A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

Self-care, Mental Health, and COVID-19: Interview with Jenny Heckman

August 12, 2020 Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker Season 1 Episode 3
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
Self-care, Mental Health, and COVID-19: Interview with Jenny Heckman
Chapters
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
Self-care, Mental Health, and COVID-19: Interview with Jenny Heckman
Aug 12, 2020 Season 1 Episode 3
Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker

In this episode, we interview Jenny Heckman (MS, LPC, NCC) about dealing with anxiety and staying mentally healthy during the pandemic. Jenny is a licensed professional counselor and a former pastor, and we think her insights here are important and timely.

The beer featured in this episode is Strawberry Rhubarb Wild Fruit Ale by New Glarus Brewing Company.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we interview Jenny Heckman (MS, LPC, NCC) about dealing with anxiety and staying mentally healthy during the pandemic. Jenny is a licensed professional counselor and a former pastor, and we think her insights here are important and timely.

The beer featured in this episode is Strawberry Rhubarb Wild Fruit Ale by New Glarus Brewing Company.

00:00

[Music]

00:14

welcome to a pastor and a philosopher

00:16

walk into a bar

00:17

where we say the things you wish your

00:19

pastor or your philosophy professor had

00:21

said to you about god

00:22

spirituality and the church

00:24

[Music]

00:28

well welcome friends to another episode

00:30

of a pastor and a philosopher walk into

00:32

a bar

00:33

today we are going to be speaking to a

00:35

great friend of mine

00:36

who is a was a pastor i see her still as

00:40

a pastor

00:41

a colleague of mine close friend and a

00:43

professional

00:44

counselor a therapist i think you're

00:46

going to find no matter how

00:48

you've experienced this year with all

00:51

the trauma involved in all the chaos all

00:54

the

00:55

all the things this episode is going to

00:58

hit you

00:59

in some way shape or form at some point

01:02

i guarantee you just listen long enough

01:04

and what jenny brings is going to

01:06

resonate with your story

01:07

so i'm excited about it but first before

01:10

we get to jenny kyle we need to hear

01:12

about what we're drinking today because

01:14

this

01:14

we obviously are in this proverbial bar

01:17

so what are we drinking today kyle

01:19

today i have for you guys a fruited ale

01:23

from new glarus brewing company

01:26

this one is one of a line of fruited

01:28

ales that they do this one is the most

01:30

hyped most sought after

01:32

of their fruited ales this one's

01:33

strawberry rhubarb

01:35

which is a very wisconsin thing i'm from

01:37

kentucky i had no idea what rhubarb was

01:39

before i moved to wisconsin

01:41

but like every wisconsin grandmother

01:44

makes strawberry rhubarb pie i found out

01:46

and it's incredible so somehow new

01:49

glarus has figured out how to bottle

01:51

that flavor

01:51

and that's what we're drinking here new

01:54

glarus interestingly they only

01:55

distribute in wisconsin

01:57

so their beer is widely and easily

01:59

available

02:00

everywhere in wisconsin but nowhere

02:02

outside of wisconsin so everybody that

02:04

comes to visit

02:05

wants this so they make spotted cow if

02:07

you're familiar with that

02:08

everybody outside of wisconsin loves

02:09

spotted cow uh but this is my favorite

02:11

new glarus brew

02:14

another reason to come to visit

02:15

wisconsin yeah it's like it's the color

02:17

of cranberry juice i think it's a close

02:18

it's a deep red

02:19

yep you almost have to hold it to the

02:21

light to see through it so kyle in my

02:23

limited co-drinking experience with you

02:25

it seems you have a propensity to fruity

02:28

beers is that definitely is that true or

02:30

is this just coincidence

02:31

that's definitely true especially in the

02:32

summer time so we're launching this

02:34

podcast in the summer time and that's

02:35

why we're drinking all this heavily

02:37

fruited stuff

02:37

when it gets colder we're going to see a

02:39

lot more traditional ales and stouts and

02:42

stuff like that

02:45

all right well cheers

02:48

wow that's good the strawberry

02:50

definitely hits first

02:51

strawberry it's a strawberry rhubarb

02:54

for me it's like it's got that bright

02:57

effervescence which i really like

02:59

um it's got the tartness right away but

03:02

on the back of my tongue

03:03

i get this am i crazy or do i get this

03:06

barney

03:07

almost like not barney the the purple

03:10

dinosaur but

03:11

barn-like flavors and then almost

03:14

almost like stinky cheese on the back of

03:16

my tongue

03:18

it's probably the rhubarb isn't it it's

03:19

kind of get that pungent uh

03:21

bitter flavor is it not that yeah i

03:23

think bitter is right yep

03:25

yeah it's it balances really well

03:28

yeah it's like a you're eating fruit in

03:31

a barn

03:32

that has hay and some funk in it

03:38

losing my appetite

03:39

[Laughter]

