Frame of Reference - Sauk County and Beyond

Triumph over Trauma: Part 2

June 09, 2022 Season 4 Episode 2
Frame of Reference - Sauk County and Beyond
Triumph over Trauma: Part 2
Show Notes Transcript

I think the thing I enjoy so much about my conversations with Cathy is her hopefulness.  She is not one to talk about her own past traumas, but she has shared some of it with me over the years and I can assure you that her life story is one that would make most people very pessimistic and withdrawn.  Instead, her faith and her compassion for others has led her out of a very dark place into one where helping others is not only possible, but in her mind critical to her own healing.

I think she’s doing something very simple and incredibly difficult at the same time.  She’s living what she believes. Her faith that there is a reason for the traumas that she has endured and that God has used them to make her stronger and more able to help people that desperately need a life line.  Her story is one of perseverance. her message is one of healing.  I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure today’s world could use a lot more Cathys.

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 FM digital network. Now, here's your host, Rauel LaBreche.

Rauel LaBreche:

Welch, welcome to another edition of frame of reference Sauk. County NBR. My guest this week or right now is the same guests I had last week. Kathy Lenz who's the founder of gather my lost sheep, an organization that is dedicated to assisting people with dealing with trauma, recognizing trauma, coming to grips with their trauma, and then healing, all with the intent to return people to the church, which unfortunately, sometimes is the cause of the trauma that interferes with our relationship with with God, and makes it very difficult to get healed. In fact, there has been a book that Kathy threw on the desk and between us called church refugees. Sociologist reveal why people are done with church, but not their faith. So which is a wonderful topic that I think a lot of people can go, yeah, yeah, I am done with church. But I still believe there's a God. So you know, and that strikes me as kind of an interesting thing that here we have the church, which is called to be the ambassadors of Christ, right to walk in the walk that he walked in to do the work that he started. And yet, we fail, so miserably soften at doing that. And yet, people continue to believe. So that, to me, is a really kind of remarkable thing about the human spirit that if we believe in God, and we've decided we believe in God, in spite of all of that stuff, people continue to believe. Is that part? Yeah, yeah, sometimes. Yeah, you're right. And that's,

Cathy Lins:

that's literally one of the things that people are asking me about is like, Okay, what do you do, if we can't get them here in the first place? I'm like, okay, part of its figuring out like this, that they don't know, or because they've had a bad experience. And this particular case, the refugees, these are people who have been actively involved in the church, who just decided I can't do this anymore. It may be a moral injury, where they just feel like the leadership has done something that is just so unredeemable that I can't, I can't do this anymore. But they're they've hit a point. And another thing, I think that was interesting is talking about how they felt like they're like, you know, I get God, God judges me, but I have a problem with everyone else thinking that their God. Right, right. Yeah. So they really asked a lot of questions around like, Well, how do you do the evangelization at that point? And I said, Well, it depends. It depends on where they're at. Where in this process, are they?

Rauel LaBreche:

And that takes a lot of listening, to figure that out, and to ask a lot of questions. Because oftentimes, we have kind of made up things in our brains, or we, we come up with solutions or ideas that make sense to us. But they're probably not reality, you know, so.

Cathy Lins:

So you may not be where they're that particular person, especially if you experience trauma, how they're behaving, what they're avoiding, may not make any sense to you. But if you knew their context, it would make perfect sense to you why they're doing what they're doing. The thing of it is, you might never find out. It's not like we can go round, right? So tell me your trauma story. I'm like, well, they call that re traumatizing.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah, come on. I mean, all that's going on. So is that part of the one of the topics you communicate to me before we started recording, this was trauma informed supervision. Right. So is that that part of that training process of trauma informed supervision is to get people to understand that

Cathy Lins:

the fact of here's what they're dealing with? So there's the core education that we've been doing? Of like, what is it that we would know? Why are people behaving the way they are changing the conversation from what's wrong with you to what's been done to you, which is a very different conversation, where you understand like, why the brain is being triggered? Why is it reacting the way that it is? So that was the core training. And as we talked more about this, more and more of the clergy and the ministers were like, I think I may have unresolved trauma. And so I became the so what are you doing to create that safe place for your staff? And maybe it's because they've been hearing the story, maybe it's their own personal unresolved trauma, but if they don't get the support, they need to actually get treatment for it. Work through some of those thoughts work through some of the things that they're hearing. They're going to act out on the people that they're supposed to be serving and your fellow co workers.

