to take that time, before you respond and say, What words do I actually want to use, which may be helpful. And as I was giving that example, I was said, I would just like to explain something. I said, I'm going to point to two things. One, I gave you guys earlier a continuum of mental health. And I talked about how one end is what health and wellness, the middle is having some reactions and difficulty and the very other end is mental illness. I said, at every moment, we get to decide, am I supporting someone in wellness? By what I say and what I do? Or am I driving them towards illness? That's a really critical question to ask yourself. And I said, here's the other article that I think is so interesting. It was talking about how during COVID There are a lot of people who have lost their jobs, lost their housing lost, had health problems had this and that. That's hard for anybody. But this therapist said, but for people who already have mental health challenges, when those pillars of health and housing, and their purpose, their work, their family, their community support, when those pillars start to fall, it is incredibly difficult to maintain your mental health. They have learned coping mechanisms from working with therapists, their ability to actually do those coping mechanisms start to fail. And in that moment, just like this person who was screaming at me, we think what they need is more therapy. No, that's not what they need. What they need, is help in stabilizing the pillars of their life. So that once they have that stabilization, they can in turn, once again, use their coping mechanisms to manage and move forward in their life. And people have said to me, like, oh my gosh, that's, that's prophetic. That's and I'm like, those are the basic building blocks, that any of you in the church or anywhere else in our community, what we're asking folks to do, if you see people struggling in their mental health, first thing you should check how their pillars doing? What can I do to stabilize?
I think of Abraham Maslow's work in the hierarchy of needs. And isn't the foundational I haven't looked at that in so long, but it seems to be the first pillar or the first, the base of that pyramid is safety. So go figure. Yeah, go figure. Right. So if you don't have that sense of safety, which take away a person's home, take away their job, a lot of safety takes off when when that happens. So and then I think of like all the government programs, the government stepped in to help with that the government, you know, did a freeze on any moratorium on any evictions, you know, well, that that makes sense on one spectrum, and then you look at another spectrum and say, but now those landlords that need that money in order to pay their own bills, they're in trouble, right? So you kind of exacerbate,
and when people are trapped in their homes, and they can't interact, and they can't go out, right, your whole network of social support fails, right? That right there has caused some people to have their mental health relapse, because they've lost that social network. Well, I
think of the number of families that have been disrupted because they can't they argue when they get together, they they're arguing about these things that we're polarizing on, you know, there's the Trump supporters in the family and the Biden supporters, and then on the independents somewhere in between and in, or the the folks that believe COVID And the folks that don't believe in COVID, you know, so there's all that strife, right that who wants when they're struggling with their own mental health, who wants to go be a part of that? So and that furthers the disconnect that seems to be at the root of all of This is that disconnection from others. You just you're stuck. You're like a heroin addict that has nothing, you know, left except the next shot, which is I wanted something that makes me feel happy, right?
Which is why so often people who deal with trauma and mental health also have addiction problems, you know, because it's the anything to stop the pain. Yeah. And addiction
is really more about even further disconnection. So the people that are, you know, have those struggles, the ones that recover will say, it's because there was this one person that kept believing in me that kept you know, they, regardless of what I did, they kept trying to connect with me. And so many of us, I think, just get tired, you know, I'm tired of leaving messages, and they never get back to me, you know, well, then go over there. You know,
I always think it's fascinating how many people say, Well, if they would just call me if they need help, right, honey, if they had that ability?
Yeah. Isn't that amazing? Wow. You know, so they're lying. They're bleeding on the street with a blah, blah, blah, why don't they get up and call me? Well, because they're lying. They're bleeding in the streets, you know? So yeah, the Good Samaritan rule kind of cut comes into play there, doesn't it? So you were talking when we were at applause? Or about the article that you would read? Right? And that you just touched on a bit of it, I believe, are there other components there that we should make sure people know about?
Those are the key pieces of that particular article. The other thing that I thought was so fascinating, I was listening to one of the preachers talk, and I don't think he was prepared for the fact that I was going to tie it to mental health. A little bit. He was talking about Israel, okay. And any word that ends with L, which would mean with God, so he was like, well, Raphael the angel, sure, with God, Gabrielle with God, Israel, and it's like, do y'all know what Israel stands for? Israel is to wrestle with God, that's from Jacob, right? And so it was a, it was that moment where my little pistons went off in my head going, I recall this conversation, because I remember reading it about Jacob one day, as I was looking through just spending some time in prayer, and talking to my spiritual director afterwards. And I'm like, you know, it talks in here about Jacob wrestling with God, and Him being touched to never be the same. And my spiritual director looking good looking at me and going, if anyone is wrestling with God, it's you. And I remember thinking at that moment, as he was saying, this particular homily, this particular piece. Welcome to the world of people who deal with mental health and trauma. They have anyone are wrestling with God. Why did this happen to me? Why does this? Why does this keep me what Who is this God that allows this that does that, that and people often time in the churches, they're like, well, they question who got his they have all these questions. They challenge that they're hard questions. And I'm like, huh, yeah, congratulations, this is what it is right? To accompany someone who's wrestling with God. Right? And that's going to be part of how this walk goes. Right. So I want to prepare you for, you know, I said to them, I said, you know, their sense of who God is, has become damaged. I was talking with a friend who has several small children. And I said, you know, children's first sense of who God is, is from their parents. And she stopped and you can tell like, she was in her own head at that moment, like, all these times with her own kids, where she was like, Oh, that wasn't a good oh, oh, okay, that wasn't good, either. And she wrote to me, and she was just kind of like beating herself up. And suddenly she stopped. And she looked at me, and she said, Oh, Kathy, with everything that you've been through in your childhood in your life? What did you learn about who God is? And you know, that was that moment where you had to kind of stop and say, like, that influences how you look at God. And so when people hear things, they're like, well, they have misrepresented who God is. Well, that is, because they're basing it on what they know. Sure. And if this is who God is, if this is how they act. This must be then why we deal with what we do.
I think of a book called God attachments. I think it's by Tim Hutton. But I know the title for sure is God attachments. And it talks about how our relationship to God off is formed in that same way that you're talking about. They he makes a strong connection between our relationship to our dads and God because of the whatever reasons, you know, there's that attachment to God the Father and then my own father, right and That changes, you know, he talks about the dysfunctional things that we learn in a relationship. But then I also want to go back to the Jacob analogy, because it strikes me as you're talking about that, that he was touched by God, and isn't an interesting use touched his heel. So, yeah, oh, yes, have that, right. So the part that actually makes his leg move forward, you know, in balances the weight of his body is, is touched and, and crippled. So then he has to go through the rest of his life crippled, which that makes me think about how when you're crippled, you have to kind of depend on other people, there's certain things you can't do anymore. You know, if you need to get some work quickly, if you need to, you know, walk a long distance, if you need to, whatever, you you learn to be dependent upon other organs shut yourself off, or they don't like me, because I am a cripple, they don't care about me. It's just you know, all right. So isn't that an interesting thing that happens is that that story goes so far to explain our own crippled pneus.
Well, and it was funny, because my spiritual director at the time said, I think it's safe to say that you will ever forever be changed by your conversation with God right now. It's that same kind of thing of, we don't know how it is that God's going to touch our lives, it may be a hip, it, but it may be something completely else. But it's that change of the idea that you will never be the same. Right? And in a way that he intends for a greater glory, a greater good, right, right.
