Posts Tagged ‘Mental Health’


Want to be able to share what the pandemic has been like? Here’s your change:

email is cdw@knoxcalgary.ca

And for some inspiration, my youngest is an amazing emergent artist and chose to work in the electronic art format. Viewing layering effects, and learning, here is– C-Tears:

Advertisement

A fun lead in that I was reminded of this week, while reading Peter Mansbridge’s latest memoir Off the Record, with reminiscents of his life new to Canada from Britain to being discovered as a baggage handler to entering the world of media through CBC and journalism to becoming the anchor of the National. It shared some different thoughts. The intrigue that may be forgotten of the 1980’s Federal election where the story was broken of a Chretien faction attempting to unseat then Liberal Leader John Turner mid-election. Which led to the ponderance of through machinations that Jason Kenney gets the 50% +1 vote during the Leadership Review April 9 in Red Deer, AB– could this be a plan B of scorched earth to walk away and still look like he has done nothing to cause the carnage? Especially tracking the current exchanges of UCP MLA’s (or their comms staff running the accounts) online.

Aside from that, it was also a reminder, that there was a time in history, when some talent could lead to opportunity and on the job learning, mentoring and equipping for a talent-passion and purpose. It also cultivated loyalty, as Mansbridge would touch on a few times, outisde offers made and turned down that were more lucrative. The thing here is the path into vocation may have shifted, with more formal education necessary. What should not have been lost though, is still seeing the employee as a person, investing in them, and their life long learning, equipping and mentorship to continue to cultivate the talent-passion and purpose into loyalty. An employee should have opportunity to thrive, and be cared for that more organizations are seeing life long careers at one agency, and not multiplicity of organization hopping for opportuniteis or growth.

Which takes us from this idea of purpose, into where that understanding grows. Disney-Pixar’s latest has been getting some press. Some ludicrous rooted in the emergent from under the rock white nationalist culture that a coming of age story within the culture of an Asian family in Toronto is not relatable, really missed the mark of story telling that connects. Which Turning Red does. The other is the “parent choice” religious right anti-menstration league that are having the vapours as the movie deals with puberty, changes in the body, and the period. This fear and anger is rooted in patriachal structures, acted through misogyny, and more than likely, asserted in the weirdness of the oppressive complimentarianism (for more on that fallacy of that theology, Barr’s The Making of Biblical Womanhood is a must read). Yet in all these “red flags’ that try to shame folks within those cultural control groups to turn away, there is a wonderful, honest, age appropriate story the family can engage in:

What is missed in all the obstufucation? That at its core is a story of belonging. Discovering who we are, and the important natural supports (personal circles of support) that aid us in discovering that about ourselves. Belonging in ourselves. For the life coaches out there as well, the removal of the individual and communal gremlins to thrive into who you authentically are. Enjoy the ride! Watch it with multi-generations, and engage in the discussion afterwards of what you do with your “Red Panda”.

The movements of art this week, brought us into the mid-week service at Marda Loop Church, a space trying to engage the faith walk a little differently. As well, as continuing to leverage technology for connection (which as a medically complex family, we are glad to still be able to connect on those days we cannot physically be there). This past Thursday, church was Visio Divinia. Like the practice of Lectio it is rooted in the story, but here after hearing the story, you have 2-3 minutes with an image from the story that an artist has crafted. The beauty of a complete service being shaped in some of the stories from Genesis, is the conversation and discussion connecting points. Those moments noted in the Gospel of sharing, questioning and growing what it means to live the faith, is in the moment. For spirituality, living the gospel life is not a head knowledge game, it intersects our holistic person, and is meant to be experienced and discovered together in community and taken forward. An aside, one of the reasons I resonate with Franciscanism, where learning a biblical teaching is more than memorization of chapter and verses or knowledge, it is the internalized living out. Also, it is always affirming to hear another pastor assert the truth of David-Bathsheba and the sexual assault.

Stories shared and the etchings follow, click on the story title for the scripture in English Standard Version to read, I encourage this to happen within community (more than 1) for discussion, as well, I encourge between generations, we had, as always, our kiddos and it brings different noticings (though my neurodivergence every so often would fixate on the dog, much like why I love the story of Tobit).

Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac:

Abraham casts out Hagar and Ishmael

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/373061

Joseph tells his dream (remember Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat? Joseph is the centre here):

What was given as homework, is the story of Purim, that is the book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible, and this etching of The Triumph of Mordecai:

Thank you for indulging the length of this post. Anyone who has been involved in my work, teaching, or many moons ago when I was involved with the ELCIC as a Lay Professional Leader and had a contemplative mid-week service, know how I do enjoy the spiritual practice as part of the spiritual formation. Also through the flow, there is the reminiscient of my own vocational story of making the connections with the Holy and life, the conversations I have had with many clergy and laity that the “canon” of scripture goes beyond the 66 books of the Protestant Bible (first notice is of course Orthodox, Coptix and Roman Catholic Bibles). We also have to take into account the creation we have been called into as caretakers of, the ongoing revelation through the arts, science and other learnings for if the Holy Mystery is in everything and everything is in the Holy Mystery revelation continues second by second.

And let us not forget the beautiful diversity that is the Imageo Dei (the image we are created in), for me, it resonates fo much with the Star Trek ideal of IDIC– Infinite Diveristy in Infinite Combinations. Which brings us to an article I just want to draw your attention to dear reader, around how story and fandoms can aid us in our own discoveries and health as Jay Stobie shares on Star Trek, Lt. Barclay and Mental health here.

Just a final PSA throwback to when Ecclectica used to be an e-mail based Canadian and Alberta political round up: April 9 Premier Jason Kenney is undergroing a leadership review as leader of the United Conservative Party. Where most leaders ahve a 70% threshold to stay on, he has stated, much like the Clairty Act, of it being 50% + 1 vote. I have noted many progressives defaulting to the old Alberta practice of buying PC party memberships to vote in the review to oust Mr. Kenney, and then by proxy vote in the leadership contest for the new “premier” it became engrained in the 40+ years of PC rule.

What I want to note as missing though, is this practice continued to push forward a party that many stated they were unhappy with in power. So why do we want to repeat the cycle? Aside from giving the monetary boost of membership sales. If being involved in other parties one sees a Mr. Kenney led UCP as beatable in 2023 (which polling is bearing out), why give the opportunity for a new leader and snap election?

Change begins by first knowing and naming what needs to change. Then fear, will lead us into repeating the cycle that affirms what has always been. True courage is in breaking the old cycle habits, many outside the UCP continue to say they see the change needed, lets take the courageous steps to break the Alberta cylce of affirming we’re okay with a party, and it’s only one person that has shaped the culture ebing imposed. Parties, like communities, are made up of many that create the culture.

As we flow through this ecclectica, take time to do a check in within your world, and begin to cultivate optimism and some resilience by journalling these 3 questions each day for at least a week:

  1. What are three things you are grateful for and why?
  2. Something new you have learned today?
  3. One thing you will do for self-care (to renew yourself) today?

Oh and after you have watched Turning Red, take time to draw your red panda and ask, is it being a part of me who I am or does it need to leave?

-30-

The Next Crisis

Posted: February 16, 2022 by Ty in Current Events
Tags: , , , ,

Oh what a nebulus time we are in within my Province. Leaning into what UK and Denmark did in ripping the “band aid off”, that they have now had to re-apply not only the band-aid but gauze and tape to. Yet, in true `Berta fashion we are holding the line after making a decision, not letting anything change our trajectory (just read your latest utility bill for the legacy character on this story). Now we are cementing a new legacy character–

If by some miracle we avoid wave 6, and the manifestation level of religious science tells us that covid actually ends March 1 there are a few outside challenges that are not being addressed:

  1. WCB for long covid haulers who contracted while on the job. With the end of PCR testing in our provicne and moving to rapid testing, it does create a huge loop hole of denying claims. In other news, the ending of emergency measures, creates challenges for workers accessing Federal entitlements to help out.
  2. Shows the problem with Majority governments. We got the citizen support, not necessarily because it was a Liberal government federally, but I hold it was a minority goverment, so more than one political ideology needed to be heard in the devision making process for Peace, Order and Good Governance of Citizens.
  3. Public eduction in Alberta needing to be reinvested in, and to teach critical thought, but also history of our species in such a way that builds compassion and empathy (so tired of the reductionist to outright denial of Holocaust, Residential Schools my kid is standing against).
  4. Mental Health- it has been the rallying cry as children have been used as proxies and trojan horses in the logistical gymnastics that led the five waves. But many do not understand the term beyond the Twitter sound byte. What does it mean to go beyond the mental health tweet?