Rauel LaBreche:

So what do you do with a person that just doesn't want to face the trauma that had spent so much time burying it, and putting stuff on top of it to keep it buried?

Cathy Lins:

If we're the supervisor at that point, it becomes the so what areas can I work with? Okay, it becomes the what questions can I ask that I can check in on to see how that person is doing? Have you ever done any work around the whole motivational interviewing? No, one of the things they talk about is having a core set of questions. One of them was starting with open questions. Tell me more about that. What approaches have you tried so far? So as you're working with your staff, and they're dealing with the things that they've heard about things that are causing them to be stuck at this point, it gives you some questions that you can start with another area that they might end up going, it goes back to the ORS the O I R S. So our affirmations, what kind of things can we affirm, like, Gee, you use your reflective listening skills really effectively in that situation? It gives them something very specific that they did, it acknowledges you've done a good job, because the times, if you're under trauma, you're starting to become very certain that nothing you do is right. It's always your fault. It's always the end. So it's reaffirming to people that they are in fact doing a good job. And giving them the specifics. Because one of the things I've always learned working with supervisors, if you can't tell them specifically, what they did, right, they can't do it again. So helping them think through that part of it. The iron ores is reflective listening, gee, this has been really stressful for you. You know, you were wondering how you could prevent him from getting hospitalized. Let's talk about that a little bit more time. Those are some things that you can help them work through as a supervisor to see how is your team doing? Again, whatever level that you're at, you're the one who is trying to keep an eye on them. And the last one is the summaries. And as the, let me see if I can understand what you just said. So it's a chance to summarize that a little bit more. Here's what I think I heard telling me, if I missing anything, bringing that to the conversation, helps them set up the conversation in a way that gets people talking. Okay, so what we want to try to ease that out,

Rauel LaBreche:

and that's that seems to me that that's kind of a progressive or a what's the word I'm looking for, but you know, you're you're, you're going down a pathway that may initially deal with one set of comfortable or at least more palatable sets of issues. And then as that becomes a safe place to do that, and there's a successful resolution, or at least discussion of it, that then maybe the next time you can get to yet another deeper level is because that affairs

Cathy Lins:

and be able to keep checking in how are they doing? Now, if you had a staff member who was acting out in a way that was not going to work for your clientele, you would have to take action, you'd have to think about like, how do I best do that? Again, we want to try to build safety wherever we can. But we also have to think about what's the safety of everybody else, too, right? So that's that dance that we do, is there an employee assistance program. And it was an interesting concept for the churches, you guys have an employee assistance program, and isn't something that they've thought about before, but that being able to know that there's someone they could go to if they needed to,

Rauel LaBreche:

I'm amazing, we have one, we have a really wonderful, I think Employee Assistance Program at MC for islands here. And it's with a company that has Empath Yam is the name of the company out of Milwaukee. And they have such a wonderful array of services that they offer. And I'll be damned if I know five people in the whole company that have actually availed themselves of those services, so they don't think, okay, so here's a group of people that has a tremendous amount of resources at their disposal. And yet they won't drink it. They won't use it. You don't like the horseshoe lead to water, but they won't drink it right.

Cathy Lins:

So really becomes the important question. And it'd be fascinating to find out in focus groups. Why don't they? What do you think about people who utilize these kinds of services?

Rauel LaBreche:

Right? Why don't you use them? What's going on? Are you in?