And you think about that wrestling match was that the last of it, you know, what the wrestling continue, at least in his mind and spirit right, throughout the rest of his life? So any closing thoughts? Kathy, as we wrap this whole thing up, which I don't know how you wrap it up, really, but we'll places to go and things for people to think about, you know, experiences that you've had, that might be helping a person out there that struggling? Because I think of it that this this can seem like such a terrifying and dark place, and we spend so much energy, depending on the type of trauma and how deeply it's affected us of just playing tag with it, you know, just avoiding it in every way we can, that for some people, you know, how do you get them to just, it's okay, you know, get them to just realize, yeah, it's, it's not going to be fun. This isn't, you know, a Star Wars movie, you know, it's
the biggest thing I can say to the church folks that are like, encourage people to get help. But recognize that there are different kinds of help. The typical talk therapy that may be working good for I'm having financial troubles, I'm having this generally isn't considered the most effective, it's actually considered the least effective option for people who are dealing with trauma. So check to see what kind of options for treatment that you can get. I would say that in the last 10 years, I have seen a great increase in trauma informed counseling, a EMDR, which is eye movement, desensitization and reprocessing, as well as some other forms that are coming forward. Amazingly enough, if you check with the Veterans Association, and some of the work that they've done, or check with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, they'll be able to tell you some of the types of therapies that have been found to be most effective with trauma. That's a federal agency that you can actually see what kind of recommendations they have, and then look to see who does that here. It's only recently that I saw probably in the last two years where there's local therapists, more so available, previous to that most people who do EMDR and some of these other because it requires additional training, okay, work part of sliding scales and other things like that which go figure you're having mental health challenges, therefore, you have employment difficulties, but you can't get the help you need because you can't afford, they don't have a sliding scale. So that's, that's only starting to change, I would say in the last two years more so. Okay. And a lot of the providers that I've seen, now go out of their way to talk about how they're trauma informed, whereas I didn't see that four and five years ago, even
Okay, so I thought of another question and I keep circling back to this. So I think I told you in one of the breaks had a question, I can't remember what this is, I think that question, I hope I'm crossing my fingers. Anyways, I took some training not too long ago through, you know, a skill organization that focuses a lot on business and communication and leadership kinds of skills. In one of the classes was on empathy, why it touched on empathy. And the instructor and I kind of got into it a little bit. I, you know, kind of agreed to disagree at the end of it, but she had a question about do you think people can learn empathy? And I was pretty much adamant at that time that I think they can. And she was pretty much at a, you know, adamant that I don't think you can, I think you either have empathy, or you don't. And you can maybe learn some things that are techniques that kind of substitute for it. But, you know, I don't think you can learn empathy. And that really bothers me. And it continues to bother me because it strikes me as so critical that we figured out a way to learn empathy if we're not very empathetic, but also to teach people or somehow ignite the desire in people to become more empathetic. So I consider myself to be empathetic. But there are some situations some people in my life where I have to, like, work to think, Hey, where's your empathy? Dude? You know, you know, you mister sensitive, you know, highly sensitive person and you're just crapping on this person by not being empathetic by not asking what's the story, right? By not praying, even you know, or to help me pray for this guy cuz he really bugs but Geminis out of me, right?
This is my sage maker, but
realize you're trying to help me here. But I don't like this help. You know, I mean, it comes down to right. So I do think the I mean, who's right and who's wrong in this, this argument,
I see some mixtures there. So that's, I'm gonna call it down the middle. Okay, I think it's easier to have empathy for something that you yourself have experienced. I also think that I had, I was doing training for the AmeriCorps members, and one of them was a Peace Corps member. And she said, you know, if I see yellow, and you see blue, the best that I can hope for is to see some green, I will may never truly see the blue that you see. If I can at least make some steps towards green. That's improvement. Sure. But because that's not my lived experience, I may never fully comprehend what it's like.
Sure. So that's building at least the willingness to come to a cohesive or a collaboration. Yeah, I mean, I think that politically, you know, there used to be, it used to be acceptable for there to be people that could bridge the gap between very unlike beliefs, and, you know, whatever constituencies, and those people have been kind of, you know,
blown out. Yeah.
Because you can't, you got to you got to decide which side is on here. But yeah, he did admit it. And that to me, you know, we're are the bridge makers, you know, and is this kind of about that, in a way, aren't you? You're training people to be bridge builders,
and try to consider like, what might that mean? You know, and that's the dance, I think, sometimes space. I love the clergy I do. And I get that sometimes they say things, because if this isn't their lived experience, it's easier to think that someone's exaggerating in what they're describing. Sure, then deal with it directly. Sure. I just had someone tell me this morning, I'm sure you have far more good in your life than you give it credit for.
