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A detail from the cover of the book, Oh Love, Come Close showing the title in red letters.

Oh Love, Come Close: A Memoir

Oh Love, Come Close is a deeply personal reflection on one woman’s journey to confront her chronic depression and its underlying causes. 
Woman doing Yoga Mudras (making peace with the body) in a Park

Making Peace with the Body

"Let’s celebrate the body, embrace it for all its humanity, and allow the body to transform our pain and carry us home to the larger wonder that connects us all."
Survivor Care Book Cover

Survivor Care: What Religious Professionals Need to Know About Healing Trauma

Christy Gunter Sim succeeds in providing an incredibly insightful and meaningful text that is significant for survivors, the Church, and all people and entities who support survivors.   
Sandstone Church Image Compliation

No Longer Trapped: Insights on Spiritual Abuse Recovery

Survivors of spiritual abuse can feel justifiably averse to anything having to do with God or spirituality after emerging from the war zone of spiritual abuse. However, cutting off the aspects of oneself that are yearning for healthy, edifying connection to something other than the self—the essential definition of spiritual expression—can be equaling damaging.

Interview with Author Monica Coleman

May 29, 2017 May is Mental Health Awareness Month and here on the Link of the Day blog we are featuring relevant content. Monica Coleman is...

Sharing Mental Health Stories

May 22, 2017 May is Mental Health Awareness Month and here on the Link of the Day blog we're sharing relevant content all month. Today's link...

Feminism Is: Dorothea Dix — Mental Health Champion

May 19, 2017 May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and here on the Link of the Day blog we're featuring relevant content. "During the 19th century,...
David Hosey's Blog

Writing about Mental Illness

May 15, 2017 May is Mental Health Awareness Month and here on the Link of the Day blog we are featuring relevant links. Today we are...

Why Mental Health Treatment Needs More Attention

May 8, 2017 56% "of the U.S. adults with a mental health condition ... do not receive proper treatment, according to a 2016 Mental Health...

The Impact of Sexual Violence

April 19, 2017 April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  CFT's Link of the Day blog will feature a variety of posts about this issue during...

Are men projecting their feelings of sexual shame onto women?

March 6, 2017 This post by Emma Lindsay asks an interesting question. Are women's feelings of shame about the way we look actually a projection of male...

Is Being Constantly Busy a “Disease” or a Way to Measure Our Worthiness?

January 16, 2017 As the new year gets underway and we start filling in the blank spaces of our new calendars, it’s a good time...

Returning to Yourself

Returning to ourselves is not some huge, life changing decision or action. It’s not a one-off, or something that happens to you after some kind of crisis, though there’s nothing like a good crisis to shake us out of our complacency. Returning to ourselves is something that must happen over and over again. If we are brave enough, we make it a practice.

Spiritual Sobriety: The Promise of Healthy Faith When Good Religion Goes Bad

"Can a person have a 'persistent, compulsive dependence' on religion? Elizabeth Esther makes a compelling case for religious addiction in her new book, Spiritual Sobriety. Drawing from personal experience, as well as the stories of others, Esther writes extensively about the characteristics of religious addiction and its impact on faith communities, specifically Christianity."

Blessed Are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence about Mental Illness, Family, and Church

As she unveils her “crazy in the blood” narrative, we become aware that the experience of her family is intricately interwoven with her experience of the Church. There are moments of deep grace, but also moments of rejection. The Church, the hands and feet of Jesus, seems to want nothing to do with stories like hers and her father’s and brother’s.

The Long Overdue Conversation about Mental Illness

"We don’t bat an eye asking the church member in a wheelchair if we can reach something on a high shelf or help them navigate a crowded aisle on the way to take communion, but we avoid the person with social anxiety, who can’t look us in the eye, or who is visibly nervous and stands alone during the social hour. I wonder if, deep down, we are thinking, 'It’s not my responsibility to deal with their problem.' ”

Scarcity vs. Abundance: Moving Beyond Dualism to “Enough”

"Author and speaker Brené Brown emphasizes that scarcity and abundance are actually two sides of the same coin. They are not opposites. She says that the opposite of scarcity is, in fact, 'enough.' Scarcity and abundance work together as a positive feedback loop..."