Cathy Lins:

direct question? They may not be like, it's like, what will you know, what are the thoughts? What are the attitudes that would have you think that that isn't something that's for you? Right, so who is that for? Right? As for the

Rauel LaBreche:

I didn't know anything about it? She was like, Well, you were told about it? Why wouldn't you know? Yeah, yeah. Do you find that there's in that supervision process that there is a need to kind of retrain and retrain and retrain? Well, especially

Cathy Lins:

because, like I said, as I'm talking to different members of the clergy include some of the bishops. It's the day of not thought in those terms, they haven't provided that kind of network. And it becomes the thing to also think about is, how many of their priests have been set out on their own to deal with these things. They live alone, they don't have anyone else that they've set things up with. And I look at that and say, Okay, what can we do that actually gets people interacting with each other so that they have that kind of support system? Right? Is there a way that we can be calling one another? Okay, so this is my inside joke I was talking with some of them, they were getting ready for one of the local trainings for the priests. And I said, well, they were like, well, Kathy, we like who would we even call? There are no counselors that we can even call and I said, well, this person, that's a priest as a call therapist, and this one is, are they I'd like to talk about when you go. I said, this is because most of you are introverts, which is true. Most clergy are introverts, I said, You need to have an extrovert come in, and organize your get acquainted activities, so that you all like have to fill out a sheet that fills in it says this person is find the therapist in the group, right? This person in the group find the right, I'm like, Guys, how could we be really working off of one another. But you all you don't even know what it is that each of you have a specialty in or that you're particularly good at?

Rauel LaBreche:

Right? The old toilet paper thing, roll out sheets of toilet paper and count them up. And then that's how many things you have to tell people that they don't know about. Right? So

Cathy Lins:

those are important things. Because how can you build a network of support if you don't even know what resources are there?

Rauel LaBreche:

What do you think keeps people from asking those questions? You want to get to know each other? What what is the big block? That keeps us from just wanting to know,

Cathy Lins:

I think part of it is the introversion? I mean, I get that, okay. But who wants to bring it the one to bring that up? I mean, I was doing a training once for one of the Diocese. And in what part of the activity that I had to do because we were talking about desk, I had to talk about, I want a volunteer to talk about what's something you don't do? Well, that doesn't match well, if you have a you have to do that doesn't match well with what your disk is. And so you don't do well in it. And I realized I had two bishops in the room along with all these priests. So I went up to the one of the bishops, and I said, I have a favor to ask, Would you be willing to be the guy to talk about what it is you don't do? Well, and he looks at me and he goes, because no priest in his right mind is gonna want to admit in a room with two bishops in it, that there's something they can't do well, right. And he's like, I see where you're going. I appreciate you give me a heads up. I could think about what I wanted to say, because but you're absolutely right. They're not going to answer that question for you. Let me be the example so that we can get this conversation going. Sure. But it took that foresight. And for him to realize, oh, yeah, that is, who is going to want to have your supervisors there and have to admit, there's things you don't do well,

Rauel LaBreche:

right. Well, it takes a degree of humility, to even want to do that. And there's so much, you know, we talked about the stigma around mental illness. I, I think a lot of that stigma is just plain old pride. You know, I can't, I can't admit that I have a problem, a mental problem. That's not just stigma, that's, you know, arrogance of human people having to put up the air of I am fine. I don't have those kinds of problems. Oh, yeah. You know, just want to say every time I see that, are you blaming? Yeah. What's your story that you're burying so that people don't, you know, find the crack in your, you know, marble shell that you've constructed? Right.

Cathy Lins:

And I think it's the mixture. I mean, I remember when I was trying to get in for some care, and it was going to be a good 789 months before they thought they had a therapist, and then I finally got there. It turns out, she hadn't finished your training yet. They were pretty mature. Oh, wow. So that was one of those who wrote, but there's a waiting list for people who are dealing with trauma. I mean, I've had several different health care centers where colleagues have said, Kathy, we did go in, it's going to be a year and a half to two years. They said before they have people ready, who are able to help see us? Yeah. And I'm like, you know, that's part of it, too. Like, do we have enough? And I think, for I have to tell you, I've had a lot of Catholics who have come to me and said, I do need help. I recognize I need help. Do you have any Catholic therapists that I can talk to? That's a very short list. No. And so it becomes the like, give them what they're looking for. How do I best connect them?

Rauel LaBreche:

Do you think there would be a need for as many therapists as there is a need for if we just All did a better job of listening.

Cathy Lins:

I think that would make a difference. I think more again, I think more people trained in Mental Health First Aid, would help us start to look out for each other better. I was the thing that that a lot of that people got trained said, I realized I don't pay a lot of attention to the people behind me. But now that I know this, I am going to, you know, kind of be kind of looking out to see like, How is everybody doing?

