The Joy & Pain of a Broken Empath

Empathy. Many days, it's awful. Being a broken empath? Nearly unbearable. I understand the "gift" of empathy. I understand that those of you who connect with my writing & have encouraged me to *finally* finish my memoir -or any book for that matter- see the spiritual gift of empathy in me. Being able to see & speak into the pain of others is a tremendously beautiful gift God has graciously allowed me to have to make my sista-frans & beautiful brothas a bit more at home in a world full of rejection. But. Empathy is the taking on of others pain. And I am a "high empath." Which means I'm feeling another's pain *almost* as if it were my own. If I'm closely connected to someone who's pain is unleashed in irresponsible ways, I am literally absorbing toxicity much like the dude on the 1st season of Heroes who absorbed others powers after he killed them, except I don't kill people so there's that. I digress.Yesterday I had a safe space conversation in which I ran through … [Read more...]

I Used To Be a Minister

I used to a be a Minister. I served in a ministry position for 12 years. For about 259 reasons I walked away from it, which was healthy & necessary at the time. Intuitively, I knew the storm brewing in my heart and life was bigger than I could handle. Also, I was one half of a crumbling, toxic marriage. As the nightmares of life grew I went on to have a breakdown of sorts including but not limited to PSTD, depression and spectacular moral failures of epic proportions. The marriage disintegrated into a million little ugly pieces, followed by a traumatic divorce & an equally traumatic custody battle where I genuinely feared I would lose my children. During that time, I lost my job, every penny I had, I was *nearly* homeless, slightly suicidal and spent a week in rehab followed by months in Anonymous meetings. I threw away a lot. I ran from a lot. I lost a lot. I hurt a lot. I was hurting. Deeply, deeply hurting.When I’ve casually thrown around the phrase “I put a blo … [Read more...]

I Will Not Fly Today

I know why the uncaged bird doesn't sing.What lurks beyond the cage I cannot say.I reach, but knees knock against hollowed-out bones like the hollowed heart of their carrier.Doors swivel, flip, revolve out of character.The path unclear.Will I fly out over, around or under?  I cannot decipher a clipped wing from a mended one.I am mentally trapped as a Stallion tied to a plastic patio.The uncaged bird doesn't sing.What song sings of hovering and haunting?Which lines describe the demonic fingers clawing against infested wounds, grasping through caged wires?What lyrics embrace the bubbling acids of uncomfortable bellies and irregular heart palpitations catalyzed by adrenaline laced veins?What chorus would you add to the jittery jumps and perceived threats of violence when he gently comes in the room?And what of the Bridge?Shall I raise my voice in a triumphant cacophony of screeching heaves and moans?Shall the finale please you to … [Read more...]

When Post Traumatic Growth Happens

I’ve been on a trauma recovery journey I’ve been trying to articulate to myself and the Lord for the last five months.  It’s one I’m going to attempt to articulate -in part- to you.  This is what I know so far.  Everybody loves a good redemption story right?I heard a fascinating TEDx talk by Jane McGonigal.  When I began to hear Jane talking about some of the qualities that describe people who have pushed past Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to Post Traumatic Growth I smiled, said “thank you, God,” and knew I had taken that journey without even knowing it.You’ve heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder right?  But, have you heard of Post Traumatic Growth? Nope, me either.  As it turns out, trauma doesn’t have to ruin your life for ever. Some people get stronger after trauma.  Apparently, one can use trauma as a springboard to unleash one’s best qualities and lead happier lives.People who have survived trauma and moved on to growth say the followings things defined their life p … [Read more...]