What does it mean to go beyond the mental health tweet?

It is needing to understand we have travelled through a communal trauma. Previously I wrote about who will be missing in the pew when the tape comes off, but this is something that is going to hit those who have invested so much time/anger and definition of person in being anti-vax/anti-mask. What happens, when there is no longer that collective drive? Collective anger? When they have to face reality of who in their personal circles of supports, loved ones and family have long covid? Have died? Or quietly disconnected, and having seen the worst of a person exposed no longer want relationship?

Is our mental health system robust enough for 15% of the population in mass grieiving?

And that does not even touch upon the fact, that we have fixated so long on what was lost in c-tine for those who followed mandates, and got vaccinated, that we have not taken time to celebrate the joys and triumphs. There is many, as the normal was paused and crumbled, and we were able to be differently. It is in engaging in this work that we renew and grow resilience as the battle ends.

Then there is the guilt and shame and grieving. Even if you are the one that disconnected the relationship it is change, and change brings grieving. Taking time as we reset, to acknowledge the loss. Even if work has changed, housing has shifted. Take time to abide and feel, process, reach out and engae with mental health support. Even if you think there is nothing there, and you are okay, treat your mental and emotional health like your physical. Have that annual check up, check in, be heard, affirm what works, and see what other tools you can add to your tool box.

This doesn’t even touch on the kiddos, who have carried even more of a burden of the possibility of bringing this to thier grandparents, their medically complex siblings, or other family. Have we supported them in processing their grief and emotions through the rolling changes? Have we helped them see the joys and serenity that truly builds their resilience?

What of those who have clearly heard the eugenics message from society, like myself, existing with pre-existing conditions, like my son, that the rock was rolled away, and we heard society say clearly–

You are expendable for my wing night?

March 1, will be what it will be, but do not hide behind mental health as a hashtag for rationale unless you support a robust government investment in the system of support.


Mental health and letting kids be kids are the buzzwords the government is using for removing masking on Monday in schools. And yes, they are as empty as any buzzwords of our era or before when spoken at this province’s covid briefings. Let a Doctor of Psychology ramble for a bit to you:

1) Kids being Kids. Kids are always kids. The bubble wrap popped, and that is where the problem lies, there was no ability to effectively control and schedule every single minute of your child’s life so they could not be bored and discover curiousity and imagination. Was there troubles during this shift change? yes. But there was also amazing blessings, older neighbours getting to know the kids on the block as we were all outside. Taking time to get to know the families your kid’s friends exist in, so collectively we can make decisions for health and safety. Intentional relationship cultivation, and after years of existing in a social media world that perpetuated relationships beyond where they would naturally end, it provided space for that end.

2) Kids being kids. It got kids off the hyper-adulting treadmill we as society had placed them on. It was great to hear the giggling and laughter again.

3) Reilience is the ability for the good to outweigh the bad in short form. Resilience is an overused buzzword to basically not invest in communities, schools and our children by governance. One of the blessings from c-tine, is there was authentic resilience if you took time to engage and cultivate where the gratefulness was and why daily, and to aid in processing through the change/grieving (and yes part of growing healthy resilience is understanding healthy grieivng when change happens).

4) Metnal Health- empty words. Where is the true investment in growing the system? Investing in expanding public libraries? Free community youth and children arts & sports programs? Robust investment back in public schools so they can offer courses beyond the core? Where are community healthy nurses? School nurses? Mental health workers-counsellors-psychologists? No mental health ward should ever be full, yet they are, as a by product of a mishandled situation that allowed the bully to use the pulpit, and continue to use the pulpit, with no understanding of social or human psychology and how to navigate change in healthy ways, and allow for proper grieiving and mourning from the loss of life collectively with covid, opioiod poisonings, and the cancelled care due to the health care war the provincial government inflicted before March 2020 and continued…

So no, kids being kids, and mental health, are not the reasons this is happening, for if it was, this would not be simply a stroke of the pen, but many spending, recruitment and build announcements… That is if the provincial government invested in our communities and children as the constitution states they are to.


