Frame of Reference - Sauk County and Beyond

Triumph over Trauma: Cathy Lins

June 02, 2022 Season 4 Episode 1
Frame of Reference - Sauk County and Beyond
Triumph over Trauma: Cathy Lins
Show Notes Transcript

Trauma is such an ugly word.  it immediately conjures up thoughts horrible, life changing events.  Catastrophes that fall upon us without warning.  situations that are complex, emotional, and stressful.  And then there’s all the recovery and healing that adds to the ongoing impact and difficulty.  We endure the trauma and its aftermath and either grow bitter because it just doesn’t make sense to us or seems unjust, or we use it strengthen us in wisdom and compassion.

What I find fascinating about Cathy’s work, is that she finds as she conducts workshops that a rapidly increasing number of attendants report that they realize after Cathy’s workshops that they see evidence of trauma in their own lives.  And they’re surprised by how it has been impacting them and their behavior without any awareness.

Cathy Lins worked as a consultant for many years by assisting numerous not-for-profit organizations to raise money to do work in communities with desperate needs.  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.

Announcer:

Welcome to frame of reference informed intelligent conversations about the issues and challenges facing everyone in today's world, in depth interviews with salt counties, leaders and professionals to help you expand and inform your frame of reference brought to you by the max f m digital network. Now, here's your host, Rauel LaBreche.

Rauel LaBreche:

Well, welcome to another edition of frame of reference Sauk County and beyond. And I'm happy to say that today's sitting across the table from me as a person that has been on this podcast a number of times, and it's interesting, because whenever you have these discussions, I, I am aware both of the profundity of the problems that we're dealing with, and yes, and yet I am filled with a sense of hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And I'm, while I'm talking about Kathy lens, who is the founder of an organization called gather my lost sheep. Cathy has an extensive background in trauma, in the causes of trauma, the ways that people deal with trauma. And if you've listened to our episodes before talking about abuse and and how she came into this field of trauma, you know that she has a wealth of information in terms of recognizing our own traumas, and finding ways to get beyond them to a healthier life, and probably most importantly, to getting to a healthy relationship with God. So Kathy, welcome. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you and glad to be back here again, talking about and every time we come. There's like those new developments, new things to talk about and share on things that we're seeing out there as we're out in the field. And indeed, and you know, that's what's so exciting is it's like okay, we haven't talked for about six months. So there's got to be something new going on with graphics, I'll call Kathy and and she'll come talk. So it'll be exciting, as always, so well. And speaking of new things, Kathy, you've been on the show a number of times now and we know that you've been through my favorite thing segment. So I spent some time ahead of time coming up with some new favorites for you. So you're going to end up with something hopefully again, like normal, just whatever comes to mind is good. Doesn't matter. And I know I don't have to worry about you in any explicit language or anything like that. So here we go. Without further ado, favorite song. Favorite song. Oh,

Cathy Lins:

see, I'm a Tina Turner person you know, okay. Well, I love Tina and rollin on the river. Okay. Want to know and I have been known to break out into karaoke. It was a thing for one of my co workers is my boss was like, if you want to make it in this crew, you got to sing karaoke. Okay. So that's your favorite musical artists would be Tina Turner. Okay. Oh, what rolling on the river. I gotta love that. I mean, I love a lot of hers. Okay, how about your favorite dog breed or your favorite cat? Or you might even think about a favorite. I'm always a terrier. Really, all of my rescue dogs have been terriers. They've either been a fox terrier, rat terrier, a Jack Russell Terrier. So when I was just looking at another one today that I was just like, Well, that's an interesting terrier wondering, because Lucy is 14. Not that I expect that she's gonna but

Rauel LaBreche:

yeah, yeah. Especially with rescue dogs. Yeah. Especially 14 1516. Yeah, yeah, I hear Yeah, that's we've had we've had rescue dogs. Wow. Our first dog wasn't really a rescue dog, although he came to us out of the blue just walked into the yard one day, and we ended up rescuing him. But I am so into rescue dogs because you kind of take what's there at the time, but they always end up being so appreciative of, you know, they know. Yeah, well, because I've gotten quite a few that have gone through the shelter. And they're like, they didn't make it here. So then they found somebody who take them in as a foster home, because they're like, if they can't make it here, we're running out of options. So I'm like, Okay, let's go. And it's funny, especially the last two. They were like, they wanted nothing to do with anyone else. But the minute you walked in,

Cathy Lins:

this is my person I have decided and they're like, Well, you have been chosen. Yeah, yes. There's, there's an old thing about we don't choose we don't own dogs, dogs own us. So which I fully believed. Well, I always tell them I said I think they see the big smi for him. It says sucker. Like this one. I want to go with that one because she's gonna spoil me rotten. Totally. Totally. Yeah, they get that they have a sixth sense for that sort of thing.

Rauel LaBreche:

How about your favorite flower?

Cathy Lins:

Um, I would have to say the Peony and I was so surprised that mine came up so early this year. Yeah. But I love when I keep hoping because I keep buying what is supposed to be a red peonies and I'm like, Okay, that is purple. That is not red.Honey, I know that there are red ones out there. So I keep trying to get the Red Peony. We have a long line of pennies on the side of our driveway when you come in by our house. And there's red and white and pink and it's always last year was such a horrible year because they came up fast and then the Raleigh's below freezing nights. So I remember a couple of nights my wife and I being out there were like, cover this one with a crate, put some fabric over it, you know, and she's like, Oh, this year has been thankfully it looks like it's gonna be okay, we had the one run, but now they're going okay. And they just like the past couple of days with the all the warm weather. They just,

Rauel LaBreche:

I swear if we did time lapse photography, which is like so, which is if you can see me I'm doing this big arm gesture right with things slowly. Yeah, I'm trying to give you a sense there with you know, if you just imagine closer, whatever. How about your favorite movie, or a favorite movie actor, actress? Let's see, my favorite movie has always been When Harry Met Sally. Alright, I like that. Billy Crystal and

Cathy Lins:

Meg Ryan, I finally saw that movie not too long ago. And I finally kind of got why people love that song. But you know, I hadn't seen it until gosh, it was just like a couple of years ago. But it's a wonderful movie. Just lots of fun, right? And the chemistry between those two, it's just, you know, it's so natural. And so but it's just, it's, I watch it again and again. And I'm like, I love this movie. Yeah, it's kind of parallels are, I think a lot of our lives where we just don't really get things until we get to the point where we get things right.

Rauel LaBreche:

So how about a favorite quote, you have a favorite quote? I'm the one that I came across that I really fell in love with. It says, you know, there was a physician who said,

Cathy Lins:

Love, you know, is is the medicine, the medicine that people need? And someone said, Well, what if it doesn't work? And he stopped and he thought for a second? And he said, increase the dose?

Rauel LaBreche:

And I thought Yes, yes, the dosage? Yep, there you go. Which is? Yeah, why don't we, you know, button says, Oh, I've given all I can give one? That's not really love. I don't think that's probably a little harder. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So is it because your your site, your Facebook page for gather my lost sheep has quite a few quotes. I mean, do you? Do you look for specific special ones,

Cathy Lins:

I track with different folks to look at what kind of things are out there. And so it just I have searched, set it for searches for certain things, because I'm like, I want to keep that fresh and up. And I actually had someone who two people this week, who just messaged me who like, I just love following what you post and the things you talk about. And, and you're honest, I mean, you don't sugarcoat it, there's times where it's not pretty. Because I'm like, if you're going to walk with people, you need to know what you're getting into. Right? You know, that's the reality. And yeah, they're gonna be good days. And there are days where you're like,

Rauel LaBreche:

not pretty well, it's easy to put on a facade. And just, my dad used to hate it when he would, he would ask people how they are. And they would say, Fine. And he was fine. was fine. I don't fight fine. What is tell me what that is? Because he just didn't understand why people would want to hide behind a word as ambiguous as fine. And and yet he did it himself to arguing that fine. So?

Cathy Lins:

Well, it's funny that you mentioned it because I had been doing some training on Mental Health First Aid. Okay. And one of the exercises in there is, how do we respond if someone says I'm not doing very well, right. And it was like this complete stop, because I had literally interviewed people who were not expecting that they're like, I was like, oh, you know, in there can be a little bit of a, I wasn't ready for that. And now I have to do something I'm told. So we almost want it to just be that surface thing. I think we do want it to be that surfacing a lot of time. It's just like, the social thing you have to do is ask how people are, but it's like, Please don't tell me. What was wonderful is by the time people finished that eight hours of training, they again people emailed me back and they're like, Kathy, I thought about it. And someone, I asked them how they were doing it, and I could see they weren't fine. And I asked questions, and I just checked in more. And they finally talked about what was really going on. And then they thanked me profusely that someone took the time to listen and I said, you know I get it. I remember the time that I was talking to one of the priests. He got so high. Yeah. And I said, So do you want the polite answer or do you want the truth and he, I mean, it stopped him cold and he was like, what's up? What's the difference? I said, the polite answer would be this. And the truth would be this. And he was like, oh, oh, oh, let's talk. Because let's talk more about the truthful answer. Sure, which is a difficult thing, right? I mean, and, and yet, I would posit that it is a it is a device, I believe, of, of the enemy of our souls to make people believe a lie, that if you ask, and you really dig, it will be really draining on you, you know, and you have to have all kinds of resources in order to do that. And I'm not saying it doesn't take some resources. Because, you know, obviously, the more you have empathy for someone, the more you get drawn into things that does take energy. But at the end of the day to doing that, for someone, giving a higher and higher dosage of love has a return effect as well. So you may be exhausted, but it's kind of like, I think the exhaustion of having done a good day's work, you know, like, you can look and see you got all that stuff done. It's like, boy, I'm terrible. Man, that looks good. You know, am I'm probably trivializing it, but you get what I mean? I do I do. And the other side of that is, and there's always this is actually feeds into exactly what we're talking about. And then there's that self care that says, I've just put myself out, I may have run into somebody who really has something serious going on, right? What am I now going to do to replenish myself? Right? I mean, that's literally what we're talking about in this particular word, right? At this juncture, right?

Rauel LaBreche:

Okay, how about how about a favorite historical personality?

Cathy Lins:

Historical See, that's going to be Abraham Lincoln. All right. Okay. That's mainly because I spent time as a field trip interpreter, because of course, you have to be licensed to be a tour guide, let us be clear, and as a field trip,

Rauel LaBreche:

not just for the meek of heart or whatnot, right? Because I was

Cathy Lins:

working with the National four h council at that point. And we would go regularly to the Lincoln Memorial. And it was always that chance to really sit and think about what he was dealing with at that time, the difficult choices that he had to make. And it was interesting, if you actually look at the sculpture, they the person who created it, if you look from one side, you can see a happier time. And if you look from the other, you can see it was a harder Saturd time, all in the same statue.

Rauel LaBreche:

Okay, so he was able to give kind of the range of emotion almost,

Cathy Lins:

when you think about the severity of what he had to make choices about to try to save the nation,

Rauel LaBreche:

remember, be the movie Lincoln with who's it Oh, gosh, I can't think of his name. Those of you that are listening, you can tell me what the name is. Anyways, Daniel, the actor that played him, at one point that towards the very end, he's sitting on the porch at Appomattox with the accurate place grant. And Grant says something to him of, you know, you appear older than the last time you remember. And he said something effective, you know, the, the events of the day have weighed heavily on me, you know, and, you know, who couldn't imagine? And I mean, that's just, I always say, you know, I don't care who you are, I would not want to be president of the United States, especially right now. Especially right now. How about a favorite comfort food?

Cathy Lins:

That would be strawberry shortcake, whoo, strawberry? Almost. Well, except that it's harder to find a little bit, one of the berry places just announced that they're not going to be doing berries this year. Really? So it's almost time why? I don't know. They're just ticking to their blueberries at this point. But no, it's hard to hard to find the workers. I'm not really sure. Interesting. I was just like, strawberries. Strawberry Shortcake could be a high or a high demand item. It's gonna be like oil forgot shake barrels of oil. Oh, my. Yeah, quarts of strawberries. 1895.

Rauel LaBreche:

So how about this will be your last one. Okay? How about the favorite quality or the thing that when you meet somebody with this quality, you think yourself, I want to be their friend. So it's like a favorite quality you look for in people that you want to be friends with.

Cathy Lins:

willingness to try new things. And to, to put out into the deep a little bit more. Okay. So you know, not just because that's what we've always done.

Rauel LaBreche:

I get that I like quirky. But I appreciate people who are willing to try things that are out of the norm. Sure. I talked with Jeff right at our superintendent here a couple weeks back and he was talking about how he one of his students really taught him about, you know, take chances why not, you know, be bold. You never know until you try something right if it's going to happen. Be bold, I think there's a song about that. Be bold, be strong. For the Lord God, God is with me. You know, it's just like, one of those things are like, yeah, and why not? Y ou know? And how many times do you meet people that wish they would have? Right?

Cathy Lins:

I don't want to have that regret. I mean, that was the thing that when I was younger, I want to on exchange as a high school student to Spain, I then went as an international four H Youth Exchange participant for six months to Central America. My family was convinced I would die, I would be killed. I mean, I worked at the National forage Center in Washington, DC, and my father tried to convince me that I would not live through the summer I would be killed for sure. And actually, you were but you've continued on, you've been resurrected and continue on, right? You know, but I got in my car, I drove out there I went. And I just remember my aunt or my grandmother who was like, terrified of me going, and and then her poring over the pictures. And looking at me and going, I wish I had done that when I was younger. And I thought, you know, I don't want to be later in life and wish I had done it, right. Taking advantage of those opportunities you have, grabbing a hold of life by that teeth, and doing what you need Carpe Diem, right? Even if it scares me, well, probably mostly a big scary, right, right. Right.

