Posts Tagged ‘Faith’


IDW’s 2017 collection Star Trek: Waypoint is a collection of one and done short comic stories in the tradition of the Star Trek shows, it was part of the 50th anniversary celebration. Long time readers will remember I have drawn upon these short stories for other reflections.

For this time on the Holy Week Pilgrimage, it was appropriate to once again tap this resource, as the ancient friends of Jesus’ journeyed into darkness latching on to hope to decolonize their own whole beings, throw off the colonizers (the Empire) and create something new, so to are we at a crossroads in Canada, and the world from the Inter-generation traumas of this cycle of conquering, dominance, dehumanization, and genocide in its variety of forms. A time where truth needs to be spoken, intrinsic worth and being reclaimed, and moving forward in reconciliation in a new way. Which brings us to the Mother’s Walk story in this collection. Set in the world of Deep Space Nine. The former Cardassian space station being reclaimed by the Bajoran government, and United Federation of Planets.

See the quick version of the back story is the Cardassians conquered Bajor, enslaving the population, strip mining it for resources, and doing what ever they could to destroy the populace’s spirit. Sound familiar from our history books? It is within this emergent new reality that Major Kiera Nerys shares the story of a revelation to Commander Dax now that she is in space and can see the stars. The story of the Mother’s Walk–Shar-D’an. An ancient Bajoran ritual for the women, that was shared in the value of women working together, tied to a sacred story of family. It was a time of the year when the women would gather, embroider names of those they were connected to, walk in and with the Sacred.

It was seen as a point of power, a world of matriarchy, the Cardassians saw it as dangerous. As such, for those caught living their faith and doing this ceremony their embroidered sashes were used to hang them from as an execution warning. See something familiar in the use of Crucifixion in the Easter Story? In the use of violence in colonization across the nations and suppression of religious-spiritual practice? Forcing change on how a society functions stripping away the matriarchy to impose a hierarchy?

Kiera shared her truth with Dax, and that she had no family to do this with now that she could. As this truth spread on the station, those that new and cared for Kiera reached out to do the ceremony with her- O’Brien and his wife Keiko, who Kiera had carried their child by surrogacy, Dax, Quark, Bashir, Odo, Sisko (The Emissary for Bajor’s religion), all had reached out and been denied by Kiera for not being her “family”.

Yet, think of what happened?

The growth in the short story towards, Kiera’s realization of whom her new family had become. For family is not just blood, it is those that come to care, support, see the inherent being of another, connection, belonging, sharing life together, willingness and openness to be a part of the life cycle of another, and the benchmark’s of the sacred.

Who are your family?

Those that share the sacred journey with you.


It has always been a weird situation when folks try to make out you’re some kind of super hero or special person for being a parent of an exceptional child. Really? I think all parents that engage with their kids to support them in becoming who they are meant to be are quite amazing regardless of the labels society places on the child. See, the only real trash parent I see are the ones that decide a coping or discipline method is to beat a child or spouse or sexually, emotionally and mentally abuse them (which is why I cheer the Canadian Government’s $7.5 million investment in kid’s help phone during this time of social distancing, perhaps silence will break and we can rescue more from the darkness, but I digress).

I’m a parent of a 14 year old and a 12 year old. Any labels through medical or societal are not their to define my children, rather they are their for communities and society to know what my child needs to thrive, discover, belong and be the most awesome them, they can be. Full stop. Being a parent is hard. Each of us has our own strengths, areas of growth, challenges, and then we are given mini-mes that become a ramped up mirror of our best and worst traits (hey, I knew I was a sarcastic so-so, but trust me when my kids riff on me its really obvious lol). So why do we need to sub-divide?