Rauel LaBreche:

Right? Right. I've taken that same training. And I was fascinated by the scenarios that they had. And, you know, the, what we started out with in terms of how we assessed it, and where we were at the end of the whole thing, having been kind of tuned in, I was really impressed, too. They had some of the best videos I've

Cathy Lins:

ever seen it with a second edition, because there's a new edition that just came out in February. Yeah,

Rauel LaBreche:

yeah, we were maybe let me think about that. I think we might have been right.

Cathy Lins:

Even better video, with a new edition that has just come out. If you get a chance to take the training, go through that process, they've changed it up a little bit in the flow of what they do and how they go about it.

Rauel LaBreche:

Okay. And I'm really fascinating stuff too, because you're absolutely right, it does at least give you that first aid response, that you can't necessarily be the hospital administrator or whatever. But you can be the person that at least recognizes where things are at and helps guide the person to where they need to be right.

Cathy Lins:

And if nothing else, at least tag team, right? Help them tag to someone who can help them with what they need at that moment. Right, exactly. But it's also been great how many parishes have now come back and said, Can you help me put together a resource list, you know, and so to be able to help them know who to call. And if you're following what's happening with Nami, America, they've been working in the last two years on training police departments. So the crisis intervention teams, as well as 911 operators, as well as the medical staff, and so forth. So now, and by the way, Madison is one of the sites that is actually where they now send out a team where there will be officers and therapists who go out together when they get a call. So while I've said note on here, when you call 911, that you can ask for the crisis intervention team for a member of the officers who has been trained specifically to deal with mental health. Because what they were finding it was of, of the police fatal shootings 40% were people living with mental health challenges. And people were like, well, why was that happening? Why is this, I said, well think about what's going on. The police are trained that I give instructions, you follow them out when I tell you to, or I won't be forced to open fire. People who are dealing with a mental health challenge may not be able to process fast enough, so they could end up getting shot. And we had just talked at risk before that in the mental health training about don't restrict people's movements don't. And I said what happens when you call the police, they handcuff you and put you in the back of the police car where you're restrained. And then it's not that they are violent, but they become far more aggressive, because they're fearful. And so in that process of that fearfulness, they have a greater chance of being shot. Sure. And for a lot of the folks that I was talking to you I had pretty good. I had some pair secretaries who were like, oh, gosh, Cathy, I've always just called the police. That's my first response. That's my first go to and I'm like, here's something to think about, given what you now know, she goes, I would have to think of now that I know what to say, I don't know if I would automatically do that anymore. And if I do think I need to call at least now I know. Ask for the crisis intervention officer who's been trained, right? She's like, this is huge, what you're talking to me about

Rauel LaBreche:

why I'm giving that information to people is huge. You know what? To think about the number of lives that that could help drastically. But people don't know about it, you know? So how do you get that information out to write in the mire of communication and, you know, noise that there is out here these days? Right? So, folks, my guest today is Kathy Lenz, who's the founder of gather my lost sheep. We're going to take another quick break to hear a word from our sponsors. And when we come back, we're going to talk about creating an environment for individuals parishes, diocese, and the greater church to set up self care and to avoid or manage secondary or macarius trauma. So if that doesn't sound like a mouthful, I don't know what is but don't want to work is we're going to break that down into pieces that are hopefully useful to you or someone you know. We'll be right back here on frame of reference. Having nine seven Max FM's digital network

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Rauel LaBreche:

And we're back here on frame of reference. My guest today is Kathy Mullins, founder of gather my lost sheep, which is an organization dedicated to the proposition that trauma occurs, trauma can be processed and trauma can be healed. So and she has all kinds of resources to help accomplish that speaks nationally on issues of trauma, how to recognize it. But one of the specialties in that training, I think, is to create an environment for individuals and parishes and diocese in the church to be able to recognize and to manage that trauma, vicarious trauma, so to help people both recognize it, but then to manage it and recover from it. Right. So what does that training look like? Kathy,

