Posts Tagged: pain

The Power of Vulnerability

April 20, 2017 | Jenny Gruzensky

That Thing We All Struggle With

In her song If We’re Honest, singer-songwriter Francesca Battistelli clearly articulates one of the biggest struggles of our culture:

Truth is harder than a lie, The dark seems safer than the light, And everyone has a heart that loves to hide, I’m a mess and so are you, We’ve built walls nobody can get through, Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do,

Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine, ‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides, And mercy’s waiting on the other side, If we’re honest.

In our culture today, vulnerability and authenticity are regarded as important attributes. I think they are thought of as such because they are rarely found. I recently had a conversation with a friend and she shared her perspective on why these traits are so hard to come by: “Being vulnerable is both freeing and terrifying. Freeing in that you no longer carry the emotions of whatever is going on by …
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Jenny Gruzensky

Alumni
ARISE

A Reality Check for Valentine's Day by Anneliese Wahlman

A Reality Check for Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2017 | Anneliese Wahlman

His eyes were blue, like an October sky. His hair was the color of sand off the beach, the kind you put in a bottle and take home for memories. I won’t mention his name, but it rhymes with schmichael. When he and I talked, I literally felt something I’d never felt with any other guy before in my life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t reciprocated. I found out he was in love with one of my close girlfriends. Schmichael and I stayed friends for a little while, but eventually we parted ways and I never told him how I felt.

If you’re alive and breathing, you know that love brings with it pain. Especially if you’re twelve and in a Pathfinder Club.

And as laughable as that first “love” can be, it doesn’t get much easier with age. You ask a girl out and she says no. The guy you like doesn’t even know you exist. Sometimes spouses are unfaithful. Marriages grow cold and hollow. Even in faithful relationships, life is …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

Too Dark for Me

Too Dark for Me

March 25, 2016 | Elise Harboldt

“Do you cut yourself?” I ask. “No,” she whispers. “I burn myself.” She pulls up her sleeves to show me dark red lines all the way up her arms. “I use a curling iron.” 

“I took the whole bottle of pills,” he says. “My wife found me passed out and called 911.”

“I want out,” she says. “I can’t promise you I won’t follow through. Life is too dark for me.” 

I work in a mental health practice, and hear these stories over and over. People who often look normal on the outside give a glimpse into their painful inner worlds. The darkness is deep and the stories sad: abuse, trauma, anxiety, depression, addiction, substance abuse, brokenness, and pain.

I’d like to think these stories are anomalies, but they aren’t. Every 16 minutes someone in the United States commits suicide. It’s the tenth leading cause of death in Americans over age 10. At least one in four American adults suffers from a diagnosable mental illness such as depression or anxiety …
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Elise Harboldt

Writer/Producer
Beautiful Minds Medical

The Bowels

The Bowels

September 3, 2014 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Physiologically, the bowel is synonymous with the gut, the gastrointestinal tract, including stomach and the intestines. In this context, the association made between the bowel and the brain in the following statements is quite intriguing. “The brain and nerves are in sympathy with the stomach.”1 “The diseased stomach affects the entire nervous system, brain, and mind . . .  the nerves of the brain are diseased by the abuse heaped on the stomach.”2 “The success of acquiring a good memory and a calm, uniform temper depends not upon circumstances, but very much upon the way in which the stomach is treated.”3

When we think of the gut we think of the digestion of food—period; but there’s more. Embedded in the wall of the gut are nerves that compose the enteric nervous system [ENS]. The ENS has long been known to control digestion. Some scientists though are referring to it as the second brain. The ENS contains millions of neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers