02 Nov 5 Friyays: November 2
Hello all, Dr. Donnelly here! It has been a season of manic juggling for me, and trying to sort self-care amidst a lot of folks needing a lot of things from me. I also find myself in a posture of lament – emotionally prostrate on the floor in front of altars, begging for wisdom and calm and healing and gun law reform. So, this week, I want to share some places I’ve been getting wisdom from.
5 Ways to Pragmatically React to the Tree of Life Massacre
The events of last Saturday have left both of The Good Doctor’s reeling. Squirrel Hill is very close to Dr. Hinson’s house and is a wonderful neighborhood in a wonderful city. For her, this has literally hit close to home. For me, as a religious liberty scholar, I have also been horrified at the desecration of the constitutional promise to freely assemble to worship and then the subsequent calls to place weapons in houses of worship. I am grateful for this essay from my colleague and friend, Sofi Herscher, on some suggestions for reacting.
Getting Wisdom from Podcasts
This week, the latest edition of CXMH features Dr. David Pooler talking about his research into survivors of clergy sexual abuse. I love this podcast because it talks about the intersection of Christian faith and mental health and this episode is no different. I live in this space as well – as some of you know about my research project about sexism in Baptist movements – and I was grateful for this conversation as I learn new ways to think about serving my respondents.
Over the past year, I’ve been intentionally learning about the Ennegram – an ancient tool set for understanding ourselves that has enjoyed a resurgence in the last decade. There is no shortage of resources out there, but I’d recommend starting with the Ennegram Institute. Know that taking a quick test is not fully accurate for understanding the method, but can be a good starting point. I, for the curious, am a 3.
Tiny Boundaries as Self Care
I’ve made some new rules for myself in the last few months. I don’t do work on planes, for example, and use that time instead to read novels. I make sure to eat one meal alone everywhere I go. I consume the news only in specific intervals and specific time frames. I listen to Broadway musicals whenever I can because they bring me joy. I apologize for none of these things.
In the noise of this world, I found I was loosing my connection to myself. I was so busy making sure I was everything everyone else needed me to be that I forgot who I needed me to be. The process of listening to my own wisdom has not been easy (it requires so much quiet! my anxiety sometimes doesn’t love quiet) but it has been worth it.
Gathering Around the Table
Since the beginning of September, I’ve been in 4 countries, 8 states, and more plane flights than I am comfortable counting. What I have also gotten to do is eat around the table with folks from all those places. I shared dumplings with a student in Shanghai, slurped ramen with a group of Japanese American expats in Osaka, ate steak with college coaches in Charleston, and laughed with my friends and family all over the show.
Here’s what those experiences have reminded me: human people are complicated and frustrating and beautiful and holy and messy and good and awful and and and. As my phone continues to sound alarms of awful, I’m grateful to be reminded of the complicated and diverse folks that I’ve shared food with.
So that’s what I’ve got this week. As you read this, The Good Doctors are on our way to Frankenmuth, Michigan to partake in a collaboration event with some brave and glorious women we’ve gotten to know on Facebook over the last year. We can’t wait to share with you the wisdom we glean from around that table!