03:41

you're basically describing their their

03:43

brewery setting

03:44

like if you go visit them that that's

03:46

what you're gonna see

03:48

the nearest thing is a barn in the field

03:50

adjacent to their brewery

03:52

this tastes like new glarus awesome

03:54

amazing so you said this is

03:55

sought after this i'm assuming like is

03:57

only released once a year

03:59

once maybe twice a year i think

04:01

something like that

04:02

but you could they don't announce it

04:04

maybe on their instagram they might put

04:05

up a post as it's coming out so you have

04:07

to look for it and then know where to

04:09

find it and

04:10

kind of get a little bit lucky thank you

04:13

for sharing yeah thanks for bringing

04:14

strawberry rhubarb i highly recommend it

04:16

cheers

04:21

so our guest today is jenny heckman

04:24

uh jenny used to be a pastor at brew

04:27

city church

04:28

alongside randy and i uh so she was my

04:30

pastor for several years

04:32

uh and now she is in full-time uh

04:35

therapy or therapist

04:36

what's the official title there what you

04:38

got a lot of letters behind your name so

04:40

how do you describe yourself the

04:43

official title is a licensed

04:44

professional counselor

04:46

okay so do psychotherapy with

04:48

individuals families

04:49

couples great and we wanted to have

04:53

jenny on the podcast mostly because

04:56

we're in this really weird time with

04:57

covet 19

04:58

and a bunch of other stuff going on in

05:00

our country and there's a great deal of

05:02

anxiety

05:03

and sometimes that anxiety board is on

05:05

outright panic

05:07

and jenny is especially suited to help

05:09

us figure out how to deal with that sort

05:11

of thing so we're really excited to have

05:12

jenny on the podcast today

05:14

jenny we like to ask our guests uh what

05:16

they're drinking

05:17

uh since that's part of the theme of our

05:19

podcast so so what are you drinking

05:22

i am drinking a lovely chilled pinot

05:25

grigio

05:26

very nice chill to uh called josh

05:30

i don't i couldn't tell you the

05:31

temperature i just know that it's nice

05:33

and chill

05:34

my wife and i were uh members of a wine

05:37

club for a while

05:38

so we got kind of nerdy about it and

05:40

they say it should be around 50 degrees

05:42

or so but i don't know if that's real

05:45

of course

05:49

so jenny hello good to see you good to

05:52

see you on the computer screen that is

05:53

in this covet time um

05:57

you can something you can feel in our

05:59

world that's been happening in our

06:00

nation

06:01

more and more and more just growing upon

06:03

itself exponentially is this

06:05

polarization the divide in our country

06:08

ideologically

06:10

racially gender i mean you just you name

06:13

it

06:13

and there's people it feels like people

06:16

in our world are spinning apart

06:18

further and further almost like a

06:20

physics experiment

06:22

and this covid pandemic

06:25

seems to have accentuated that and

06:28

really even you know in a moment where

06:29

maybe we could even

06:31

see our our culture our society come

06:33

together a little bit more

06:35

we found it i found it just spinning

06:37

even more out of control and being even

06:38

more polarized being even more separated

06:41

isolated bitter you name it

06:45

as someone who's your job is to notice

06:48

human behavior and to assess human

06:51

behavior and patterns in human behavior

06:53

now that's on an individual basis more

06:56

group basis but

06:57

as a collective i'm sure you know just

06:59

because of who you are i know that you

07:01

you observe cultural movements and

07:04

societal norms

07:05

and how they're stretching and all that

07:07

stuff so what would you say from your

07:08

professional perspective what have what

07:10

have been some observations

07:12

about what this pandemic is doing to our

07:16

culture and society as a whole

07:19

i've told people from the beginning of

07:21

this and i would definitely still

07:23

say this is congruent with where i'm at

07:26

that

07:27

i still personally am learning a

07:29

tremendous amount

07:31

um so i can i can give you some

07:34

observations but

07:35

really want to make it clear that these

07:37

aren't any forgot

07:38

gone conclusions and you know holding

07:41

loosely to

07:42

hypotheses that i have about about this

07:46

but as i was really reflecting on on

07:48

this question

07:49

the one thing that has become apparent

07:52

to me from the beginning

07:54

is that this pandemic has either

07:58

been an invitation for people to be on

08:00

an accelerated

08:02

course of transformation and it's been

08:05

absolutely beautiful to watch i've seen

08:08

clients and families and couples get

08:11

things figured out

08:12

and reconciled in in very

08:15

salient and quite quick

08:19

and profound ways almost like it's had

08:22

people

08:23

have to evaluate quickly what's what's

08:26

most important

08:27

and how are we going to make this work

08:29

so that's a trend

08:30

that i've seen from from the beginning

08:33

on the opposite end of the continuum

08:36

i've also seen that this pandemic

08:40

has given people

08:44

the opportunity to choose a very very

08:47

different path

08:48

dehumanizing dehumanizing in the way

08:51

they're treating their bodies

08:53

during this time dehumanizing in the way

08:56

they are

08:57

treating family members their spouses

09:00

and the way that they are interacting

09:02

and treating

09:03

their friends extended family members

09:07

community members

09:08

and and even as they're starting to

09:11

develop not starting to but really

09:13

reinforce narratives that they've held

09:15

for a long time

09:17

about the other whether it's the other

09:19

political party

09:21

race so what's been really interesting

09:23

to me

09:24

is because normally i always like to see

09:27

see a middle ground

09:28

but i have definitely seen it people are

09:31

falling into two different

09:33

areas and that's either an accelerated

09:37

growth course of transformation or

09:40

a very rapid decline towards more

09:44

dehumanization

09:48

now when you as you observe this

09:50

dehumanization that's

09:52

i wasn't expecting that super

09:54

interesting but it makes a lot of sense

09:55

as you talk your way through it

09:57

why do you think this pandemic in

09:58

particular is kind of the root for that

10:01

dehumanization what

10:03

have you have you connected those dots

10:04

or is that still something you're

10:05

there's some dots that are there's some

10:07

dots that are being connected and i also

10:09

really want to give credit where credit

10:11

is due i have

10:13

some wonderful mentors and guides of my

10:16

own

10:17

that i i reflect on these things as well

10:20

and so much of this what i'm going to

10:22

say comes out of some dialogue there

10:24

but this is definitely something i've

10:25

been reflecting a lot and in particular

10:28

as it relates to those of us who live

10:32

in the united states and one of the

10:35

conclusions that i've come to

10:37

is that i think part of the reason in

10:39

particular for some of the just

10:41

bad behavior and dehumanizing

10:44

behavior that that we're seeing that i'm

10:46

seeing

10:48

is that as americans we have an

10:50

extremely

10:52

dysfunctional belief about rights and

10:54

and freedom

10:56

that there are what i'm seeing is that

10:58

we're the people who are struggling the

10:59

most

11:00

cope are people who believe that we

11:02

should have unlimited rights

11:05

unlimited freedoms and of course you

11:07

know as as people who are christian in

11:09

orientation we know by design

11:12

that freedom has limits because

11:13

unlimited freedom unlimited rights

11:16

do not lead to human flourishing but

11:19

that

11:19

that so far is one of the dots that i'm

11:22

connecting in particular in the united

11:23

states

11:24

that this has very much challenged the

11:27

paradigm

11:28

many americans have about an entitlement

11:31

to unlimited freedom

11:33

unlimited rights wow

11:36

so it's interesting that when you

11:40

you framed it as the people that are

11:42

having the hardest time

11:43

coping are the people who view it that

11:46

way so it's

11:47

uh it's not just that they have an

11:48

opinion that we disagree with it's

11:50

actually having psychological effects

11:51

that are making their lives

11:53

worse from their perspective is that

11:55

right

11:56

yes and i a colleague of mine asked me

11:59

the other day

12:01

um and we'll probably get to this a

12:02

little bit later but

12:04

the the types of issues that i'm

12:08

seeing coming my way and dealing with

12:10

and i'm sure that i'm

12:11

that other therapist would would share

12:13

the same the same thing

12:15

they're quite different and so for

12:17

people who have

12:19

a really rigid paradigm about

12:22

anything could be a rigid paradigm about

12:25

rights

12:26

about freedom rigid paradigms about

12:29

how things ought to be how god should

12:31

work

12:32

what should go my way their paradigms

12:35

are way too constricted

12:37

to be able to contain reality and

12:40

whenever our paradigms are too small and

12:43

constricted to

12:44

to be able to deal with and whole

12:46

reality

12:48

we will not function well can you relate

12:51

that jenny

12:52

to instantly i go to

12:55

religion in christianity and faith

12:57

journeys and that just sounds

12:58

so familiar and again i'm so glad to

13:02

have your perspective the perspective of

13:03

someone who studied digs down

13:05

deep into this human psyche and brain

13:07

and emotions and all that stuff

13:09

this this idea of someone being

13:13

having such a rigid world view in

13:15

theology and concept of

13:17

who and what god is that sounds like

13:20

you're saying that's

13:20

just fodder for a forest fire in your

13:23

faith journey

13:24

well you're in your faith journey and in

13:26

your psychological journey too

13:27

okay can you explain that yeah

13:31

and you know i'm going to say some

13:32

things that would are going to be

13:34

they might be shocking to some people

13:36

and and i don't mean any

13:38

any disrespect to fellow brothers and

13:40

sisters in christ

13:41

i i also believe that there are some

13:44

things that we just can't stay silent on

13:46

so i'm going to give

13:47

some specific examples that certainly

13:48

won't reach any type of confidentiality

13:51

because i'm hearing them so often

13:53

but for instance one very rigid paradigm

13:56

i'm hearing

13:57

in my clients who embrace a a more

14:00

conservative christian

14:02