Cathy Lins:

that will really working at this point to try to help people think about how do we bring this into our everyday work life? Again, following some of that safety, the collaboration and mutuality, the trust and transparency, the empowerment, voice and choice, peer support, and thinking about the cultural and historic issues that have happened in the past. So really saying like, okay, so what would we need to do to make this a safe place? And people always looked at me, and I said, you know, trust is a fascinating thing. Because without trust, there is no safety. So it becomes the physically how do we make this a safe place? What do we have to set this up so that we have a space and a time? If you know that I love talking to one of the parishes? And they're like, you know, if we're dealing with someone who has something that's particularly sensitive, we put a roof on the door. And when we put that wreath up, everybody in the office knows, we're dealing with something really sensitive. No one bothers us no one in a row interrupt, because how often do people interrupt each other? And once the person goes, and they put the wreath back again, they're like, it's our opportunity to just check in and say, just want to know everything. Okay, anything you need to talk about. You need time in that quiet space. What do you need? Right here right now? Right, to make this practical for you,

Rauel LaBreche:

right? When safe places are really, really hard to come by? When you come by? I mean that, and that's probably I would guess is part of the trauma involved here is that what should have been a safe place was discovered and not be a safe place. What should have been a safe person was not a safe person. Right?

Cathy Lins:

In some cases, yes. So you know, and it's like, like, Where can I go talk about it? How can I? And so it's also the psychological safety. Can I disagree? Right? Can I talk openly about how upset I am right now? Right? You know, do I have the space to do that? Right? Because sometimes that's what we've got to air even as the staff and we talked about, like people who are have got this upset, what about the staff? How do they go in to get that aired? Get that worked out of their system so that they can actually move forward?

Rauel LaBreche:

Sure. Well, that's part of the trust factor, right, is that you, you build trust through finding that you can expose that? Whatever, however ugly the POS might be that you let out? And yet still not be told. Leopards are over there. You know, we

Cathy Lins:

don't want to hear about

Rauel LaBreche:

Thank you very much. So talk like that here. Right, right. Yeah, I often think about that with language, how, you know, we use language as a way to say, Okay, well, I'm not going to talk with you, you're going to talk like that, well, they're talking like that, because they need to talk like that. So I'm sorry, if you find those words are offensive, but, you know, it's always what's going on inside of them. So let's maybe get pie, you know, words, which are, you know, just, to me, it's like being upset that somebody has a scab, you know, scabs heal, but you know, not if you keep picking them off all the time, right.

Cathy Lins:

But isn't it interesting how I always tell people, I said, Have you ever noticed that when you're in the middle of the fight now is not the time to create to create the ground rules? Yeah, so we all know that human conflict is part of the human condition. So what if we actually spent time working on our ground rules when we're all calm, right, so that we can then go to that and say, We are obviously at a point where we need to pull out our ground rules. Let's honor those and honor the dignity of who each other are so that we can truly hear one another. What a crazy idea. Like

Rauel LaBreche:

what are you talking about here? Yeah, I find that there's a guy that wrote a book called Verbal Judo and he talks The five fundamentals of human human interactions is number one is all people want to be treated with trust, and respect with dignity and respect. And it's just such a powerful thing to recognize that, you know, when we start treating each other with dignity and trust and respect, rather than, you know, skepticism and devaluation. And that's not really a problem. Why aren't you getting over that? Instead of doing that, we just say, Wow, what happened that, you know, made you believe that you know, can you tell me more about that?

Cathy Lins:

That safe talking about it? Yeah. What do you know, what you're sharing you'd like to share?

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah, yeah, to give people that openness so that, well, I don't know me, I just yell at me like everybody else does seems like, well, I can see why you made me believe that. I'm willing to listen if you'd like. So,

Cathy Lins:

as always, people we always no matter what first aid is like, you know what, I'm always here. So if you decide later, you'd like to talk right? You can still come back. And we can have that conversation. Right?

Rauel LaBreche:

Right. Which is, it's difficult to be available, isn't it?

Cathy Lins:

And if you truly because I had someone like for trainees were like, but I really can't talk to them. Okay, so who can we tag team with, right? But I want to make sure that we do that in a way that's honorable. So I'm not able to give you the time right now. What I'm wondering is, would this time work instead, right? Or here's the other option is, here's someone else that might also be available. Which of these would make sense which gives people choice,

Rauel LaBreche:

right, which is also really important right to have that? Because that's

Cathy Lins:

one of the things people tend to lose is to have choice in the midst of whatever trauma they've experienced?

