Laura Howe 00:00
Hey there, Laura here for the month of July, the podcast team is going to be taking a summer break. But don't worry, we're still going to have new episodes.For the next four weeks. We are jumping back to share a few of the most viewed sessions from past church at mental health summit and I can't wait to share some of these fantastic talks and resources with you. And I'm excited to share that the 2023 summit is now open for registration. Over 50 speakers from around the world are coming together to equip the local church to support mental health in their leaders in their congregants and in their community. To check out the four tracks and all of the speakers go to churchmentalhealth summit.com.
From Hope Made Strong, this is The Care Ministry Podcast a show about equipping ministry leaders and transforming communities through care.
Supporting those in your church and community not only changes individuals lives, but it grows and strengthens the church. We want to do that without burning out so listen in as we learn about tools, strategies and resources that will equip your team and strength and hope. I'm Laura Howe and welcome to the care ministry podcast. The show today is a flashback to one of the top viewed sessions of our 2022 Church mental health summit with Patrick Regan. Now Patrick is CEO and co founder of Kintsugi Hope which came about following a series of personal trials and ill health affecting Patrick and his family. And this ministry was birthed out of that struggle.
Kintsugi Hope is actually an organization that is based out of the United Kingdom, the UK, and they have developed wellbeing groups for churches and they're so good. And the goal is for people with that they can develop a community or an atmosphere or group where people can experience safety and support without shame, an increase of self worth confidence and well being a deeper understanding of God's love for them, and a clear pathway to receive additional support if needed.
But that is an amazing group and a goal that I think every church wants to wants to achieve. Now I think it's important to describe where the name Kintsugi came from, because it is just a beautiful imagery. So it came from the Japanese technique for repairing pottery with seams of gold. So gold repairs the brokenness in a way that makes this object more beautiful and even more unique than it was prior to being broken. This is a beautiful picture of how we become more beautiful and resilient after facing struggles. Now in his talk, Patrick explores the nature of resilience and thriving in the midst of adversity. And at the end, if you're anything like me, you are going to want to replay this episode because that's what I did I have listened to this talk at least twice, maybe even more, I'm pretty sure three times because it is jam packed with so much good wisdom and encouragement. So I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
70% of adults in the US have experienced some type of traumatic event. More than two thirds of children have experienced a traumatic event by age 16 54% of us families have been affected by some sort of disaster. And you know, these aren't just statistics. These are people who you know, who you've loved who you've met, and very well, maybe you
We created spiritual first aid to be something that everyone can learn. One of the things that sets spiritual first aid apart from other helping approaches is that it's biblically based, and it's rooted in Scripture. It's also rooted in research. 15 years of research, in fact that we've been conducting all over the world. And we spent five years field testing it to make sure that it works before we've offered it to you. So a spiritual first aid you'll be equipped with the skills, the knowledge and hands on activities even so that you're better prepared to help a hurting world.
It makes it possible for you to step in to help someone who faces everyday stress all the way to someone who's faced significant trauma.
Patrick Regan 04:41
Hi, my name is Patrick Regan. I'm the CEO and co founder of Kintsugi Hope, mental health charity supporting people in communities. Now, a couple of years ago now I wrote this book called honesty over silence. And it's all looking at how we should respond to emotional mental health and it has this little tagline on there. It's okay not to be okay. And when I wrote this, I had such an incredible response, so many emails coming into me and telling me their stories. And as I read these emails, I thought to myself, You know what? I do believe it's okay not to be okay. I believe we need to be more real, more authentic, more honest, in our approach to mental and emotional health. But as I read the emails, I was like, I don't want people to get stuck. That being okay, I want people to thrive, I want people to do well. So I said to my publisher, I'm thinking of writing a book on resilience.
Now, resilience, by definition is thriving in the midst of adversity. So imagine how I felt decided to write a book about thrive in the midst of adversity, two months before COVID hit, and then the unjust murder of George Floyd. And I was like, I can't do this. Now. It's too difficult. But my wife encouraged me to carry on. So I started to research. And it's really interesting that most people describe resilience as the ability to bounce back. We hear it all the time, will the economy bounce back? Will the NHS bounce back with education bounce back? And I was that I'm not sure I want to bounce back. Why would I want to go back to my pre trauma self that's been through less, I want to learn what it means to maybe bounce forwards. And so we started looking at this bouncing forwards notes on resilience, courage and change. And I started to think, what would it take for me to bounce forward at this time. And I use an illustration in the book, where if you take a tomato, and a tennis ball, then if I throw the tennis ball down, hopefully it's going to bounce back. And if I bend it like that, it's going to go back into shape.