Rauel LaBreche:

And so, folks, my guest today is Kathy Lin's, the founder or originator of gather my lost sheep, an organization that is designed to help people that have experienced trauma to help them kind of recover from that, right, our trauma informed parishes, and we're really trying to work with churches to say, let's talk about how we can be welcoming and how we can be places of healing for folks. And the rain. People are always like, why are you doing this? Why? Because I went to speak to a state conference for people living with mental health challenges. And I was talking about peer support. And the I said, you know, one of the first places that the research says people turn for support our churches. And the next thing I knew hands are going up. And then one gentleman said, I did exactly what you said. That's exactly where I went. And let me tell you how your Jesus people treated me. Yeah.

Cathy Lins:

Or, and he wasn't the only one. And I didn't have a positive story in the bunch to to talk about how churches had treated them. And I thought, Huh, I'm like, I afterwards, I'm like, Lord, that was painful. I'm sure there's a reason why you wanted me to see that. But that was painful. And the most fascinating thing happened afterwards, one of the participants came up and she said, I don't think you realize what you've just done. And I said, Tell me, and she said, You just gave a whole lot of people a little bit of healing. She said, You didn't tell them? I'm sure that didn't happen. Oh, well, I don't know what you think you heard. But that's not what they said. Or that's not what they ate. And I'm like, she was you didn't do any of that. No, you listen to them. Right. And I thought, that's really the key here of what we need to be doing. And I have to have conversations sometimes with some of the church, particularly some of the clergy to say, I've had noticed that sometimes when people start to talk about the church is this the church is that God is this God? Y'all don't want to hear that and you go into defensive mode, right? And you're never going to win them over. And if you give them the chance to just talk, I've called collaborator, Father, Mark kPZ. And father, John Lunas. Father Mark said to me, Kathy, they have to let the venom out. If you let them talk, and work it through. And you listen, you have now have a possible bridge of trust to have a conversation, right?

Rauel LaBreche:

You got Lance the wound. So they got a chance to talk about Mary golf. So Well, folks, we're gonna talk about that and so much more. If you're just staying with us after this brief break. We'll take hear a word from our sponsors here on frame of reference, and 99 Seven Max FM, don't go away. If you've got pets, there's a strong probability that they are hungry critters, and your pet has a way of knowing when it's time to eat. That's right buster. Macfarlanes does have more pet toys and food than you can shake a stick at. Yes, lightning Thank you, as well as nutritional supplements for horses, cattle, sheep, rabbits and chickens. Course I was going to tell them about the address shish MacFarlane seven at Carolina Street, one block south of highway 12 where service is a family tradition. And we're back here on frame of reference. Select counties only. Yes, that's right. Really only show that talks with leaders And movers and shakers around Sauk County that have messages for the world, really. And my guest today is someone that certainly has that because her experience has been all over the nation, that the things she has dedicated her life to the kind of work she's dedicated her life to. Certainly shows up in all corners of the earth, and all populations. So Kathy Lin's is the founder of gather my lost sheep, which Kathy told me about gather my last cheap word of that organization. The idea for that come from how did you start that?

Cathy Lins:

Oh, I was talking earlier about, you know, I spoken for a mental health conference. And I would literally like, Lord, what is it that you call us to? And it was like, gather my last sheep go home? And like, Oh, okay. So I called to my preach friends. And I said, listen, here's what we want to do. Let's like, talk about like, how would this go? And, and they were, you know, at first he was like, trying to decide if that's something they wanted to do. And I'm like, Well, Lord, what would you have us do? And it's like, trauma informed parishes. I'm like, Okay, you're writing a book, like. So I have been starting that process and working with a publisher and making that actually come to fruition, which is an exciting thing to be working on. I've got actually gotten to short chapters and some other books as well, we're so I'm like, a published author is a whole different ballgame. But I'm like, Okay, Lord, if that's what you call, but it's, it was that chance to actually bring that to fruition. And so we've been going out and doing trainings. And it's been a fascinating process, I was up in one of the other diocese here in the Wisconsin area. And I got to talk a little bit more about trauma and the six core areas that we need to be looking at for the safety in particular overall. And it was so interesting, who showed up, because I had some people who live with trauma, who were like, he'll have no idea how nice it is to finally have someone in the church who gets this. Who knows what I'm talking about, because they're like, I run into so many people who are just, they don't get it, to have other people who came because they were intrigued. And as they were looking at the different types of trauma, came back to me and said, Kathy, I think I might have unresolved trauma. Yeah, I've experienced those things. And I behave the way that you're talking about, I just never thought about that. As well as people, I had a couple of members of the clergy who came to me and said, I realized, I've hurt people. I didn't mean to I didn't, I really didn't think about what it was I was saying and why they were experiencing what they were. And now that I get it, I want to do a lot better. As well as this ministry, folks who work with prisons who work with, you know, lots of different groups who are just like, Kathy, there's so much trauma in the world. And now that you say it, it becomes so much clearer how widespread this really is, you know, so for them, and it gave them some examples, concrete things to think about, what would that mean? How does it what does it look like I was the thing that the gentleman who's in charge of parish evangelization, he said, Kathy, it is now clear to me that healing is the path of evangelization. He said, it's also clear to me that we have a lot of clergy who have unresolved trauma, who, either because they came into this and never got to dealt with, and now it's showing up in spades, or just in the process of hearing what they hear on a regular basis. They've got vicarious they've got secondary, they've got burnout, they've got all of these compassion, fatigue, all of these indirect traumas. Sure, that, you know, are now coming to play for