Rauel LaBreche:

Well, isn't, isn't that the root of a lot of trauma? Is that you? You didn't have a choice, you feel helpless? Yeah, I mean, the accident happened, you didn't have a choice to get in that accident or not. Somebody abuses you, you don't usually have the opportunity to choose to not be abused. Right. So and that's a scary thing. You know, what, maybe that's the part that we really don't get is how scary that is, and giving freedom to, to deal with? How afraid

Cathy Lins:

people truly are in that moment. Yeah, whatever it is, I like to give the example of because some people are like, well, what is this like? Like, what is this trigger this? I don't understand why kid that just let it go. And I'm like, that's because it's hanging on to them. And I gave that example, once have, I said, I want you to consider that we're going out for a walk up on the trails, you know, a great afternoon, let's go to Devil's Lake State Park. Here we go. And there's lots of things that we see along the way, Oh, I see the trees, I see the water, I see, hey, there's something long and brown over there. Now, the amygdala that's in our head has been trained by God to keep us safe. So long and brown already caught the amygdala is attention. And they may feel it is going back up.

Rauel LaBreche:

Snake or something, right.

Cathy Lins:

And so, and I said this could go one or two ways, you may look ahead as you've backed up, because like, because all sudden, you'll realize why am I backing? What's happening? Because the amygdala has the ability to hijack the brain and put your body into motion to protect you. Now, you may look ahead and go, ooh, snake, good call, good call amygdala, way to protect me really appreciating that. Or you could look ahead and go, it's a stick, right? I feel really stupid right now. Because it's a stick, you moved me because it's stick. And I said, you know, the amygdala doesn't know, for sure. It takes a general idea. And it makes a decision. I said, Now, imagine that adrenaline rush that you had at that moment. Imagine having that happen multiple times a day, because for people who are living with PTSD, the amygdala is remembering whatever it was that almost killed them. And anytime that it sees even something remotely close, long and brown, remotely close, it's going to send off that alarm system that has the adrenaline be released, puts them into that panic mode. And so it at that moment, they won't know until after the fact and by then their heart rate is up. The adrenaline is moving through the system, the cortisol is moving through the system. And you'll be like, you haven't it's not. It might be but they didn't know. It's too late then. And I said that's all it happens subconsciously they can't control that. What we just said people who have experienced that vicarious trauma that some I should say the secondary trauma. They're starting to have the same PTSD symptoms the avoid widens the that same fear the hypervigilance

Rauel LaBreche:

recognizing the cues, and not even really thinking about what those because

Cathy Lins:

it's all subconscious. They don't realize it until they're already triggered. Right? And so then it becomes the What can I do, and my co workers to realize they're triggered right now. And I was working with someone who was experiencing that hypervigilance and all I could think of that moment was we've triggered her anxiety. What can I do right now that help her feel safe? That's a really key question. I may never know what it is that she experienced. All I can think about, though, is what can I do right now that'll help her feel safe. And a lot of times, I need to bring my voice down, I need to bring my gesture. I like to talk big with my hands. There'll be none of that. Thank you very much. But again, when I'm working with coworkers with others, I have to recognize, I think they may be triggered right now, what can I do? That'll help them at this moment,

Rauel LaBreche:

non threatening non violent intervention.

Cathy Lins:

Because at that moment, once they've had a chance to let it pass, to get re grounded in the current moment, then they have that opportunity. But imagine if we actually had that by design, in our workplaces, so that we were trauma informed. And we have that for each other.

Rauel LaBreche:

So how do we build in self care? As a regular practice? How does Firstly, we

Cathy Lins:

have to make a choice for like, what is it that's going to work for us? I'm a painter you've seen? So yeah, I miss having that chance to go paint it with a group during the middle of COVID. So I was just thinking about the other day, I was looking at all the trees, and I'm like, I think I might need to schedule just to do more plein air, learn to put the equipment together to do that part of it. But you have to decide, like, with intentionality to decide to go do that time for you. I was told that I was just off to an exercise class tonight. And it was just that I could very easily have missed the class I had work to do. We all and I was like, No, I need to prioritize that self care. I've got to make this happen if I want this to be better for myself if I want to help manage how I'm doing in everyday life. And so it's just making that conscious decision that I am the priority. I was working with one of the priests and he said I don't miss golf on Tuesday. I mean, make very, and he has his health reasons why. And he said I would have bought it off most of my priesthood. And it has come to bite me in the butt. Sure. And so he said, I don't do that anymore. I have got to do that for me to manage my stress. Sure. And all of us have got to look and say what do I have to do? Because when we're stressed when we don't eat well, when we don't sleep, almost when we don't eat our vegetables that are fruits, and are all those things that we all know, if we don't do those things on a regular basis, build it in as part of our scheduling, and have that be some of the big boulders that go into our calendar, before everything else goes in here. If we don't build it in that way, we don't have that. And imagine if you had a supervisor who actually checked in to help you reinforce that. And when I say that, I say that at the parish level. Imagine if you had a priest who was helping you as the staff to be sure that you put those things into that someone at the vicarious is working with each of the priests to be sure that they're doing that to what if the bishop is in fact following up with his team to be sure that they're doing that too? Yeah. And yes, the bishop needs it too. So I think about the archbishop how we want to get him involved in that and everybody else down the line, but we need that happening at every single level here. If we truly want to shift the culture

Rauel LaBreche:

it makes me think of that old saying you know all All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy and I'm like, you know, I think actually should be all work and no play makes Jack a very dangerous boy. You know, cuz you think of the wonder, like I look at some of these, you know, mass shootings are going on. It's like, what, what was going on in that person's life that got them to the point where they had that much heat in them.

Cathy Lins:

But I love the Mental Health America just put out that says, hate is hate. It's not mental illness. And I think that's an important thing too, because so often people see those shootings, and they managed to they go see this is what the mental ill are like, and they're not the same things. And so, I think that was part of part of the part of a new training on mental health where they talk about the research, and that only 4% of violence is tied to people with mental health challenges. Most often people with mental health challenges are the victims of violence, not the perpetrators of it. Yeah, I think that's just something really to help people think about. I think that was the part for some of the parish members. They were like, Wait, that isn't what I was thinking,

Rauel LaBreche:

right? Hate is hate. Yeah, wouldn't be nice if we could identify that better. So are the things,

Cathy Lins:

I'm just gonna talk a little bit about resilience. So please, wait because, and I want to be careful, because resilience, sometimes people think of that as like, oh, they can snap back. Oh, that were that easy. And isn't quite what we're looking at. But there are things that one can do to build up your resilience, like we talked about, like getting sleep, eating, right? Taking time for things that work, your creativity, that work your body, that all of those kinds of things can help build up the resilience. But so does having a social network, having people to talk with, and that's when I talked about the continuum of mental health. And I talked about the healthy, the, the affected the stressed the ill it all the way to the other end. along that way, when we're in the first two spots, who we have around us in our network is who is probably going to be the most beneficial to us, as we actually help maintain our mental health. If we're over on the other side, when we're talking about people who are affected to the point where they're experiencing problems with their functioning and or illness. At that point, we probably need to get the professionals involved. It's recognizing where you are in that continuum. And at first, when I was talking about this, people were looking at me like, why kind of get that I like, well, let me try this out for you. Let's talk about laundry, laundry. And I said, in the healthy category, we have somebody who washes, dries, folds, and hangs their clothes, all within the same afternoon ironing, ironing, too, you know, like they take care of that. Whereas maybe somebody who's having more stress, I got it wash, maybe next week, I'll get it folded.

Rauel LaBreche:

It's all laying out. Felisa doesn't get wrinkled, right?

Cathy Lins:

versus, you know, someone who's far more affected, where it's like, I kind of got into the same room. Or we're ill, we haven't bathed in a while our laundry, it can stand on its own. It's, it's, it's pretty bad. And I said, How many people can see the progression that we're talking about? And they're like, Yeah, and I had a couple of clergy were like, Okay, what if I'm not in the healthy range? What? And I said, that's a good, because I said, when you do a continual mental health, you want to know what's healthy for you? When do you know, things aren't going well, and you're really being affected by stress. This is a great self check for you to say, How am I doing with my eating? How am I am I using substances? Where do I fall into this category? I mean, think about anything we do in our daily life. And we can probably tell you what I look like when I'm healthy. When I'm extremely stressed, when I'm affected or straight up. I'm ill at this point, and you really need to get me in for professional help. Right? And they were like, well, when you laid it out like that, suddenly, this became a whole lot more clear what we're talking about, because they're like, I Oh, I do get into that I do have I said, that's part of that self care is recognizing how am I doing right now? Sure. And then, if I know, I'm starting to have some challenges, who am I turning to? What kind of network do I have? Because the further we move over, the more we tend to isolate. And the more we isolate, the more difficulty we have in taking care of ourselves.