paradigm and viewpoint is well

14:05

why do we need to follow the cdc's

14:08

recommendation

14:09

if every single one of our days are

14:12

numbered

14:13

it doesn't matter if we're gonna die

14:15

we're gonna die

14:17

if my fellow my neighbor down the street

14:20

if his days are numbered what does it

14:23

matter

14:24

well that that would be that would be an

14:26

example of that

14:28

um another one another one that i'm

14:31

hearing

14:32

would be about the interpretation that

14:35

god is punishing god is punishing

14:39

us for a specific sin or citizens and

14:42

don't get me wrong i think there's

14:43

there's some amazing transformation that

14:46

we all need in this but that's so

14:48

very different than keeping it in this

14:50

tight paradigm

14:52

that correlates god is doing a because

14:55

of

14:56

b though i mean those would be those

14:59

would be the two big ones and i'm sure i

15:00

could come up with many more

15:02

but the the i think the big thing

15:04

overall is that somehow

15:06

this is so horrible we don't deserve

15:09

this

15:09

this is hindering my freedom messing up

15:11

with my life

15:12

and somehow we gotta hustle and scramble

15:15

our way out of this

15:17

so that's another really narrow paradigm

15:19

that just does not leave

15:20

room for things that go awry

15:23

yeah yeah my 11 year old boy yesterday

15:27

just made the statement that maybe maybe

15:29

coven 19 is happening because

15:30

of racism and god's punishing us

15:33

right well i i like what you're thinking

15:36

because if god's going to punish us for

15:37

anything it'd be something like racism

15:39

but let's talk about how god works so

15:40

maybe that's that's kind of an 11 year

15:42

old

15:43

theological worldview

15:46

now i said the offensive thing so you

15:48

can i'll take the feed off of you jenny

15:51

so i'm curious before we leave this

15:53

topic what sorts of

15:55

uh specific psychological harms do you

15:57

see

15:58

associated with that kind of rigid

16:00

belief structure whether it's religious

16:02

or not

16:05

oh that's such a good question what i

16:08

think where the psychological harm is

16:11

it's it's often i mean and don't get me

16:12

wrong the person who holds the paradigm

16:15

most the time him or herself that they

16:18

are suffering internally

16:20

because it's hard not to be able to deal

16:22

with reality

16:23

unless you live in a tight paradigm but

16:26

what i'm seeing more and more is that

16:28

they're becoming

16:29

extremely lonely people because nobody

16:32

wants to be around them

16:33

people are losing trust people are

16:35

losing respect

16:37

they're in conflict with their kids

16:40

with their spouses with family members

16:42

with members in the community

16:44

and so there's now going to be this this

16:47

loneliness

16:48

as well but but in particular

16:51

when it comes to the paradigm of we

16:53

should never suffer

16:55

or god should be protecting us from

16:57

these types of things

16:58

what i'm really seeing is people one

17:00

client said it best

17:01

she said my ability to function

17:05

has come to a grinding halt

17:08

my ability to function has come to a

17:11

grinding

17:12

halt when our paradigms are that narrow

17:15

we will not be able to flex and adapt

17:20

and adjust to loss wow

17:23

yep i wonder how many people are

17:26

identifying with that statement that

17:27

your

17:28

one of your clients just said right now

17:31

so

17:32

jenny when we think about anxiety

17:34

anxiety which leads to

17:36

is there on this on the continuum of you

17:40

know as you're you're assessing

17:41

um and diagnosing anxiety and then kyle

17:44

mentioned panic

17:45

in the you know in the beginning of our

17:46

time together how how closely are those

17:49

related is there

17:50

stops along the way that or does panic

17:52

feed into

17:53

anxiety the other way around how do

17:55

those two things have a relationship

17:56

with one another

17:57

psychologically um well they're mainly i

17:59

mean both of those concepts there's

18:02

the the panic is more physiological

18:05

anxiety is a combination of both but

18:08

there there actually is a distinction

18:10

between anxiety and between panic

18:12

anxiety runs along a long continuum

18:15

panic does not run along a continuum at

18:17

all panic is panic

18:18

it is felt intensely it distorts reality

18:21

it sets people up to make bad decisions

18:25

because it's based on distortions where

18:28

anxiety on the continuum

18:30

there's a level of anxiety that we all

18:32

need to function

18:33

there are higher levels of anxiety that

18:35

will keep us

18:36

physically depleted mentally depleted

18:39

and a lot of physical symptoms

18:40

as well but that's not the same thing as

18:43

as panic

18:45

and how have you seen that in your

18:47

practice in the last three four months

18:49

during the

18:49

pandemic have you seen that kind of

18:52

grow i would assume right yeah well it's

18:55

interesting

18:56

randy because actually i i've been

18:58

reflecting on this a lot what's

18:59

when in some ways in interesting and

19:02

sort of

19:02

humorous is that my clients who

19:07

already came into this pandemic with

19:09

diagnoses like

19:11

ocd generalized anxiety panic disorder

19:14

they have fared very well

19:18