Okay. How can you be sure that it's so I like behave,
behave. But I've just kind of like, they're speaking from what they know. And they can't imagine what someone else has lived through. Right? And and so as it's trying to have grace both ways, you know, and say, I have to recognize that they may not have any experience with what I'm talking about. But by the same token, they have to hopefully come the other way. And that's the ideal where we can at least have a conversation. Yeah. And I think I've had more than once, where clergy have said things to me. And once I was able to pick myself up again, because it really tanked me in some cases, I was able to go back two or three days later and say, when you said this, this is how that impacted me. And they're like, oftentimes, they'll said to me, now that you say it out loud back to me, that was really terrible. And they're like, at the time, I was not thinking about that. But now that you say it out loud back to me, I really realize what that sounded like. So, thank you for taking the time to talk with me. sanely without accusations or anything else, just right. I know that you weren't trying to hurt me and you weren't trying but this is kind of how that landed.
There's a prime example of that learning to respond instead of react, right? Which is also hard to do. You know, that's why you practice it. That's why it takes weeks not you know, an hour and really learn a technique right now that's gonna help you
get the other side of that because I've had people who live with mental challenges like I am so sick of having to educate others. Yeah. And I'm like, I get that. I get that. Yeah.
Especially when they don't want to be educated. You know, they just I know it all already. That's my big problem. Sometimes academia is, you know, they become so learned that they don't think they need to learn anymore. It's just like, boy, you learned some things pretty well, but you are clueless in some other fundamentals here. So,
you know, the thing I would just ask folks is we're going forward is if they have examples that they want to share, email us I gather my lost sheep comm if you're like, Could you come to our church? Could you talk to her? Right? Let me know that same gather my lost email@example.com I would love to know what other examples and things that people are doing? Sure. And because that's how we get better and get this even out there farther.
And I can tell you not that anyone needs to believe me, I you know, who am I? But I can tell you folks, I've known Kathy for several years now. And she is the real deal. She is a safe place for any thing you would want to bring to the table, and especially safe and that if she doesn't feel she has the resources or the idea of how shelf to help she'll find a way. So please take advantage. Write it down, gather my loss cheap at g gmail.com. If you can just remember, gather my lost sheep. You'll remember that Gmail part. Just don't send it firstname.lastname@example.org. That would be bad. Yeah. Although some people may consider this Yahoo talk. So Kathy, I can't thank you enough. It's always eye opening, all reflective when you and I talk. It makes me realize I still got a lot of work to do. And I hope the good Lord gives me the time to do it. So but you know. There we are. Yes, indeed. Thanks so much. I appreciate you so much. Thank you. So we're gonna just wrap up this week's episode with another one of my talks at the end here. So we'll listen to that as I reflect on our talk over the past couple of weeks, so don't call anywhere your spiritual network, and frame of reference.
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Well, that wraps up the second part of my interview with Kathy Lin's. If you or anyone you know, has been a victim of any sort of abuse and are struggling to heal from the trauma caused by it. Seek out Kathy her workshops and her upcoming book can help you find a way out. Plus her Facebook page for gathering my lost sheep is filled with words of healing and hope. Kathy is one of those angels on earth to help us all see the love of God and the darkest of times. I hope this discussion has helped increase your frame of reference about the pervasiveness and harm caused by traumatic events, but also the continued trauma endured by those who have tried to testify regarding their abuse. We can all play a part in insisting upon trauma care, and restoration from those that should have done something long ago to stop abuse of any kind in our churches, and from church leaders. Join us next week as I turned to a completely new New Year's resolution that being a resolution to do, view and renew arts in our communities. It's a topic that I have a passion for, and a means by which Kathy and others have experienced healing and restoration. My guest is George Sue gross, the executive director of the Wisconsin Arts Board, and if anyone can sound the bell of the importance of art, George can and if you have a moment, please visit our website at www.forsauk.com and let us know what you think of this podcast. Plus make any suggestions you might have for future guests or issues. Stay well
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