Rauel LaBreche:

what do you think of just having friends of mine that are psychologists, counselors now? And the amount of compassion fatigue that the general population feels having been through COVID? I think of like, you know, just recently that that shooting debacle up in Buffalo, you know, all those people that were just going to get groceries, you know, how do you deal with the trauma of going into a grocery store, again, having that in your memory, you know, for the rest of your life? Right. And, you know, not everyone has that degree necessarily, but the cumulative effect of traumas, I think is part of what you're alluding to.

Cathy Lins:

And I think it's even helpful to just clarify, because when I say compassion, fatigue, what they're pointing to is they've been exposed to it, they've been hearing about it. And they have actually gotten to the point where they have a reduced capacity to empathize. Just like I just can't even deal with this anymore. And there's an overwhelming sense and there's just the sense of anger, and some of the people that they're supposed to be working with and you don't because that's very different than save I care serious trauma, where you know, because of that continual stress that's been going on what they've been experienced to, they also have that change sense of the world that the world is not safe. Now their belief system starts to become very similar to the people that they're actually trying to help.

Rauel LaBreche:

Now, when you see that kind of ugliness over and over and over, and have to deal with the fact that this happened, this this horrible thing that I've never experienced, but this person did, that's awful. That should never happen. Yeah, that I mean that that sort of rude awakening, constant, rude awakening that the world is an ugly place, makes it really hard to find hope, right? To find a way to that there's ways out of these things

Cathy Lins:

like, Well, what do we do at that point, right. And that's because people are like, well, there's secondary trauma different than vicarious and like action a little bit. Because for people who've experienced secondary trauma, they have symptoms, almost the same as people who have PTSD. So they're starting to do the re experiencing the avoiding certain situations, the hyper arousal and reaction to someone else's experience. And so you realize the different kinds of ways that this shows up in people's lives, and it becomes the question of, What are you doing to address that. And that's really where trauma informed supervision came to be. Because as they were really working on trying to create trauma informed organizations, really working with the organizations to say, like, how are we creating this? Have we thought about how we create safety? And we thought about, they were like, Okay, that's great that we're trying to do this for the clientele. But what about for the people who work here? Like, where's the safety for them? Here's what you're putting in place for them. And so it really became the, how are we creating a system of supervision, so that we can really help our teams. And it's interesting, because therapists have therapists, we don't

Rauel LaBreche:

think about that. Yeah, they need them. Oh, my gosh, if anyone needs some, you know, and

Cathy Lins:

yet, therapists can be terrible about doing their own self care.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah, I'm a therapist. I'm not supposed to need care right?

Cathy Lins:

Here, that same thing from priests, and from the other clergy members, and you know, some of the other they're like, Well, I wouldn't need I don't take care of, and I, I was telling people, I said, you know, when I was doing coaching for Catholic leadership Institute's, I'm talking to bishops, I'm talking to priests. And we're talking about how you'll be a leader in your parish. And we come up to the section of self care, and they're like, oh, you know, when I actually have time for that, I will get back to that. I'm like, Yeah, how's that working out for you?

Rauel LaBreche:

Oh, my Lord, don't make me laugh.

Cathy Lins:

But it's what I said to the one of the bush, I literally was just saying to one of the bishops, here's the thing. There are more and more people who have experienced trauma, there was 70% of people who have experienced trauma before COVID head, it's bigger now. And there's more people who are having the experience of the PTSD at this juncture, you can't have your priests out, trying to support people, and not have a plan for themselves for care.