and part of it is because they feel so

19:21

normal

19:22

everybody's anxious um for my clients

19:25

who have ocd they are so thrilled that

19:27

people are washing their hands

19:29

um i mean truly i mean it's been i

19:32

i really would have expected something

19:34

very different

19:35

so but what i am seeing is actually a

19:38

different

19:39

kind of anxiety and we wouldn't

19:42

necessarily term it anxiety and if you

19:44

if i if you don't mind me just taking

19:45

it's not going to be a sermon i promise

19:47

you that but

19:48

there's there's three things there's

19:51

really three

19:52

things that have anxiety as

19:56

features but they're quite distinct and

19:58

they're quite unique

20:00

to the pandemic and and situations like

20:03

this

20:04

one is something that dr pauline boss

20:07

boss

20:08

has identified as ambiguous loss

20:12

and that is the trauma of loss without

20:15

resolution

20:16

and that's exactly what every single one

20:18

of us is is facing right now

20:21

there's loss but there is no resolution

20:24

we we don't have a sense yet of where

20:27

all this is going and what it's going to

20:29

look like

20:30

and um and even by way of like some

20:32

small simple examples

20:34

you know the other day i drove past

20:36

miller park

20:37

and there was just this pain in my gut

20:39

of like man do i ever miss hanging out

20:41

with my husband at brewer games

20:43

and do i ever feel bad for my kids

20:46

that they don't get to experience that i

20:48

mean and i know this is like first world

20:50

problems

20:50

but the reality is there are so many

20:53

losses within the big loss

20:55

but there is not yet any resolution and

20:58

that

20:59

for people what the research is finding

21:02

is that ambiguous

21:03

loss without the definition is the the

21:06

thing that's impacting people the most

21:08

so it feels like anxiety

21:10

but it's a little bit different the

21:13

second thing

21:14

that has come out in the research so far

21:17

about the pandemic

21:18

is a term that we call immobilization

21:21

and that's the sense that we're really

21:24

limited

21:25

and constricted right now which which we

21:27

are not completely

21:28

but much more than what we're used to

21:30

we're without power

21:32

to change many things and people have

21:35

the feeling of

21:36

of being trapped and typically speaking

21:39

and i think the jury's still out whether

21:41

or not this would fall right now into a

21:43

category of trauma or pre-trauma but

21:46

it doesn't matter people are

21:48

experiencing the anxiety around

21:51

immobilization

21:52

how do i live and move and find meaning

21:55

and purpose and outlets

21:57

in a very constricted limited

22:00

environment and then certainly people

22:02

who've been impacted financially as well

22:04

where there isn't an end in sight that

22:06

would be another way

22:08

that plays out and then i'd say the

22:10

final

22:11

way as well how anxiety looks different

22:14

is just the

22:14

constant adaptation to changing

22:18

conditions you know you guys have

22:19

probably heard

22:20

i think people are so sick of the word

22:22

unprecedented

22:23

um but i think also we've heard the word

22:26

pivoting a lot

22:27

but we're pivoting because we have to

22:30

things are

22:31

changing with this virus almost every 24

22:34

hours now

22:35

what we thought we knew about this virus

22:38

at the beginning

22:40

are different and i think even six

22:42

months down the road but things are

22:44

constantly adapting and changing and it

22:47

human beings aren't

22:48

wired to have to flex and adapt and

22:51

pivot

22:52

that rapidly for this long of a time

22:54

we'll all

22:55

do it and we'll all make it through but

22:57

it always comes at a cost

22:59

and i'm feeling that too wow so it's

23:01

just a different type of anxiety

23:03

how are you feeling that jenny well i

23:05

mean number one

23:06

when this thing started first of all

23:09

having to make decisions about how long

23:11

do you stay in person

23:12

and then adapting to tele-behavioral

23:15

health

23:16

which wasn't in and of itself difficult

23:19

but then what was difficult is

23:21

navigating all the different platforms

23:23

figuring out what's hipaa compliant

23:25

dealing with tech

23:26

issues every client and then sitting in

23:29

front of a screen where i also had to

23:30

see myself

23:32

and the client you know for seven eight

23:35

hours a day

23:35

five days a week and then having to

23:37

pivot back

23:39

when it was time to start seeing

23:41

critical patients and then pivoting

23:42

again

23:43

when therapists were required to have

23:45

informed consents and

23:46

you know liability issues and and all

23:48

those kinds of things

23:50

and now most likely gonna have to pivot

23:52

again

23:53

as the numbers grow as we head back into

23:55

flu season i mean that's just a little

23:57

snippet

23:58

and that's just on the professional end

23:59

on the personal end with family with

24:01

kids

24:02

all that kind of thing you know it's

24:04

that's there too

24:05

i'm sure you guys have all experienced

24:07

that as well

24:09

yeah yeah some of the most intense for

24:12

me

24:12

is the difference in opinion about the

24:15

pandemic

24:16

about the importance of it about the

24:18