Just the Rhythm of My Blood and Breath

My partner, my friend in recovery, and my therapist all tell me that anger doesn’t have to look like yelling and shaming and ruining things. That there’s no chance mine ever would. But the anger I’ve seen wrecks things and people, and explodes into so many sharp little pieces that you can never hope to clean all of them up from inside you.

Trauma and the LGBTQ Christian

When someone involved in conservative or evangelical Christianity experiences the trauma and wounding associated with coming out, generally they do not have access to sympathetic witnesses or good support systems. Often nearly everyone around them believes that to be lesbian, gay, bi, trans*, queer, or questioning is sinful and shameful.

How to Help a Victim of Domestic Violence

If someone is being abused, they feel responsible for the abuse. Why this logical inconsistency? Because if everything is the victim's own fault, they have the power to change it. I would advise you not to take that sense of power away, but, instead, to model what it is like to not accept responsibility for what the abuser is doing.

All You Were Before— #ThinkOfAPoem

October 2, 2014 was National Poetry Day. I thought I'd join in the fun and post a short poem and an image. This year's theme is "Remember."

I Am in Recovery and I Am Blessed – #RecoveryMonth

I want to live. I discovered that when I hit my “rock bottom” and found myself face down on the floor, sobbing as if I would never stop, telling those I love most that I didn’t want to live anymore. My life became a series of small, tentative footsteps, one at a time..."

On Healing and Recovery – #RecoveryMonth

Several weeks ago I attended a charismatic worship service. As the musicians played, expertly modulating the spiritual energy in the room, as the liturgical dancers danced with flags and ribbons, as the crowd, arms up, singing and swaying, pressed forward seeking healing from their Source, the ministers of the Word moved among them, praying and touching, before gently lowering the shaking bodies of the healed to the ground.

Shame: Five Letters

Shame does everything it can to crowd Her out. Shame tries to fill up all the space in my heart and mind. Shame finds God's resting place and throws an obnoxious party. Shame looks for stillness and fills it with trembling and all the wrong words. Shame knows, I think, that surrender to the sacred is best thwarted by addictions and by believing the lie that there is urgency to the mundane.

In the Roar of the Storm

Often, being honest about how I really feel seems unfair, as if my struggle and my pain is something that can reach beyond my body and hurt you. I have been convinced by life that you prefer it when I act like I'm doing "just fine" all the time. I have a conviction that it is my duty to protect you from my unhappiness and, in doing so, I am serving God, you, and the greater good.

A Tiny Little Girl and a Smiling Man – #YesAllWomen

Later that week, my mom, now in her role as the Brownie leader, talked about my experience with the other little girls in our troop. She didn't tell them it was my experience; she just said it had happened to "someone in the troop." I remember sitting there wondering why, if I did the right thing, she didn't tell everyone it was me.

Girl at the End of the World

This is clearly a story that needs to be told, to be shared and recognized, so things may begin to change. Esther makes it clear why so many people living under these conditions don’t leave: it’s all she knew. Her entire history was founded in this one way of life, a way that thrives on secrecy.

Oriented to Love— Questions and Consequences

She called me to move toward the place I stood. She brought me there. She wanted me to sit with twelve other people, starting the next day, being open and vulnerable. She called them as well. They were going to show up whole. It was my job to show up whole as well.

When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting...

Overall, this is a challenging story that is told with vulnerability and a bit of humor in beautiful, lyrical language. For those who grew up in this subculture and experienced similar challenges in adulthood, this is likely to provide a great deal of comfort in knowing that you are not alone. For those who did not grow up in this subculture, it is a good introduction to the mindset and emotional drives of those who did experience it, which may provide a new level of understanding for those who struggle with the after effects.

mending broken: a personal journey through the stages of trauma + recovery

She writes delicious paragraphs about how yoga changed her relationship with her own body—paragraphs that would make even the most cynical reader want to sign up for a class. Pasquale also derives healing from her work as a trauma therapist.