Rauel LaBreche:

When it strikes me. Maybe this was a way to wrap up our conversation to is there. If someone is listening to this, and it's really resonating with them that there are traumas in their life, there's traumatic events in their life that they haven't successfully dealt with. What's your advice to that person? What can they do? How do they how do they begin the process of healing?

Cathy Lins:

Part of it at this point is recognizing like who can I turn to for assistance? If I recognize that I'm in the healthy category, or the stressed category where I'm having some difficulties, those conversations are going to be key and asking, you know, what kind of things can I put in place that will help me be healthy again, move back to that healthy range? If I realized that I'm having far more difficult, that's where we might need to get into like the self care, the self help type things up. Is there a support group that I could be talking to? If I'm finding that I'm having a harder time actually gathering my things up taking care of myself taking that bath? I used to lating from people more. If I'm all the way to ill, I'm probably going to need someone to intervene for me for my behalf, because I am just not functioning. And it's a difference between what people talk about of, they're not showing up. He's like, you can show up but not show up. You're not really present at that moment, or you're stopped showing up or your, your functionality goes down, the further over you are, and that's where you're going to really need the intervention. Talk with your medical doctor as a place to start. Ask them to help you figure out where would I go, how do I handle this? This is true for the clergy, just as much as to say like, how do I get the help that I need? But if your fellow clergy people working at the parish, what are we putting in place so that we can be that support network for the people that we work with? So that we can because if we can support each other, it's a whole lot easier to support the greater community as well.

Rauel LaBreche:

Right? Don't be afraid. Don't be ashamed. You know, just Yeah.

Cathy Lins:

It made me know that Christ is with us. Yeah.

Rauel LaBreche:

Amen. Folks, my guest this week, last week has been Kathy lens was the founder of gathering lost sheep. Kathy, if people want to get in know more about gather my lost sheep, what's the best way to do that,

Cathy Lins:

they can email me at gather my lost sheep@gmail.com. That is the simplest way. And the easiest way that way, if you're part of the church, and working in this area, we do have a private Facebook group, working on what we can do within the Catholic Church to really help build up the body. We've got people from all over the US and a couple of other countries at this point. And maybe

Rauel LaBreche:

Vancouver is coming. And she can point you towards all kinds of great news flashes, like the book we referenced earlier church refugees, by Josh Packard, DHD. And actually, so Kathy, thanks, as always, thanks for rescuing me, because I my guests didn't come through for this week. So you rescued me from that as well. So thanks so much for being with us. You're welcome. Always a pleasure. So good luck with that book. Get it done. Thanks. Okay. We'll be right back here on frame of reference with our closing thoughts. So don't go anywhere on 99 Seven Max FM's digital

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Rauel LaBreche:

I think the thing I enjoy so much about my conversations with Kathy is her hopefulness. Her life story is one that would make most people very pessimistic and withdrawn. Instead, her faith and compassion for others has led her out of a very dark place into one we're helping others is not only possible, but in her mind, critical to her own healing. I think she's doing something very simple and incredibly difficult. At the same time. She's living what she believes her faith that there is a reason for the traumas we endure and that God has used them to make her stronger and more able to help people that desperately need a lifeline. Her story is one of perseverance. Her message is one of healing. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that in today's world, we could use a lot more Cathy's. Lastly, now we're in our fourth season, and I'd like to ask all of my listeners to consider this. If you've found that this podcast has been helpful to you. Please tell your friends. We'd like to build our listenership as much as possible this season. And we won't be able to do that without your help. Just direct folks to www for soc.com That's fo r s a uk.com. And while you're at it, drop us a line and tell us what you think about the show and what we can do better. Stay well