seriousness of it about the reality

24:20

about masks about you know

24:22

all that stuff that's it's almost

24:26

it's like experiencing whiplash on a

24:28

daily basis

24:29

trying to hold and process so many

24:31

people's opinions

24:32

and you know both as a pastor than as a

24:35

family member

24:36

and i mean uncles aunts sisters

24:39

brothers-in-law you know all that stuff

24:41

it's a lot of holding oh man yeah

24:44

yeah so jenny you mentioned trauma a few

24:47

minutes ago

24:48

do you think that covid itself will

24:52

cause an uptick in cases of ptsd or is

24:55

that a different kind of trauma

24:58

that's a good question it's going to be

25:01

dependent on the individual

25:04

as a lot of ptsd is and by the way just

25:06

just to make it really clear

25:08

when when a person comes out of

25:10

something like this with post-traumatic

25:12

stress

25:14

symptoms or disorder that doesn't mean

25:16

that they're weaker

25:17

in character or even you know more

25:19

fragile

25:20

it all depends it all depends on what

25:23

their circumstances were

25:24

going into that and this in the specific

25:27

impact

25:28

as a result of it so i think people are

25:30

all going to be

25:31

impacted but not everyone is going to

25:34

come come out of this

25:35

with like post-traumatic stress symptoms

25:38

or a disorder

25:40

people have a lot of reflecting to do

25:43

people will

25:44

hopefully be reordering their lives i

25:45

think other people are gonna

25:47

you know become very very rigid

25:50

and um tightly controlled everyone will

25:54

be impacted but not everyone will be

25:55

traumatized

25:57

yep i wonder you know because ptsd is a

26:01

that's that's a real in a strong thing

26:04

but i'm remembering from my journey

26:06

you guys all know but for listeners i

26:09

don't know

26:09

five six years ago i had a what's called

26:11

a traumatic brain injury

26:12

and was on vacation with my wife in

26:15

california and

26:16

all of a sudden felt like my head was

26:18

gonna explode and long story short i had

26:20

a subdural hematoma with a midline shift

26:22

which just meant my brain was bleeding

26:24

and it shoved my brain over there was

26:25

enough blood that it moved my brain so

26:27

eventually after two weeks i had

26:29

a couple holes drilled in my head had

26:30

brain surgery was in california three

26:32

weeks longer than i thought i would

26:34

and then came home and had a month

26:35

recovery and everybody would ask me

26:38

after that first six months to a year

26:40

how are you doing how's your health and

26:42

it was always fine it got

26:44

it got better after surgery i just felt

26:46

like a real person again

26:47

it was great but what wasn't fine was

26:51

processing the trauma i didn't know it

26:53

at the time until i talked to you and to

26:54

other friends who

26:56

who are professionals and i remember you

26:57

saying jenny but

26:59

i would i came to you and i was like

27:00

this is what i'm doing every night after

27:02

my family goes to bed

27:03

i will take a journey back to southern

27:05

california and i'll go

27:07

to see the places that we went to and

27:09

i'll go and i'll look at my texts

27:12

throughout that whole time i'll go on

27:13

sarah's phone and i'll look at my wife's

27:14

text during that time i'll look at our

27:16

facebook

27:17

feeds and watch how everybody was

27:19

frantic and praying and

27:20

i just had to relive it over and over

27:22

and over again for six to 12 months

27:24

really

27:25

and i remember you saying you're having

27:27

to fit that into your story now and me

27:29

and sarah together had to do that

27:31

we would relive it over and over again i

27:33

wonder

27:35

two things one could you talk about that

27:36

reality a little bit because i

27:38

i'm guessing that there's a lot of

27:40

people who are listening who maybe are

27:41

health care workers

27:42

and are going to have to do that thing

27:45

or

27:45

who had coveted 19 and their world was

27:48

was disrupted for months on end and

27:51

they're still feeling the effects of it

27:52

in that processing and bringing that

27:55

trauma

27:56

into their person can you just talk us

27:58

to us about that process jenny

28:00

yes the thing the thing about trauma

28:03

is that it and i i heard a lecture i

28:06

cannot remember his name it was a

28:07

marquette

28:08

oh boy maybe nine years ago and

28:12

what he said is that these trauma it

28:14

dislocates people

28:16

at almost level every level of their

28:18

personhood

28:20

how they view self how they view the

28:21

other how they view the safety of the

28:23

world how they view their competency

28:25

you name it i could go on and on so yeah

28:28

the process is people have to be able

28:30

they have to be able to tell the story

28:33

and go back and visit different pieces

28:35

of it make sense of it but

28:36

but then ultimately integrate it into

28:38

their story that this

28:40

actually happened to me i think the

28:42

thing that really messes with

28:44

people is that wow

28:48

this happened to me this is

28:51

happening to me this is happening

28:54

to us um this is not somewhere off in

28:58

another continent

28:59

that's what people i think i think we've

29:02

definitely adjusted for the most part

29:04

that this is happening to us