Rauel LaBreche:

Right. Does it seem to you? I wonder if so many of us almost walk around in a I want to think of it almost like Novocaine spate you know where we've deadened ourself to things enough so that we kind of go through the motions of it without really dealing with those things that are painful or

Cathy Lins:

this association. Yeah.

Rauel LaBreche:

I mean, it does, it seems like there's just kind of, sometimes it seems like people just don't have the capacity to, you know, and to feel emotions to the depth that even joy. I mean, it's hard, I think, to experience joy to its, you know, full potential, if you can, you know, experience sadness to it. It's

Cathy Lins:

right. That's literally what people that's part of the reason that people who have experienced trauma have such a hard time. They're so desperate to not feel the pain, that they've shut that emotion down, not aware that when you shut that emotion down, you're not just shutting down the pain, you're shutting down the joy that you're talking about. And I'm like, that's a big, heavy price to pay to not have access to that, right. That is, and when you think about the Christian life, it's like, well, of course, there's joy. And it's like, not if you've shut it down there isn't.

Rauel LaBreche:

Right, right. If you've turned your back on the thing that will enable you to really experience it, right. So you you've talked about a little bit your the the self care practice. But see,

Cathy Lins:

here's the thing is, we need to have individuals have an idea of what they want to do for self care, okay. But we need to have team members and supervisors who are also intentionally checking in as a part of what they do for supervision, to say so how's it going? So give me some feedback. Tell me a little bit about how things are going. And we have had so many priests who have been sent out by themselves to make it work and I think that's probably true for all clergy as well, where who else is it that they're working in community with. So it's intentionally having priests group, other clergy groups, so that you actually have people that you can actually touch base with just it's thinking about the self care, it's thinking about, is there an app where I can see like, how am I doing? How is my mood, there are actually apps for therapists. And you, anybody else could use them to that, say, you know, how would you answer these questions, you just might want to know that that's kind of typical in a few things that maybe you want to kind of get in check and check on yourself on.

Rauel LaBreche:

I was on as I'm a big Star Trek fan, I remember one of the beginning scenes in the Search for Spock. Spock has been, you know, restored to do his physical cell, but he's training his mind. And so he's got these three computers in front of them that are asking him all these wild questions about philosophy and, you know, advanced quantum physics or whatnot. And one of the machines all of a sudden says, How do you feel? And he's like, I don't understand. The question is, how do you feel? Just like, I have no, you know, you're completely stymied. And his mother who's half human says, smack you or, you know, Vulcan, but you're also half human, you need to understand your feelings. He's like, but they're irrelevant. And it's, yeah, no, no, they're really not Spock, and he learns that over the course. But I think sometimes do it. Viva Microsoft, Viva wonderful program for checking in your daily stuff, and kind of giving you your briefing of what projects are out there. It'll check in with me daily and say, How are you feeling? Like, I don't know if I want to tell a computer how I'm feeling. But it's just a log, you know, so you can kind of see where

Cathy Lins:

we had more of our priest actually utilizing, right?

Rauel LaBreche:

And wanting to actually not just ask it, but building in the time to actually hear the answer. And to take it where it may go. Right. So I'm thinking

Cathy Lins:

about, like, what kind of things are you doing to recharge yourself? Right? Where's that creativity opportunity for you? Where's the? Because so often, they're like, I have to serve I have to serve I have to serve just like, and dead priests don't serve anyone? I don't know, I just want to point that out.

Rauel LaBreche:

One, how are you going to serve if you don't have any resources to serve with? Right? You know, and I think of the number of people that don't want to take time for themselves, you know, or they, they don't find something that they just enjoy doing. And we spent spend so much time in front of the television, you know, catching up on whatever. And that's, I mean, that's relaxing, to some extent, right. But you know, how many couch potatoes Do you know, that have completely unresolved trauma in their life? Because they've just allowed themselves to escape it constantly, right?

Cathy Lins:

And go there. And let's hear the say the other part, how much of it is stigma? Because we wouldn't want to admit that we might have a mental health challenge, right? Because that's that big fear of like, well, if I have that, then only crazy people go to therapists. And it's like, really, I want you just to really hear the thought process that's going through your head right now.