Within the exceptional child community, why do we sub-divide further? With comments such as, you can’t possibly know because your child can do x-y-z-… we are conditioned to constantly be in apology mode for a spasm, a sound, a spasticity, a stem or a tick…yet…

The world around us, can be as assertively a-holey (to borrow on of my daughter’s favourites of skirting swearing) it wants towards us. Religious can say we did something so our child is being punished for sin, that they need prayer for healing. In religious settings many have heard of our family’s journeys where the elders, long timers, and money givers feel it is their right to make an issue of the “different”, not understanding truly what an imageo dei is an how a diverse mosaic our Holy truly is in human form… yet it is left to us to take the slings and arrows, and to make apologies, up to us to mea culpa, and share the medical history to “educate”. Yet at no point does someone hold the bullier accountable, and threaten to cast them out, instead the surface issues are touched upon, and one does not want to deep dive to the “isms” below the surface. Truly live healing and reconciliation at a community level as the gospel teaches, so instead we leave. Before the social distancing began I was sharing ideas with some non-profits to offer up this spiritual space for families seeking it an not yet ready to traverse the choppy waters. Also knowing that the last 2 places my family has been and is, are safe zones, some may say courageously, but rather I would use the term they came to meet my son with Jesus’ heart.

But I digress. For the fight before these moments was cemented in something deeper. As alluded to. You fight against the passive systematic eugenics for your child to be allowed life. Then you battle the assertive systematic eugenics for them to keep their life. You lift the life up to the Holy Mystery thankful for the love and blessing of parenthood for however long they will be with you, knowing that it truly is a blessing.

Yet as noted, different groups you try to be apart of use “tradition” or “money” as reasons they cannot alter physical spaces for accessibility (making a physical space able to be used by all). Never mind if they are willing to even extend the interpersonal space to allow the different to exist (noting any similarities with any other marginalized group). To the challenge of belonging- this is being known by many, missed when not their, supported in finding and fulfilling purpose– it challenges the concept of the abled, the idea that disability is catching, or that the wrong thing may be said, or what do you do when the child dies? So many things race through minds to create barriers, instead of simply meeting the person before you as… a person.

The other challenge is fighting with other systems that tell you, like the CBE, that you chose to have it, and should be happy with the scraps thrown your way. Our current education minister that believes scrapping aides is a cost saver for the rest of the school year that will be done by home, not understanding the roles fulfilled. The governmental policy not seeing the child as a full person, just as a nuisance that can be spun as the rationale for why other students can’t have things (and yes has been done many times). When tragedy strikes, knowing your child will not receive the same level of support as other children would, because it is too costly to figure out how to aid them in grieving.

To a disability community fractured because everyone chases the funding needed for our children to excel, so instead of exceptional kids and adults, we hear about specific disabilities, and others are left outside. Sadly, as I noted earlier, some families’ take this approach in trying to support one another in the idea of-well your child can– so you don’t get it (or in the struggles to keep plastic straws). A selfish inability to see beyond our own situation, and to understand that we can advocate for something beneficial to other families’ even if it is not directly beneficial to our child because it’s the right thing to do.

The system, politics,  communities, religion, try to beat down upon you that your child or loved one is not a full person. That you should mourn because they may never (fill in the `traditional’ coming of age mile stone) and as such you are missing out.

And ya know what my pastoral response is to it all?

BULLOCKS!!!

Being a parent, uncle, aunt, grandparent, god parent, is a pretty awesome thing. The child before you, that is now in your life regardless of diagnosis or labels is– a friggin’ blessing folks and is looking to us to love them, mentor them, and support them into becoming the most awesome them they can be.

What does that mean? It means celebrating when things happen that are awesome, crying when things change or loss happens, chatting and sharing with the child like you would any child. Doing life together as a family, and standing your ground as a strong advocate when something is unjust, or educate when necessary, but also, regardless of time affiliated with a group, person or family member, when they don’t get it and it becomes detrimental to your mental health or that of your child- END IT!

See my son is 14 years old. 14 amazing years of having a son. Some say how did you raise a son with___. Honestly, I raised a son, this is my son, and truly the only one I know how to raise.  We have had many laughs, tickles, wrestles, experiments, times in hospital, tears when little buddies and grandparents went to the tea party in heaven, his heart convinced me a non-dog person to get a dog…and we cried when our mumma house hippo joined the Jesus Tea Party. Waiting for the next blessing. He has ministered with me, cheered in hockey games, been out in multiple parades collecting donations to help other kids, the first to hug a new friend that he just met, and deeply feel rejection from those that should know better. He chose to be baptized in pre-school, we celebrated his elementary school graduation, and are looking forward to high school. Do we know what the future holds?