29:06

we'll have some more adjustment to make

29:08

but yeah being able to wrap our heads

29:10

around

29:11

this happened here's how it impacted me

29:14

and here's how we made it through what

29:17

was provided to us

29:19

those are all necessary things to get

29:22

the trauma

29:23

resolved in addition that immobilization

29:25

that term i mentioned earlier

29:27

is part and parcel of trauma or

29:30

pre-traumatic things

29:31

and so one of the things we also know is

29:33

that wherever we can empower people

29:35

to become mobile again in their emotions

29:39

moving their bodies being able to

29:41

connect in relationships even in this

29:43

obviously in a socially distanced way

29:46

all those things to empower people

29:48

is is equally important as well

29:52

well this episode i think is gonna drive

29:55

your your waiting list might grow jenny

29:58

and a lot of people are gonna

29:59

realize i need some i need some

30:01

counseling well i want to tell you we

30:03

are

30:03

really grateful i'm we're really blessed

30:05

there are so many

30:06

good good therapists yeah lots of good

30:10

people

30:11

yeah so

30:14

jenny i'm curious what you think about

30:16

this um

30:18

it seems like and maybe this is a

30:20

difference in the way that the normal

30:22

populace uses the word anxiety versus

30:24

the way that therapists like yourself

30:25

use the

30:26

word anxiety but i i got into kind of a

30:29

little

30:30

mini argument slash conversation with

30:32

somebody on social media at the

30:33

beginning of all of this and

30:35

i was suggesting that that there's a

30:38

sense of appropriate anxiety

30:40

um i i see a lot on social media the

30:43

sort of thing you were describing a

30:44

little while ago where

30:46

there are people who just aren't anxious

30:48

enough about this

30:49

or at least that's the way that i would

30:50

describe it they don't take it seriously

30:53

enough they don't think it's much of a

30:54

threat

30:55

or they write it off because of some

30:57

kind of belief structure that explains

30:58

it away for them

31:00

so is there a sense of healthy anxiety

31:04

is that a thing

31:05

or would would a therapist describe that

31:07

differently

31:08

oh without a doubt i i don't know that i

31:11

would use

31:12

i don't know that i would use the word

31:14

anxiety i think i would use

31:15

fear and what we know is that we do need

31:19

to have

31:20

we need to have what i would call

31:22

accurate fear

31:24

fear that is actually congruent with the

31:26

reality of a situation

31:28

or we will get ourselves into danger

31:32

and other people into danger so there is

31:34

a healthy sense of fear

31:37

yeah and and anxiety and i i'd say more

31:40

if we want to use that i i use a phrase

31:43

a lot kind of a sober

31:45

awareness that this is a real deal

31:49

a sober awareness that allows me to

31:52

allows us to be able to not just protect

31:56

self but really also protect the other

32:00

we need that now i think what's getting

32:03

really tricky for people

32:05

one of the reasons i'm finding people

32:07

are not paying attention to the science

32:10

okay i mean there's just some really

32:12

good science out

32:13

about covid the good science that i've

32:16

read

32:17

is not fear-based it is a factual but

32:20

sober awareness here's what we know

32:22

right now

32:24

about this virus and if we do these

32:26

things

32:28

we can mitigate the effects of this

32:30

virus

32:31

what i'm finding is becoming very

32:34

confusing for people

32:36

is that and i i want to be careful here

32:38

i will not villainize the media and i am

32:40

not

32:40

villainizing any one politician but

32:43

because

32:44

kovid is politicized

32:47

the media and politics use fear

32:50

run amok to manipulate people

32:55

and so people are having a very

32:57

difficult time often discerning

33:00

what is sober awareness based on

33:03

good science and what's real and true

33:06

and what is fear run amok used to

33:09

manipulate

33:10

and for someone else's game

33:14

and so i'm finding that some people have

33:16

completely tuned out science

33:19

because they they believe this is all a

33:21

political

33:23

maneuver yep so jenny

33:26

going off of that idea of sober

33:28

awareness and then

33:30

on the other side fear run amok i've

33:32

heard it said

33:33

and i'm just interested in to hear your

33:34

perspective i've heard that

33:36

negativity fear anger all that stuff

33:40

sticks to our to our consciousness to

33:42

our brains like

33:43

like velcro right in that good beautiful

33:47

hopeful wonderful things slide off like

33:50

teflon that like

33:51

you actually have to work to actually

33:53

amplify and keep those good

33:54

thoughts and things i was just talking

33:56

to my son this today we were

33:59

in the park and he talks he mentioned

34:01

that he remembers so many of his bad

34:03

dreams

34:04

and very few of his good dreams and i

34:06

was one

34:07

i was processing him with him that that

34:09

yep the bad stuff actually sticks a

34:11

little bit more is that true

34:13

physiologically or talk me through that

34:16

yeah it does seem that

34:18

the brain appears to

34:21

recall the bad and what didn't go well

34:26

more than the good now i think there's

34:28

some people by personality and wiring