Rauel LaBreche:

No, it's the crazy people that don't go to therapy, those are the ones you worry about. And as

Cathy Lins:

they always say, people who go to therapy go there to deal with the people who really need to go. Yeah,

Rauel LaBreche:

there's some real truth to that, unfortunately. Well, you know, and we talked about that. I when I trained people here at Macfarlanes, one of the first discussions we have an onboarding is to recognize the stresses that agricultural business people are under, you know, and they talk about anxiety disorders, and depression and suicide, being three really prevalent things in the ag business. And, you know, it's interesting, because we, one of the things I have to always address is, you know, if your arm was broken, and you didn't get it set in the cache, people would wonder what the heck is wrong with you, your brain, which is completely different in a lot of ways, but is still an organ in our bodies, and is infinitely more complex than an arm that can be broken in all kinds of ways. And we just, we, you know, you gotta get over it. You got to deal with a real man doesn't have those feelings, whatever the excuse may be. And it just, it's, we've got to get past the point where we think of it as being crazy and just understand that yeah, I got a problem. That makes sense. I've had some issues. I've had some traumas, I've had some difficult things I've had to deal with. And yeah, my brain struggling to kind of build the new pathways to deal with it and cope with it. Right. Why is that such a stigma? Why is it so hard for people to come to grips with that and just say, I need help? I need help. What do you what have you seen in people that keeps them from asking for that help?

Cathy Lins:

That's the What will people think well, that's keep me from being promoted, but from being considered for other things if I need to get that help, and I think the the brightest spot and all of this I've seen is some what's Well, we've had a couple of our bishops who have actually come out and said, I actually need to take a leave right now because I need to take care of my own mental health. No. And I think that gives the rest of their members and the people that they oversee the flock of their priests, the Brotherhood permission to admit that maybe I need some help. Because this has all been very isolating to go through COVID. It's been hard on a lot of people know. And so it's that opposite. When you think about how many funerals that people went through where families couldn't be there, they couldn't they suffered alone, right, without the support network that they normally would have had,

Rauel LaBreche:

right? The guilt that you feel having not been able to be there. And, you know, the number of people that that are gone, that we never got to say goodbye to that were important parts of our life,

Cathy Lins:

people who couldn't go to the hospital, right? their loved ones, right. Right.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah, there's, you know, I fear there's going to be a lot of trauma for a lot of years. And if we don't come up with some way of experiencing yet, or, you know, really bringing it to the surface and dealing with it LIS listening to one another. I mean, what do you think there are? I don't know what how what to call maybe lies, that we tell ourselves that keep us from listening?

Cathy Lins:

Um, you know, I think there's that part of them that says, I have to keep going, I have to be there for everyone else I have to be, what if, if I'm not there, who will be there for them? And I'm like, again, this is where we need to bring other leaders in other missionary disciples in what if there was a whole team of us pulling together, because not only do we need, literally, it's the if we have our bishops on board with us working with this. And then thinking about the different solar lights in the Diocese of Madison, we have nine different vicariates. And there's one priest who is supposed to be keeping an eye on the other priests within their particular local area, and kind of checking in with them as they go, and together with the vicar general. And so it becomes the, what are we doing at that point, so that those vicarious leaders know enough about supervision to really know what to watch for? What kind of behavior would we see what kind of questions should we be asking? So that we, in fact, know how they're doing? And again, it goes right back to the same seven, the six principles that we talked about when we first started this whole process, but becomes the what are we doing to create safety for our staff? know, if you've had someone who had a really difficult situation come in? Do you have a space within your rectory, your office, your wherever, for the clergy, for the staff, so that they can just go and decompress? Is there someone else a buddy system that we have, so that you can call someone else now because we're going to share pre Beatles personal details, you know, we're going to be like Person X, I just need a chance to talk about this and to get which is what therapists are doing to Sure. So being able to listen for each other, creating that up in a way in a buddy system, and officially within the diocese system, so that people can be there to actually listen. So it's what are we created in our parish to do this with my own staff with my own team, so that they're supported, and have someone to go to? And then as a priest, what am I doing within my vicarious? And then eventually, what am I doing within the diocese? And oh, my gosh, here's a crazy idea. There's a metropolitan Bishop for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for the state of Wisconsin. So what are we doing to make sure that we've got these different diocese have someone to go through with the Archdiocese? Wherever the Cardinals are in next? And you know what, I think we're going for the guy and Wyatt, let's go for the Pope. Yeah, you know, but what if we could be creating that all the way through, have the apps, the resources, the places that we could work with to bring this in, and I told you, I was, I'm offline, and I was working with the Archdiocese of Vancouver. It's a fascinating time to be working with them, because they've got a priest who just got his PhD in theology, and I should say, in Counseling and Psychology, and he said, I am so thrilled that you want to talk about trauma informed supervision, I want to talk about how we create that structured throughout the diocese, that's part of what we're looking at. They've got a team of about 20 counselors that are like, we want to work with you to say like how we're going to spread this out over all of our different our 70 parishes and what that would look like and are trainers literally making that a possibility. So that's what's coming to fruition. So for them to see the vision of what we're talking about and looking then saying we've we've got to do this, because they do know that they've been dealing with clergy abuse cases. They do know they've been dealing with the residential schools and I don't know if you've noticed, but the residential schools report for the United States just came out. That if it comes on hold other area. So when you think about really, culturally, everything that's going on all the different, we've just got so many different factors. And I come back to, we don't need to be the land of the wounded, what if we were creating safe places for healing, because if people could heal, they will thrive. So it really becomes the I love the quote the other day that said, you know, if your flower isn't blooming, you don't beat up on the flower. You take a careful look at the environment and say, What do I need to do differently for this flower to bloom? Yeah, that's really what we're trying to create as blooming flowers