No.

But he’s a kid. Kids discover, learn, and define who they are in life. Parents help them cultivate that so that they can become the who they are meant to be.

That is what we are doing. We live each day with gratitude, even those days he’s a weiner because he’s a 14 year old boy and does what 14 year old boys do, and those days when he shows wisdom and compassion through the simplest actions beyond his years.

Society tells you to grieve. I thought it was important to share, that grieving is about making society feel better for their innate fear and hatred of that which does not conform to their “ideals”. The labels and diagnosis are there not to define your child’s boundaries of life, but rather to state what the world needs to do to ensure they belong, grow and thrive into the citizen they are becoming.

Rather live in celebration, push the envelope, learn, discover, laugh, cry, and be the parent you were meant to be with the kids you have.

Shift from grieving to gratitude.

Practice each day, writing out 3 things you are grateful for. Plan your own family milestone celebrations that fit the family you are and are becoming due to who your child is.

Be in the moment. Let hope grow, and love abound.


It is a story told over two volumes:

A stone skipping across a pond leaves ripples with each impact.

The joys and life of traumas are the like the skipping stone through the generations.

Soul Ripples

What happens when the helper needs help?

For over 20 years Ty Ragan served his neighbour from the rough camps to the shelters to home and every where’s in-between. The simple life lesson of Jesus of Nazareth to love your neighbour as yourself was the centre question to be answered in his life. In May 2016 his life would begin to change drastically through unknown seizures and strokes.

Enter into the ripples that brought him to 2016, the transformational power of love of family and friends as he seeks new ripples in hope for his soul.

cover

Buy Soul Ripples here.

Then enter the healing with Soul Ripples Two by clicking link in the caption of the picture:

centennial coffee

Soul Ripples 2

Enjoy the journey, and please share with those you think need to see that healing is possible…and Hope abounds.


There are many four letter words that have come out of my mouth during this journey, and have been applied to my life and the ripple effects with my family. My journey on healing from trauma was supported awesomely though by having family it allowed me the space to heal. Not only heal, but make the connections within my flashbacks to trace core memories of trauma that needed to be rooted out, and healed to create the ripple within my own person.

It did feel like energy and electricity bursting through my body and leaving during the sessions. It was amazing as the weeks between would pass and different emotions of the spectrum would be felt- both positive and negative.

Yet, the work I did between sessions I would not encourage someone without a healthy in home support network to do…for in the isolation it could very easily go from healing to suicidal, it was a trip into the darkness and trusting the light path to bring you out.

Yes I am a person of faith, and that faith whether out there or subtle have played a role in my life. The same with this journey, and I am glad that in my life prayer and action go hand in hand, and the constant dialogue within myself and the Holy Mystery is there. It was amazing as I began healing to see the different opportunities that opened up for me and my family, the different places where we could connect for joy, love and healing. Where our faith would be rewarded, and where we could see communities around us come out of their own struggles into a new dynamic understanding of belonging as happened with our home church in Calgary in regards to the faith challenged laid down by my son to them.

This is the winding road. The ripples like upon a river or lake created by a skipping stone. The soul ripples that answered the question, what happens when the helper needs help?

They discover who their true family is (whether blood or chosen, there are many who journeyed with us, and blessed us communally and individually that I may or may not have mentioned in these two volumes, to you all I say thank you). You also discover your own true self anew.

It was this sense that brought me to the remission appointment at the Foothills Hospital with my PhD. Psychologist where the healing began on February 14, 2019. Here I was entering the office once more on October 31, 2019…

Not knowing what may or may not come of the meeting, but one thing was certain.

Today was the day; I could firmly stand in my faith, in my healing.

It was the day where the four letter word that had carried my family through the darkness was fully lived and embraced. It was a beautiful four letters:

H-O-P-E-

My step into hope of the new dawn of my pilgrimage with Brother Jesus as I once more stepped into the office.


Many will say

There is no place or

Time left to let blame rest

Yet many need to understand the ripples

Their actions,

Words,

Have upon those they are inflicted upon.