13 days to one year, 14 days to the first day of c-tine at home for our whole family (the college I teach at shifted to online delivery March 17, 2020). It’s okay to admit you have hit a threshhold for learning new things.It is okay to breathe.It is okay to take time alone (which is different than being lonely if lonely reach out for phone calls/online calls to folks), for being alone can aid in renewal.It is okay to cultivate new ideas or to simply keep on keeping on with what renews you.It is okay if you haven’t saved any money like the media is saying what a time of savings, cause y’know what being home is costly.It is okay to have ended relationships during this time, because the break made you realize they were toxic, or simply the only thing that kep the relationship going was proximity (nothing positive or negative).It is okay to be tired for no reason.It is okay to admit to not being okay.It is also okay to realize compassion for many in our society who are suffering, who have been excluded, who have been without voice. It is okay to speak about mental health, mental illness, chronic disease death, suicides, and overdoses (for those new to the advocacy call for help, I hope you continue once you no longer have to wear a mask for covid).It is okay to be frustrated/confused/angry due to the restrictions (sorry Alberta still not a lockdown), but end of day, what are you doing to cultivate health and optimism for you and your personal circles of support?It is okay to be okay with the restrictions and masks, and taking extra steps of care for self and neighbour.May as, this time moves forward, and eventually winds down, may we be continue to be okay with discussing tough topics with one another, okay with seeing one another as a full person, and yeah, be okay with doing things for the good of community and neighbour, even if doing that good and support has no direct tie to my own story.Let’s be okay with our journey, our healing, and seeing the good that can be cultivated and emerged from this time.

53

Posted: May 8, 2020 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , ,

A weekend of challenge

from my life in ministry

how to support youth, children and families

in congregational

healthy spiritual community life

celebrate Mother’s, as they should be,

I know,

a wonderful blessing in my life from the matriarchs of my family

that were mentors, friends, and mentors

blessed and privileged to know a family of love,

sadly,

not everyone is

what do do?

How to support, minister, and show love for those without the privilige

who are hiding in the darkness, in survival

has C-tine increased this risk?

Brought the horros of domestic violence, that our province makes apologies and excuses for

driven the victims back into the basements,

hiding their voice in the shadows,

if you are one

if you hear one

if you know someone

speak out

call out for help.

(PSA Video: Alyssia Lies)

Stand in the love you have been blessed to know and experience,

share that love

create a healing sacred space

as we carry through physical distancing

may we emerge stronger into a healthier social normal

may this be the story of Mothers Day Weekend,

that all can come to know the courageous safety, space and love

Day 53 dusk begins to settle.


See the source imageJoe Exotic is a private zoo-internet-reality television personality and Tiger King is the story of what his world looks like. I bring this up as, with physical distancing having something that can provoke discussion with family, or friends online is never a bad thing. Also it shines a light on the private zoo and exotic animal rescue industry in the USA, as my wife would comment to our daughter, “we can buy a tiger for way cheaper than a Corgi for you.”, that and the fact that there is 4,000 tigers in the wild, and they estimate between 5,000 to 10,000 in captivity in the USA just sets the stage.

In the course of the documentary and following the winding road, you meet a drug cartel lord and his rationale for what he does based on his love of animals. An animal rescue couple, with hinky things in their past, and watch closely and ask yourself if what she is doing is any different than the private zoos? It is an intriguing conversation episode by episode as the story unfolds.

Within the private zoo movement those shared you meet hustlers, odd balls, ex-cons that can find a new life finally. But there is a darker stream, and yes this is darker than the big cat mill breeding for cubs as the major money maker is the photo ops with a cub and petting a cub that see the cats only making major money in their first 12 weeks of life. There is darker stories that happen as well, when you see the outcomes of the capitalism. The other thing, is seeing how the animals are used as leverage in building communes and cult like levels of obedience.

This is done, through constant work, sleep deprivation, shared purpose. In one private zoo it is polygamy, where the owner has multiple wives and if the thread is followed properly that he groomed through the previous means, through an intern project.

In the life of the Tiger King, what is seen is the grooming of multiple husbands in his fiefdom, flouting of laws, amassing of debt and the anxiety it creates, growing psychosis and what happens when there is not a healthy social support net around someone in the journey…

Each episode creates points of conversation, and moments of what the? But as one watches you can see real time mental illness and cult leader like behaviours within the community, and the question that needs to be asked though is what is the remedy for this, a healthy resolution for the animals, the staff, and those caught in the rising tide?