Now, if I do the same as tomato, it won't bounce back and if I squeeze it, is going to become a complete mess. But let's say that maybe I plant the tennis ball, and I plant the tomato and then I go back, and I look at them and this has become a decomposed mess. And this with the right conditions, maybe new life has come. And you know, that's a little bit that transformation. Resilience is an illustration that's been well used. But you know, can Good things come out? Can we have as well as post traumatic stress, maybe post traumatic growth, that because of some of the pain have been for we've learned new lessons. So I want you to look really practically is how can we build resilience in our lives. And I found this brilliant illustration from Professor Patrick Buitoni that talks about the resilience river and what he says is at the bottom, there are lots of rocks in most river and if the river level is running low, and you're in a boat, you're more likely to crash into those rocks. Some very precious friends of mine made me this video that explains it even better check this out.
Patrick Regan 08:05
Resilience is like a river. It's levels can go up and down. On good days, when the water is flowing, we feel loved, encouraged and supported. We may float over the rocks and the challenges. But there are bad days to where our levels are lowered trauma, loneliness, trying to fit in. The water has stopped flowing and we are more likely to crash. What are the things that lower your resilience levels and what brings them higher.
Patrick Regan 08:51
For me, if you look at this illustration coming up on your screen now you can see the rocks at the bottom. Now if you would like to do this exercise at home, you can go to the Kintsugi Hope website at www.kintsugihope.com/bouncing forwards and you can print this out for yourself so you can do it with your teams or do it as an individual.
Now, you'll see along the bottom there are different rocks. For me one of those rocks is anxiety. Anxiety is something I've struggled with most of my life. But for the most part, I've managed it quite well recently. But what happens to me is when my river goes low, I know that I can crash on that rock of anxiety.
Another rock could be disappointment. You know we all have disappointments in life disappointment with others disappointment with ourselves and and if your personal faith sometimes there's a disappointment with God that life doesn't work out the way that you fall. It was prayers haven't been answered the way that you want it to.
So what I want you to do in this very short period of time that we have together is look at three things that push up resilience, the river down and maybe three or four things that push it up again. So the first thing you might be able to see there on this is my river, you might be able to see there that I have these three things.
Shame, that drives perfectionism that drives the inner critic. Shame and guilt are two very different things. Shame is a believer I am wrong. Guilt is I've done something wrong. Brene Brown, a famous research professor says that shame, love silence, secrecy and judgment. It has two gremlins, who do you think you are, and you're not enough and what often happens is it drives perfectionism and perfectionism at his core is trying to earn approval. It's like a moving target that you can never hit it. Standards are relentless. It's exhausting. Perfectionism and trying your best are two very different things. Perfectionism can reveal itself in all sorts of ways like catastrophic thinking and every now and again, very, very, very, very, very rarely my wife will have an argument and and I'll be like, that's it. It's the end of our marriage. We've been married 27 years, and she'll be like, it's fine. I'll make the cup of tea, you'll be okay. And just blow it all out of proportion. We mind read. We think that we know what others think about us with no evidence just by being in the same room as them. Sometimes we have unrealistic expectations.
We live by a rigid belief system that says a should I must I ought, we can overcompensate in our behavior, excessive checking, have you ever rechecked emails and text messages and time and time again, because you just don't want to get them wrong, because you don't upset the person that's receiving them. decision making and receiving feedback, people pleasing. And often people of faith say to me, but didn't Jesus say that we need to be perfect in Matthew 5 and, and that verse again, taken out of context, because it was talking, it was a part of the Sermon on the Mount was talking about loving your enemies. The Greek word there is Telos it means to move towards completion, to wholeness, to have integrity. So perfectionism always drives our inner critic.
Researcher says that we have between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts a day. I'm not sure how they tell you that. But a lot of our thoughts, but dominant of our thoughts are often negative. is having a critic, what's it look like? What's it sound like? It's often telling us what's wrong with ourselves. And the antidote to our inner critic, is, as you see the arrows coming up, I've got put down self compassion. My counselor once said to me, Patrick, I think you do need to show yourself a little bit more self compassion. And I'm not I'm a bloke, I don't do self compassion. I'm an activist, I want to change the world. And she was like, no, no, no, no, no, you don't understand self compassion takes discipline. And she self compassion and self indulgence are two very different things.
Many of our ways we think of showing ourselves self compassion, the odd glass of wine every night to take the edge off, or the extra biscuits actually do as bad in the long run. Self Compassion is talking to yourself, the way that you would talk to your best friend. How would you treat your friend who was struggling? Gentleness, empathy, kindness, we say things to ourselves, we wouldn't dream of saying to other people, the word compassion means to suffer with to be a conscious of another person's distress. So often before Jesus did anything, it says in the Bible, filled with compassion, he reached out and touch them. Compassion was at the heart of everything that he did and we need to show compassion to others and compassion to ourselves.