In-Laws

Should be outlaws,

Not seeing the harm

They inflict

For they believe their crap

Don’t stink

Holier than thou

Of the non or believer holy rollers

Shattered souls

And lives

Finding respite

Relief,

Leave me

Under pressure

Confronted

Conflicted

Being stared through

With glassed over eyes

That has pain nulled,

Yet not healed or released

The seizures release falsely

Yet the cracks are there

As the pressures of life

And career mount

One glassy eyed stare

And the house of cards

The interior castle

The mind palace

Collapses

The colloquial straw upon the camel’s back

Or the angelic breaking of the back from the verse upon my Mummy’s urn,

A sad sack turn of phrase to appease another’s guilt.

Yet…

In the end…

Treatment awaits…

To heal

Rebirth

Reboot

The soul,

That had been broken,

And the sources,

Will never know

Or more aptly

Give a damn.


God is Dead

Maybe stealing a phrase from Nietzsche, but honestly reflecting on whether or not God is alive in our world? There was a trilogy of Christian movies playing on the title “God’s Not Dead”; which were decent run movies of apologetics though a bit after school special melodramatic with the panic of Christians “losing rights”.  It is not about losing rights, it truly is about other groups, philosophies and religions gaining equality and equity in our society. Secularism allows science to explain the nuts and bolts for us, while our personal religions relate the why.

This entered my head as I awaited the Accelerated Resolution Therapy to start I wanted to push my brain a little. A YouTube channel to dust off my preaching skills and putting out feelers for pulpit supply in the summer for a few Sundays, all part of discernment of what is next for me in my journey and our family life.

The Universe’s humour however was evident. Deciding so I did not end up on a hobby horse soap box circuit of my own design stated I would use the Sunday Lectionary. Those unfamiliar with a Lectionary, it basically is designed that on Sundays in a three year cycle you will hear the whole Bible in Church, for daily ones it is a two year cycle. The essence being the minister cannot avoid any texts. I chuckled when asked to take the pulpit for July14, 2019 at Centennial Presbyterian Church for the lectionary brought me to The Good Samaritan parable:

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”[1]

How to love my neighbour, and who is my neighbour are the two bedrock questions of my ministerial journey, and returning to the pulpit of the church I did my Mum’s funeral service in what a topic to be handed. The challenge now is what does it mean?

It means quite a bit. But what hit me hard this time just reflecting on the synchronicity of the event is that at this time in history, God is dead. But the God that is dead is not the God of the Trinity. It is not the Holy Love that created everything. It is not the Holy divinity that made Jesus the Christ, and from whom the Holy Spirit flows through life today.

There is a God that is DEAD. It is a God that should be dead. The God of Christendom. The God that allows for exclusion, the God that empowers hatred and violence based on religion. The God that was crafted by terrorists and governments to perpetuate wars, misogyny, caste systems, and try to control people’s free will of choice. The God that is dead is the one that has sparked such murder in the nominal church that was more comfortable with status quo power and control, much like the living breathing Sanhedrin of Jesus’ day. The God that is dead is that God tied to Nationalism, and Empire.

The God that in Canada was used to mask the atrocities of Colonialism, Residential Schools, Labour, Sex trafficking, eugenics, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, forced institutionalizations and sterilizations, withholding of Human Rights, homophobia, and the list can go on and on. It is the God that said any Imageo Dei[2]was less than a full person.

It is the God that was used as a lens to look out and see through the eyes of fear and paranoia. That was used to pray and convert at the tip of a sword or barrel of a gun or forced compliance/attendance at church for socio-economic survival on a family.

That God is dead.

That was never the God that Jesus pointed people towards in the Christian Testament. It was never the God that the prophets of the Hebrew Bible pointed folks towards either. That was the God of Love and Justice. The God of Peace, Hope, Joy and Faith and…. B-E-L-O-N-G-I-N-G as ALL is the IMAGEO DEI.

That is the core of the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus reminding us it is about love. Love of self, neighbour and God, a perpetuating cycle that all parts must fire for the divine to be alive…that is the Holy Spirit within, without, and through all. When that happens, all labels burn away and what is left is love and belonging, the story was scandalous because one of the excluded was the one that showed mercy. It was not scandalous; it was how creation is meant to be. That is the God that is alive.