When Christians Contemplate Suicide

Although faith can give one a sense of self-worth, hope, and purpose, it cannot eliminate the chemical imbalance in one’s brain that causes bipolar disorder or supply the vitamin D that one needs to prevent seasonal affective disorder.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Teresa B. Pasquale Interview

I would say I think in that amorphous space of the divine every tradition, every mystic, every person who has touched upon that divinity in themselves and everything else speaks of it with a very similar paradoxical vocabulary. I think in the space of inner quiet we are all full of the same holy intentions.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Teresa B. Pasquale

Teresa's book was excellent. It was one of those books where I kept highlighting passages in the text because difficult concepts were so well illuminated. It's a casual distillation of a type of spiritual journey that is almost always portrayed with needless drama, and the simplicity makes it all the more powerful.

Forgiveness and Boundaries

by Le Isaac Weaver "If I can learn to forgive— if I can learn to say, “I will no longer carry this suffering in my hands. Today I will set it down”— I will then free myself from anger and pain and make the space to move into understanding and compassion. Likewise, when I make and enforce effective and appropriate boundaries, I am making it more likely that peace and love will flow freely in and through my life, and thus out into the world."

The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and...

[The book] recurrently focuses on Lewis's changed life after conversion (which Lewis wrote about at length) and on Freud's continued hopelessness and misery. He persistently lets his protagonists present a low-key case for the psychological benefits of believing in God. Read this if you want your faith stimulated or renewed.
When Men Were the Only Models We Had

When Men Were the Only Models We Had: My Teachers Barzun, Fadiman, Trilling

"I do not mean, of course, that I expressed feminist views in the dreary masculinist years after World War II. But I never denied the pain to myself . . . Fiction by and about women," she wrote, "centered on an immature woman whose fate was not yet decided, in disturbing contrast to the questing, destiny-making hero of male fiction" (Grigoriadis, quoting Kress).
Four Keys

Four Keys That Opened My Way to Consciousness

A great part of my joy is the knowing that my open, questioning heart was the key to receiving the answers I sought—that God and I were, and continue to be, co-creators of my life. My journey into consciousness continues every day, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Two Hands Touching

Contemporaneity: “The quality of belonging to the same period of time.”

EEWC, with its mix of young and old and every age in between, and its sense of contemporaneity -- we're all in this together at the same time and place in history and each of us has something to contribute -- provides countless opportunities for demonstrating what it means to be a feminist and Christian at any age.
Abuse - Fist Image

Twelve Ways to Increase Awareness of Abuse and Bring About Change

11. Encourage pastors to name mental illness among other illnesses that are mentioned in prayers and sermons. This destigmatizes it and gets out the message that mental illness is just another illness.
Light through prison bars

Capital Punishment of Women and the Mentally Ill

The function of a governor in granting clemency is to mete out mercy. An insightful article about the Karla Faye Tucker case and other executions in Texas during the governorship of George W. Bush was written by Sister Helen Prejean, the Roman Catholic nun whose story was told in the movie Dead Man Walking.
Heart painted in watercolor

The Andrea Yates Tragedy: Three Commentaries

by Anne Linstatter On June 20, 2001, many people were reading and talking about the latest sensational news story: a mother in Texas, Andrea...

Refuge From Abuse

One of the biggest impediments to applying biblical passages to sub-topics on abuse is that there really are not many passages that focus on women in general, much less women suffering at the hands of husbands or boyfriends in one-to-one relationships. In fact, many of the biblical reflection passages used in this book have male subjects.
Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Kimberby B George

Verbal Violence Is No Joke!

Dear Kimberly, I had many thoughts as I read your last letter about the fraternity hazing at Yale that required new pledges to march through...

Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse

This quilt of text and music is not a warm, cozy listening experience... It is very challenging music and painful text, richly expressing the anger, despair, and, ultimately, courageous healing and hope of survivors of child sexual abuse.

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