Image result for doom patrolI always chuckle loudly (it escapes my inner monologue) when I see fanboy-girls of comics clamour that they were never meant to be societal commentary, meta-narratives or vehicles of social justice…oh how we have missed the point of the medium that carries the message. But this post is not about our own narrow minded echo chambers and an inability to think beyond the literal (I do detest how religious and political ideological extremism has dumb downed our society in less than a generation).  Then you get a show based on a comic book that turns it all on its ear. It is a dark humourous ride into the soul of society using the vehicle of super heroes. The Doom Patrol which started as a band of quirky heroes in Great Adventures #80 (1963), their original run would end with an destructive nuclear blast on an island and Chief, Rita Farr, Larry Trainer, and Cliff Steele would be thought dead…Gar Logan The Beast Boy would go on to join the New Teen Titans as Changeling (and we shall not speak of the Titans television show and what they did with amazing source material–for shame). For more on the twisty-turn world of Doom Patrol, read here, with a grain of salt much like you enter their comic book world curated in the show by Mr. Nobody.

Then the wonderfully weird Grant Morrison would take over the title, and it would shift into Mature Readers territory, and become part of the new sub-universe Vertigo and these heroes would truly shine. This is the fun dark style adventures that the DC Universe streaming Show, Doom Patrol, has taken to the screens. Now think Morrison, and then Pollack was writing late 1980’s through mid-late 1990’s and a character like the gender-queer Danny the Street was created (yes a sentient street where all are welcome), but remember according to fan culture, comics are just stories with no other commentary (Gerard Way with the Young Animals Imprint would keep up this great style of Doom Patrol story telling). But let’s look at the other characters that now grace the television screen. Each episode of season one unveils the traumas that the team must face in their search for Niles Caulder, the Chief. Not only unpacking who the man was that gave them sanctuary and safety from the world, but also what it means to not only be a hero, but a full person.

Larry Trainer (in the comics, Negative Man). A courageous test pilot who has cosmic radiation invest a spirit within him. A man with a wife and kids, a hero, but in 1935 as a child coming home from school his parents are in crisis because a teacher is saying their child is queer. We can so easily forget how far we have come as a society and Trainer’s story shows the fear and inner turmoil he faced when the love of his life stated that he had resigned from the Air Force and wanted Trainer to come with him before the accident. It took Trainer 60 years to come to even a sort of resolution and closure over the incident, as he battles the entity within him always asking whey the entity wants to torture him, but in a seen in Parraguay and the entity echoing Trainer’s words back, is it possible Trainer is the one torturing himself and the entity is attempting wholeness and closure if only Trainer would accept?

Rita Farr (in the comics, Elasti-Girl) is a Golden Age of Hollywood Starlet. Groomed by her parents not with an education, but with only music, dance and acting lessons as it is her looks that will carry her forward. Then her powers emerge and she becomes a blob. The inner struggle is the showing of nurture having stripped her identity of anything other than looks, and the use of the “casting couch” to get ahead. When Rita looses these abilities, her new abilities leave her seeking something else that she had never had to worry about. Who is Rita Farr? It is the stage name that her parents gave her, stripping her of the family ties…so who is she meant to be now? 70 years on she is finally coming into her own, having trauma have frozen her, like Larry, at the time of the change…

Vic Stone, Cyborg is the only known “super hero” on the team, and with the vanishing chief this young adult becomes defacto leader. He first has to overcome who he is? His family system relationships with his father, Silas, and still grieving his deceased mother. Can he become whole and the person he is meant to be? Or will be become the person that outside forces and experience is going to cause him to become?

Cliff Steel (in the comics, Robotman) is a race care driver, witness of domestic violence as a child, who has become a drunken philanderer whose actions wind up killing his wife, leaving his child in the care of a reprobate, and his brain in the body of a robot. Now unable to feel, he must process his emotions, and come into his humanity as a non-human. Cliff meets, Jane, another member of the Doom Patrol…and has a second chance…

Jane has 64 personalities within her, and each personality has a different power. The Underground is where they all live, her mind…well not Jane’s because in Dissociative Identity Disorder there is primary identities and that is what Jane is…not the true person, that is Kay…and it is the story of what happens with Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the psyche. Can Jane become whole?