Take a walk through a mall, or your community and look around. What a beautiful world. What a beautiful sight as each and every person is made in God’s image. Drop the labels and embrace. For the anti-abortionist, I challenge you to take the walk with the person through the process of abortion, and just be there holding the space in love and silence with them. If you are in a church struggling with the “question”[3] as the Anglican Communion phrases it…go to Pride…Give out Dad and Mum hugs to those that have been excluded.

Find that which you think is “stealing your rights” or others try to create fear of for you. Find that, and experience the Imageo Dei.

Love you Neighbour.

Love yourself by releasing the hatred burning your soul.

And it is the greatest act of love worship of God ever.

 

 

[1] Luke 10:25-37, New International Version

[2] Latin for Image of God

[3] The Question is about full inclusion of the LGBTTQ2+ community in the life and ministry of the Communion.

Soul Ripples 2: What’s Faith…

Posted: October 8, 2019 by Ty in Soul Ripples 2
Tags: , , , , ,

What’s Faith Gotta do with it?

 

The question of how my faith plays with my healing journey is present. For some, there is the misnomer that one only needs prayer and faith to be healed of anything. For others it is all simply science and medicine. It was in two different conversations with two different therapists that this topic was struck.

The first was with my PNES treatment, as it arose with my spiritual background if I held to a medical solution for my prognosis. The answer was simple, yes. If I had believed it was demonic possession I would be speaking with an exorcist not neurologists and psychologists.

The other was in the early days of my PTSD treatment, when the therapist simply asked how my faith fit in with this situation. It is part of the journey of life.

“First you pray, they you act”.

-Pope Francis

It was where I start. As Pope Francis would say about prayer is my practice. First, centering in the Holy Mystery, taking those moments to listen to the soft, quiet voice that is the Holy Spirit speak into my soul. Due to the seizures and insomnia, it had been a while since I had been able to hear that voice, yet I stayed the course knowing there was light on the other end of the tunnel (and no, not in a death way).

This is where my faith played. It wasn’t about the how the healing was going to take place. It was knowing, that even in the moments I felt separation, or as I would journal be in the wilderness, that there was a time of emerging from it. The wilderness is imagery from the Hebrew Bible story of the Exodus, where Moses took the Hebrew Slaves out of ancient Egypt to wander the wilderness with their present God for 40 years, until entering the Promised Land. This imagery is then echoed in the Christian Testament in the story following Jesus’ baptism where he enters the wilderness for 40 days while he is tempted and tested. The basis of both stories is what forms the season of Lent within the Christian Church year, which is 40 days of fasting (giving up or making room in life for more moments of the Still Small Voice) that leads to the Holy Week which precedes Easter.

This was the season of my life where I was entering into the healing for my PNES. The starting point was the Lenten Season, and that gave a grounding imagery for the journey ahead. 40 is not a literal number, whether days or years, anthropologically speaking from ancient stories it basically means “a lot of”, which I was good with…this journey of healing would take in a lot of days, one day at a time.

It also tied into my journey of faith on the teaching that is the lynch pin of this book. My vocational life had been centered on the Greatest Commandments of Loving God and Neighbour; I had lost the ability to love self. This was the wilderness in discovery of what it meant to love myself, to be kind to me. Another grounding as I moved forward in treatment.

Little Brother

Me and Jesus, got our own thing goin’
Me and Jesus, got it all worked out
Me and Jesus, got our own thing goin’
We don’t need anybody to tell us what it’s all about[1]

It is a strong question what does faith has to do with anything in my journey. The song lyric resonates with me, same as the words of the song about someone who travels life. A pilgrim singing of his journey with Jesus, overcoming much, and having no time for that fancy stylized consumer driven religion on offer. Rather it is the guttural roots of the Love Commandments of belonging that keep him going.