Secondly, gratitude. You know, Colvin has said that gratitude is nature's nature's solution to anxiety. And it's true. And it's not about whether you're half empty person on the glass, half empty person or glass half full person. The thing about gratitude is about being grateful for the glass. It's saying that actually everything, if there is gratitude, we can find in everything. There's a definition in the book, which, which I really love, which I found, which says gratitude is hunt the good stuff. It doesn't mean that bad stuff isn't there. It doesn't mean that isn't things aren't difficult. But once we go looking for the good stuff, and gratitude, you know, can actually rewire our brains it starts to the production of dopamine and serotonin. And gratitude involves two things. One is, you might need to slow down to see what's going on around you so you can be grateful a bit more, and learn to celebrate. It's so important.
The third thing I put on my river is kindness. Now kindness gets confused with being nice or being passive or being weak, when actually is a skill that involves courage and vulnerability, leaching out to others, and also showing kindness to yourself. A lot of Christians talk about original sin. I like to think about original goodness, because as you think people are my I think people are incredibly kind, incredibly resilient people often do so much for a stranger. And you know, six times in the Genesis story, God declared it was good. And then on the last day, he said, it was very good. You know, I believe that you can see the divine in nearly any think that you just need to go looking for it and that divine gives us the spiritual resources of love and compassion and meaning and hope and freedom from fear. When we see kindness in others, and kindness to ourselves.
And then there's belonging. Again, the famous researcher Brene Brown talks about the difference I love this between belonging and fitting in. Fitting in is exhausting belong in his life giving belonging has been accepted for who I am. You know, one of the most loneliest places you'll probably ever be in your life is in a crowd, when you feel scared of giving your opinion because you think you're going to be rejected and so many of us in churches, so many of us are in those places, we're thinking, if people really knew what I fought, I wonder if I'd be rejected.
We've got to belong before we believe sometimes it's so so important. We need to find safe people who are not going to be there to rescue us, or to fix us. But people we can be real and honest, being community with. So in conclusion, I really hope that this talk has encouraged you, not to bounce back, but maybe to bounce forwards. I've been really inspired as you can probably tell by the name of our charity called Kintsugi Hope by the Japanese art form called Kintsugi. Where is if we get a bowl and we break it, we tend to mend it with superglue, and we hide the cracks, we pretend it's not broken. But what they do in Japan is they put a gold powder in the glue. So instead of hiding the cracks and make a feature of the cracks, arguably the object becomes more beautiful for being broken, it certainly becomes more unique. There isn't a bowl, there isn't a plate, there isn't a thing like that on planet earth. And it's the same for you. You're unique, you're special, you have gifts that no one else has. And we shouldn't be ashamed of our scars. You know, Jesus in His resurrected body had scars. There's this beautiful verse in two Corinthians four verse seven, it talks about treasure in jars of clay that says that we have treasure and jars of clay to show that they also pass and power is from God and not from us. In that culture, jars are made to be fragile, were made to be fragile, because that's how we are human. And that's how the love of God gets through, not through pride and arrogance. But beauty comes out of brokenness.
Patrick Regan 17:39
For me grappling with this issue around emotional and mental health. And I'm writing this I thought, well, what's the difference between this and a good self help book. And you know, I quote all the top psychologists and psychiatrists and all the amazing people that have done so much incredible work in this. And I think the biggest difference is this, for me is not about who we're becoming. It's about who we belong to but I can't do it on my own. I can't look inside myself and go suddenly I met and I need that help. And you know, and sometimes in our emotional and mental health as we start thinking about all the opinions or what we think of ourselves, and what others think ourselves, maybe we need to listen again to Scripture. And what does God say about us? And Jeremiah 31:3 says you are loved with an everlasting love. In Zephaniah 3:17. It says you he rejoices over you with singing. In Psalm 139: 4 he says, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
In Romans 8:16 says you are a child of God. So how about the next time your inner critic gets really noisy? How about the next time we're shame is starting to drive perfectionism which then drives the inner critic more that you can show yourself self compassion, that you can show yourself some kindness, kindness, yourself kindness to others, where you can find people around you who are going to love you, and care for you in amazing ways. And what if we could be grateful in all circumstances in life, a friend of mine told me this word which is called flawsome so I thought she was making it up. I thought this was on Disney film or something. This isn't a real world word. And actually I googled it and for some means this an individual who embraces their flaws, and those that are awesome, regardless. I hope and pray that this talk has been encouraged it and that you would know that you are flawsome. God bless you.
Laura Howe 19:39
Hey, thanks for listening. I hope you're encouraged by this session is definitely one to pass on to a friend or if you're like me, listen to again. And if you'd like this session, you're gonna want to sign up for the next church mental health summit on October that's goes live on October 10. Registration is free and gives you access to all 50 talks.Jjust go to churchmentalhealthsummit.com Thanks for connecting and take care
Transcribed by https://otter.ai