Oh Cliff don’t take responsibility for the therapy it was probably the rat (Admiral Whiskers).

-Rita Farr

The series episodes all use the title format (blank) Patrol. The Eighth episode of season one is “Jane Patrol” and thanks to the Negative Entity, Cliff is able to travel into Jane’s Underground to find her.

I wish we could shrink down and enter her mind like Magic School Bus Style.

-Vic Stone, Cyborg

As Jane has gone catatonic after the previous episodes marriage shenanigans of her personality Karen. It is an opportunity to meet the personalities as they exist in the Underground for the viewer. Those that surface, and those that exist simply to protect from memories. As one goes deeper into the Underground more darker memories are locked away. The goal is Jane has to choose to re-emerge as the primary, or to cease to exist as a previous primary Miranda had. Cliff is journeying with Penny Farthing (the one that avoids all risks) to find and save Jane.

It’s not my story to tell.

-Cliff Steele

It is a visual and artistic journey that illustrates how Trauma echoes exist, cause pain, and that even how good memories can be suppressed as so dark. For the first meeting of Cliff and Jane is witnessed and Cliff asks Penny why it is there… Penny responds there is nothing more dangerous than giving hope.

As the episode draws to resolution it appears Jane has dealt with the control monster of her rapist-incest father…only to have her laying on her bed smiling and the echo of his voice to be heard…

Each era has created its own challenges and traumas for people depending on their life. Some we have learned from and strive to change and correct. Most we just shake our heads at and state, get over it and move on. The repression cycle does not help anyone, just creates cycles of violence, pain and trauma. The show is fun (I mean a donkey tunnel, a talking grass hopper, a rat seeking vengeance on Cliff for running over his mother to name but a few–oh and beard hunter)…but it raises questions on what it takes for healing and wholeness, and what we as a community need to do differently so as not to be making the same mistakes.

 


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.

Soul Ripples

Posted: May 4, 2019 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , , ,

Narrative, story, what I have always told folks is important about writing our own Gospel. Much like the women at the Empty Tomb in the shorter end of the Gospel of Mark. I am on a journey of healing and recovery, the first phase is seeking to understand, that is my story in Soul Ripples (pre-order here).

The deeper question though is in this reflection on the book, from the higher plain:

coverThere were simple values passed down through the generations of the Ragan family. Basically, it was being neighbourly, whether it came from a religious or non-religious point of view. Throughout the generations’ decisions were made whether to suppress the bad, deal with it, or embrace love and the good. It was the stories shared, some hidden, and when unburied brought healing. 

It was in this life that the formal Christian Formation of Ty Ragan happened at his godparents’ church, Centennial Presbyterian, through their Vacation Bible School. These summers accentuated the already ingrained formation of loving your neighbour as yourself.  

Ty, spent a lifetime attempting to answer the question, as many formed in social gospel framework, “Who is my neighbour?” through journalism, teaching, church ministry, addictions work, outreaching to those being trafficked sexually, rough campers, those in homeless shelters, dementia wards, youth correction centres, affordable housing and everything in between. It was answering the question of who the neighbour is, and how to love them that drove his life’s vocation. 

Until May 2014 innocuous hand tremor led him to a doctor who told him to drink more water. By 2016 mysterious micro-strokes and seizures would occur. On his 39th birthday in 2017 a reign of mental destruction of high double-digit mystery seizures, failing memory, tremoring body and mystery vomiting would take him out of his vocation in October 2017, as he would simply weep “I can’t”. 

The journey would lead him to centre on a new question, the first part of the second love command, love yourself or more directly: 

Where does the helper go when they need help? 

Soul Ripples is his family’s story of laughter, love, tears, pain, loss, addiction, mental health, violence, community, friends, grieving and the steps towards healing. Learn a new way of experiencing life. That’s right, the faithful servant discovering what it means to experience life with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the living into the Wilderness to find healing. It is a story for not only individuals but churches that shows we are not alone, we are not independent, we are truly an interdependent people. Created by the Holy on the 6th day poetically, called blessed and Very Good. Discover the Soul Ripples.