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.[2]

This is what happens when I open my own Bible to my favourite epistle[3], James. Now James is a controversial epistle, it made it through quite a few old folks trying to remove it from the Christian Testament. Most notably Martin Luther[4] who called it the Epistle of Straw, why this disdain for the words of a scant few pages? Simple, it is an epistle that points out that love and action go hand in hand. That is one cannot have a faith in a vacuum, or actions in a vacuum, like us as human beings, they are intrinsically linked. It was an Epistle of Straw to Luther because it smacked of “earning salvation” rather than he understanding it is the disciple life conversion that Jesus taught.

Why would this guy named James get that?

James was the Bishop of the poorest church in early Christianity that is the one of Jerusalem. He was also, the little brother to Jesus of Nazareth. I can hear the gasps already. Depending on your church background that is scandalous and borders on a heretical statement for it means that Joseph and Mary[5] had intercourse after Jesus’ birth. It challenges the doctrine of perpetual virginity for Mary, even though it is a Roman Catholic doctrine, many churches function as if it is reality.

How do they explain James then? A metaphoric brother, a cousin even, perhaps Joseph had a wife before Mary who had passed and left children. Yet it does provide a challenge when the canonical (accepted in the Christian Testament) stories of Jesus list his family as coming to stop (Mark 3:21) his work, and his brothers called him crazy, not step, not cousins, not Joseph’s kids. Full stop his family. So here was James’ looking at the upset, the struggle his Mum was going through because his father was dead, and challenges older brother to come home and do what society dictated he should. It did not go as James’ wanted.

Yet, here we are post ascension into heaven of Jesus after the big “nope” from the cosmos of his lynching, and he is established as a solid leader within the early church. It speaks to the role of leadership Mary of Nazareth (Mumma Mary if you will) took in building upon the foundation Jesus laid, and grows from there. A movement that his family joined, and thrived in, a community care model that James kept reminding even the earliest church about[6].

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?[7]

I have never been confused for the wealthy man. Many times as my wife has reminded me if I was in a meeting with delegates, booked to speak, or teach or preach or even simply going in to work in a shelter I would be confused as a client and treated as such. It is a way to get an empathic look at systems theory. Many apologies are made about the confusion or mishap once revealed, the challenge being what does that say about how we treat people due to how we see their standing in society or within the scope of employment? The apology is only necessary if we are not greeting the person before us as a full person.

It is very rare one would hear my credentials, unless they were needed to open a door for help for family or a client, or to get the attention of a system not willing to listen. We have not become that much more enlightened than the ancient world James was writing about in that flash, dazzle and labels mean more, than our neighbour before us.

His epistle is hard to read for some who have faith, because they want their faith to be the label that separates them, makes them better than. Rather the faith is a call to healing, justice, and working for a better place of belonging for all. It is why it is such a scandalous letter.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.[8]

The Hear O’Israel was the call on my heart. The grand circle of the Love Commandments, where the Holy Mystery, Neighbour and self are connected in a flow of the Holy Love, James points out astutely the failure of the love of neighbour if you are comfortable while your neighbour is in lack. The challenge is the balance so you are not lost in the darkness constantly, but can come through to the other side. Faith or works by itself is dead. Just as Holy Love missing any of the pieces is dead on arrival as well.

James lays out the importance of having solid social relationships with our loved ones. Family (blood or chosen), those that we know or discover will be with us through the thick and thin of life. These are the pieces, same as trusting the professionals in our lives called into their vocation as well to aid us. For it all comes from the same source of Mystery.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.[9]

For those leading the Reformation, James was the awkward second cousin of the Christian Testament for it called out the elite they needed the backing of to break away from the Roman Church. For those in Rome it was the book you simply have on the shelf because it looks impressive, but never dust off for it would create dissent in the masses that would see the hypocrisy.

Yet here we are in 2019 and it is still within our scriptures. The words ringing as true today, as they did when James sent them out, Jesus’ little brother wrote them to remind the early church of what it was his brother lived, died and rose from the dead for:

A BETTER WORLD.

When left with the question what does my faith have to do with my healing? It is about that better world. Finding the “me” that I am today, formed through the darkness, coming through the challenges, yet, finding my core, and asking the question what is next.

It is also holding me to be present in the moment for the healing, so it is a true healing and not a false jump so I wind up back here.