Rauel LaBreche:

with settled joke, the Christian army is the only army in the world that shoots its wounded. And so which, you know, speaks to your comment about the people in workshops that say, Hey, you know, I went to my church. And this is, and I went to, and this is what happened. And you know, those people that need to let some of that steam off, if you will, over the clergies, the churches, organizations, ministers that should have, should have known how to deal with it, but never were trained. And you know, what training they did receive didn't give them the tools that you need to listen to someone that's hurting, because it's not pretty, you know, when people are just going on and on about their litany of misery, it's really easy to just like, Oh, God, I don't want to hear this anymore. You know, it's got to be your problem. It's got to be your fault somehow. And that just perpetuates the illness, right?

Cathy Lins:

It just keeps going. That's why I love that I encourage people for Mental Health First Aid, because it actually gives you a step by step process of how do I assess what am I looking for at this point? You know, are they in imminent danger at this point? Because that makes a difference in which direction? And if they're not, then what's the next time I'm going to listen, that's going to things I'm going to give information? And give a hope. That that's part of that, that we're actually thinking about, like what are the do they need to be connected to professional? Some people do? Some people don't? If they do, what can I do to help them get connected? What are the self care things that they could be doing, that's also going to be part of the process. So literally, it's when you have that those steps, and you know that those are the steps that they go to. And again, I love the fact that it's not a linear program. It's the Okay, I just did this. Now I'm pretty sure I one of these is going to be the thing that's most helpful right now. Here's what I'm going to go to, I have had that had an opportunity to work with several different people across various roles in the parish, who are like, I am so thankful, I am so thankful because I now know what to say you helped us practice what we would actually say, for all these different scenarios. I feel like I can go out and I can make a difference. I can have these conversations,

Rauel LaBreche:

right? You can have that script ready to go out about it. Yeah, that's I often use my theater background and say, you know, we don't, you don't just get up and do the play. One day, you rehearse and you rehearse and you rehearse, and you figure out where the problems are. And you rehearse some more, and you hit try ideas, and then you rehearse some more. And then when it comes to the opening night, you're ready, but still, the audience will do things that you didn't expect. And you have to, you know, adapt again. Right, exactly. So

Cathy Lins:

and it was like they're like, so we'll always do this perfectly. And I'm like, probably not because we're human, right. And we'll make mistakes. And that's what an apology is a really good idea.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah. And just, you know, understand that give yourself permission to make mistakes, and let them know, transparently. Yeah, you're right. That was I'm sorry. I really, please forgive me for that one. I you know, I am human. So, folks, my guest is Kathy Lynn. She's the founder of gather my lost sheep. We're going to take a break your word from our sponsor, and wrap up this episode. We'll come back next week, we continue to talk about things like trauma informed, trauma informed supervision, what does that look like? What is that? So please, if you're listening now, make sure you listen next week as well to hear more about how people are traumatized and what we can do when we recognize our trauma. Okay, thanks, Kathy. We'll be right back your frame of reference, and United's digital network.

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Rauel LaBreche:

traumas such an ugly word. It immediately conjures up for Lots of horrible life changing events, catastrophes that fall upon us without warning situations that are complex, emotional, and stressful. And then there's all the recovery and healing that adds to the ongoing impact and difficulty. We endure the trauma and its aftermath, and either grow bitter because it just doesn't make any sense to us or, or seems unjust, or we use it to strengthen us and wisdom and compassion. What I find fascinating about Kathy's work is that she finds more and more that as she conducts workshops, that an increasingly large population of attendance report, they see evidence of trauma and their own lives, often being surprised by how it impacts them and their behavior without any awareness. as our world becomes more complex and stressed, we are all faced more and more with the difficult events in our lives that have often been ignored or suppressed. We think we are or should be over them. And yet, how can we be without the tools we need to survive and thrive? I hope you can join us next week as we continue to explore more of those tools. It's worth the wait. Stay well