Discover more from The In Process Collective Newsletter (Thoughts from Fabs)
Some thoughts on wholeness, happiness, and other things.
This is the September newsletter (I have learned)
The people have spoken (in the last newsletter): this is the SEPT newsletter, but I have to send it in September.
So happy last day of September.
Here’s what you get in this September edition of the newsletter:
🤔 A thought I’m processing [on wholeness]
💕 A thought I’m loving [on happiness vs. relief]
🗳️ A poll
🔗 Some link love
📆 A full recap & links to this past month’s posts
🤔 A thought I’m processing [on wholeness]
More and more I’ve been thinking about how Jesus came for unity and restoration. Deep unity though - not the kind that covers up or ignores issues, and not the kind that is based on sameness, but deep unity - the kind that is based on wholeness, health, and authentic integration.
I’ve been thinking about all the division: fragmentation and disintegration that exists around us and within us and how damaging it is. The more separated the corners of this country become from one another, the less healthy we become.
The more I’ve been thinking about this the more I’ve been noticing how fragmented and divided we are within ourselves. How separated we are from our bodies; how we’ve fragmented and split off our emotions from our thoughts; how trauma itself is a fragmentation of sorts - a fragmentation in our brain where stories and experiences cannot be integrated.
And maybe the wholeness and restoration that is offered to us in Jesus begins inside of us: with a deep reintegration of our parts and processes. Where our minds and hearts and bodies listen to one another and work together in unity - not because they are the same, but because their distinctness is part of what makes them so necessary in our functionality.
Deep thought. And very much in process. But there you go.
💕 A thought I’m loving [on relief vs. happiness]
I have a full post in my drafts about this which hopefully I will share soon! A concept has been popping up in multiple books I’ve been reading recently. The concept: we often confuse the sensation of relief with the sensation of pleasure/happiness.
Here’s a quote from a book I’m loving (see link love) about how this plays out in intimate partner relationships:
Without a constant stream of affirmation from an intimate partner, most of us will experience these feelings to some degree: worthless, empty, like a loser, lonely, rejected, desperate, ugly, boring, insecure, and afraid. These are unbearable emotions that we will do anything to avoid. What we call happiness is often relief about not being in those states. Too often our partner becomse like a life preserver, keeping our head above water in the dark sea of pain, shame, and fear in which we float…This kind of head-above-water happiness is unstable and easily disturbed. Our partner will buckle under the strain of holding us up and big waves will wash over us no matter how hard our partner works to save us.
Our culture offers many other life preservers - television, social media, shopping, working, smoking, drugs, alcohol, pornography, prostitiuttion, plastic surgery, diests and exercise , fatty and sweet feeds - all the common additions. …We become convicned that happiness is a s close as the next new pari of showes, a weekend getaway, or a new job…
Those distractions become part of a vision cycle that keeps us addicted to the search for head-above-water happiness and away from a more sustaining happiness. - Richard Schwartz
🗳️ A poll [Toxic Religion]
Last month’s poll was so helpful I’m just going to do this monthly!
This Fall, I’m doing a reboot of a class I did with my church this summer: Recovering from Toxic Religion.
I wasn’t sure what to name this cohort because it’s really about how some faith cultures can feel controlling, and what that does to your brain, and how to find a way to a healthy relationship with yourself and God.
It’s about how to distinguish between what you believe and what you’ve been told to believe.
I’ve noticed that people who identify with the title are those who KNOW they’ve experienced some kind of toxic religion. They’ve been on the receiving end of traumatic church experiences or clear spiritual abuse.
On the other hand, many who just grew up with faith narratives being used to control them, or who have been in a space that makes them feel there is constant danger - have no sense of how much that has impacted their minds. They don’t even notice the way these spaces have contributed to anxiety or discomfort in their minds and lives. These are the people I’d love to get to engage with this content. So, brief poll (and this is anonymous!)
NOTE: this Fall-class-thing is happening through my church, but it’s virtual, so anyone is welcome to join. And I would say - if you feel anxiety or anger or apathy around elements of faith (that you don’t like) - it’s potentially your body/brain trying to keep you safe from being controlled, and this course could be helpful to you. <3
🔗 Some link love
The book I referenced above (loving IFS)
The class I referenced above
A video I just love
A strange sermon that I gave this month about a weird and precious verse
My fave of this trend (cause of the face)
📆 What you missed in September
Below are some links to what I’ve shared this past month! (Please note that some of my messier thoughts and musings are behind a paywall. You can read more about why I do that here, and feel free to upgrade your subscription to access them.)
Belonging - And how it’s not about sameness
Internal Weather - a journaling prompt I love
When Grief makes you glad - some thoughts on being shaped by pain
What happened to August - last month’s newsletter
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