Faith and works, or pray and act. It is simple; one cannot be without the other. Just like ourselves in the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health are intertwined.

 

 

Cobwebs

A Soul Psalm for the next steps in the healing process of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and how our memory works.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy

Roll the dice

Spin the roulette wheel,

What is the most traumatic event?

Can’t say?

We’ll start with the earliest.

48 hours away.

A week to mull it over.

The energy crackles in the mind’s eye

The heart sings a song of sorrow

As the spider web comes alive

No more musty cobwebs

On the interconnections

Of the past and present

To be scourged away

To open the soul

To the future.

 

 

3.5 hours of intake work determining triggers and traumas before entering into the treatment.

 

 

[1] From Tom T. Hall’s Me and Jesus gospel song, I prefer Brad Paisley’s recording

[2] James 2:8, English Standard Version (ESV)

[3] Epistle means letter.

[4] Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation in Germany. The Lutheran sect of Christendom came out of his understanding of religion in response to the Roman Catholic Empirism of indulgences and oppression, though the Reformation wouldn’t have gotten far if the feudal lords and monarchs had not realized it was there time to seize land, money and power away from Rome.

[5] Jesus parents on earth.

[6] If you are not a person to read the Bible but are interested by the teachings in James, I suggest you simply Google the Epistle of James.

[7] James 2:1-4, ESV

[8] James 2:14-17, ESV

[9] James 5:1-6, ESV


Letting the Light Shine

 

May 8, 2019 I would begin my intake for the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment. The intake would be completed on May 21, 2019 as we would begin to lay out goals and a plan moving forward. The light would begin being prepped to shine, but first we had to create a trauma hierarchy. Not the easiest to do, as the location of the clinic to get to and from, and wait for appointments was triggering central for me.

It was a time of simply sharing that which my system would allow come through in the moment, and the decision was made to simply start with the oldest in the next session.

When I write of the Sheldon Chumir Urgent Care Clinic being at triggering central, it is within the historic block radiuses of the boy and girls’ child sex trade strolls in Calgary. Moving down through the Down Town core took me past the shelters I used to serve in, witnessing the pain that I was a light in the darkness of, folks I used to journey with. The safe usage site was on the main floor of the Chumir.

It gave plenty of time to practice mindfulness, distraction, emotion understanding and inventory, and thought conversion. The hardest challenge being when you would attempt the deep breathing to slow your somatic roll, and end up with nostrils of the stench of Weed (skunk-like) and Crack (literally smells like someone lit feces on fire).

The upside, of the two part intake was figuring out where to go and what I wanted out of therapy. I wanted my life back. I wanted to be able to feel the spectrum of emotions well again, fully engage with my friends and family, and to figure out what comes next. It was under the catch all of putting the trauma at peace with my whole self. These were things I had experienced, and I no longer wanted them being the guiding force of my life.

This laid the ground work for the Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) to be used in my healing. See, the work most people forget is they either go hyper spiritual (all I need is prayer and the Holy Spirit) or they go hyper scientific looking for a pharmacological answer, or only a psychological one. When in all aspects it must look at all of you.

The Body Scan reminds us the inter-connectedness of our Thoughts-Emotions-Physical pain. The Medicine Wheel reminds us of the spiritual/soul aspect within all that. The connecting point is realizing that science (ala psychology for this) and spirituality are complementary. One will resonate with the why of your life, and why you want healing. The other is the how, the nuts and bolts of getting it done and maintaining it.

ART is done with a trained clinician, much in the way that Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy uses eye movement, so does ART in different ways. There is something about tapping into the conscious use of eye movements like when we are deep in dream state that brings the healing. No one is really clear of the whole how question, but there is enough there to know it works. As I told my new therapist in my goals, I was putting trust in her to lay the path out for us to work together to get through to the new.

ART would be that pathway, to re-enter the experiences and the emotions. The goal being release at the end of it.

 

 

Soul Ripples 2: Prescencing

Posted: September 30, 2019 by Ty in Soul Ripples 2
Tags: , , ,

Presencing

 

It happened at the right time during my treatment. Something had been missing for years, had literally torn apart the house and bedroom looking for it. It was lost. Never to be seen again. Then it literally popped out of the worn shag carpet when I shifted my night stand to retrieve a Star Trek graphic novel that had slipped behind.

The Celtic Knot pinkie ring my wife had bought me. There it was, laying on my big toe. A tiny miracle, for those of a spiritual bent such as myself, whether it is Universe or Holy Spirit, letting me know like discovering the lost ring. The emergence of emotions, it was my own renewal and reformation. The ring newly found was the reminder my soul needed have how I had always defined myself. It was not the way society laid our worth based on occupation. It was as husband and Dad. Those that had stood with me, and cared for me at the lowest of the low and stayed through to this point to where the light was beginning to glimmer through the concrete walls holding back the pain.

This journey was leading me into the crossroads of discernment. I had known this for a while, but peace was sinking in. The work of the soul psalms had provided self-forgiveness and release for those things I could never control, and now a new symbol.

It would be okay. It was time to understand that I had done more than enough, and take the pacing to heal. In the healing begin to discern, what next?

The Trap

This can be the trap of the healing journey. As the Conversion Disorder manifesting with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures waned and thoughts move into the new it becomes easy to short circuit healing.

How one may ask? When we launch new endeavours, the excitement and positive energy can overwrite any harm, traumas or struggles easily. That is we emotionally, mindfully and even subconsciously suppress as the birth of the new carries us through. Like overwriting earlier drafts of a book when you save the newest draft on your computer, so new ventures can overwrite the old. Yet, the code is still corrupted.

This is the work of presencing into what is next by letting go of the old. The letting go is of the harmful, and needs to be fully accomplished. This was the bridge to cross entering into the treatment journey for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not to let what I felt or could see as next, expedite the process. Rather, needing to live into the current process each step of the way.

Social Media

Our social media creates the algorithms of life and the key to knowledge as the grand Google releases to us that which matches what we like. Whether it is friends, groups or pages on Facebook or followers and follows on Twitter or other social media platforms, what we use our search engines for. It crafts the ability to seek out information to form critical opinions. In actual fact, the computer creates our own personal echo chambers.

Throughout the journey of life and growth of these platforms I had consciously chosen to create a balanced social media presence so that the echo chamber could be as mitigated as possible. The challenge is that as there became more ideological entrenchment enabled by non-critical computer usage has led to extremism growing from populism.

This creates for the user and subtle shift in becoming a part of the anger machine. In the presencing part of healing (and yes it can overlap with the letting go and letting come phase in U Theory). My focus shifted to my social media presence. Consciously purging the e-letters that came into my e-mail account as it is amazing how quickly this clutter mounts with what essentially were ignored and delete.

The next step was my Twitter and Facebook where I followed the simple guidelines of did it provide good in my life. By shifting to more balance or centralist sources I still got the full scope of what was happening without the populist-extremist hyperbole for Twitter and Facebook pages/groups. Some friends were let go on Facebook as well.

Social media is a great resource. Facebook is fun, as it allows you to stay in touch with folks that in the past could only happen through postal mail or e-mail. The challenge is that it also creates a cycle where relationships that would have naturally come to an end due to leaving certain jobs or communities, can continue even if they had run their course.

It is the hard part of presencing, but the online cleaning is the same as the real life cleaning one need to do. What relationships are not beneficial? What relationships are harmful? It is these ones that we must then end. By working through our online presence first, it creates a practice run for any real life relationship that must end or have stronger boundaries crafted around.

Oh and clear the browser history.

 

 


 

“I failed; I did not make a difference.”

-My personal sound track entering into therapy on Feb. 14, 2019.

On May 2, 2019 with my PNES therapist I was able to share the work of breaking this soundtrack. It was arduous over the months in therapy, as I asked friends something I never had before. What did they think of me? I began to look back at the thank you notes, and the honours that I had let fade into the background.

An exterior soundtrack began to emerge and take concrete form. It was that I did make a difference. I have a tendency to be overly responsible, and need to figure out where my rodeo ends and the next begins. It is the struggle of not wanting to be the bystander of the bystander effect. It knows what I can honestly give.

Continue Lies of the Heart