34:30

that they are just gifted

34:32

in really being able to connect with the

34:34

good so we

34:36

being intentional about connecting with

34:37

still what's good

34:39

and untouched by bad is

34:42

is very very important i'm also though

34:45

honestly i'm

34:46

i myself in my own journey in this last

34:49

year have really had to renegotiate

34:52

my relationship with anger and i have so

34:55

appreciated

34:56

richard rohr's writing on anger

35:00

that that anger is actually if if we

35:03

bring it

35:03

into the presence of the gaze of christ

35:07

that it is actually a pathway

35:11

to something that is actually very pure

35:15

and

35:15

good anger is one of the most purifying

35:18

emotions

35:19

there are sometimes i think when we get

35:21

concerned about anger and i do as well

35:23

what we're really saying is we're more

35:25

concerned about contempt

35:28

and that's very different than anger um

35:30

anger tends to be quite pure

35:32

and purifying contempt is something very

35:35

very different

35:36

that tends to look down on other people

35:39

minimizes other people

35:40

demeans other people but anger actually

35:43

is a necessary

35:44

emotion for coping and

35:48

also for creating change

35:51

to go back to your original question the

35:52

reality is yes we do

35:54

have to be a little more intentional

35:56

about immersing ourself

35:58

in the good not just thinking about it

36:01

but tasting it touching it seeing it

36:04

being

36:04

in it you said earlier connecting with

36:07

the good

36:08

yeah i like that yeah yeah this seems

36:11

super relevant

36:12

to me because simultaneously with the

36:13

whole covid thing and all of the

36:15

psychological stuff that's causing

36:17

in the united states and kind of

36:18

globally we're going through

36:20

this intense anger rage

36:24

over white supremacy and racism and the

36:26

fact that

36:28

um police officers can't seem to stop

36:31

killing black people

36:32

um so i think it's highly relevant to

36:34

the situation we're in because

36:36

we're having all these issues compounded

36:37

simultaneously and all these different

36:39

emotions flowing through us about

36:40

different things

36:41

there's actually there's a whole

36:42

literature of philosophy of race

36:46

and various critical race theorists who

36:48

talk a great deal about rage

36:51

and anger as a necessary tool for

36:54

political change

36:57

i've as you as you talk kyle i've got um

37:00

well

37:01

i'd be interested in your take on this

37:02

jenny i um

37:05

watching let's just take the george

37:07

floyd video for example

37:09

right you could put a million names in

37:11

there but let's just take the george

37:12

floyd video

37:14

people's response to that video has been

37:17

fascinating to me

37:18

um and fascinating i mean i don't mean

37:21

here's what i mean it seems like adults

37:24

are more

37:25

the way they see that is through the

37:27

filter of whatever their political

37:28

ideology is whatever their upbringing

37:30

was whatever you know feeling like

37:31

there's so much

37:32

of a filter when they're watching it

37:34

that i almost don't trust

37:36

it what i trusted was watching my 13

37:39

year old girl

37:40

be disrupted for two days after she we

37:42

allowed her to watch that video

37:44

and she couldn't stop she was crying on

37:46

and off for about a day and a half after

37:47

she watched the video in

37:49

the the evil the pure evil in it

37:52

was so jarring to her she didn't have

37:54

any of these filters she didn't have any

37:56

ideology stuffed

37:57

upon her she just watched a video where

37:59

she saw somebody being murdered

38:01

and it was just a really easy call for

38:03

her can you speak to this

38:05

these filters that that distort reality

38:08

as we're seeing real things happen in

38:10

real time yeah

38:12

it goes right back to what i said about

38:14

about the meaning and purpose

38:16

of narrow paradigms if

38:19

if i if i can look at that video

38:22

and interpret it through a lens

38:26

of my political beliefs then

38:30

i don't have to grapple with the problem

38:33

of evil

38:36

don't have to get near to the trauma i

38:39

can protect myself

38:40

from being disrupted

38:45

so it's there's a self-protection facet

38:48

to it

38:49

very much and i'll tell you i will never

38:51

enable

38:52

dehumanizing behavior but i have come to

38:56

the conclusion

38:57

that most dehumanizing behavior

39:01

started very how can i put this it

39:04

started

39:05

with a need to self-protect

39:09

and it doesn't make it any better does

39:12

i'm not saying it's good

39:14

but with compassion i will say that that

39:17

there's a path

39:18

to dehumanizing behavior that often

39:21

starts with somebody

39:23

who internally is absolutely unable

39:26

to have a roomy enough interior world

39:29

to handle the whole of reality and so we

39:32

amputate it

39:34

yep wow man so jenny

39:38

2020 i mean it's gonna go down in the

39:41

history books

39:43

pretend that me kyle elliott and all our

39:46

listeners are sitting on your couch your

39:47

proverbial couch

39:49

and you're gonna tell us how to get

39:51

through a year like 2020 which

39:53

obviously is going to have more chaos to

39:54

it even if we don't have anything new

39:56

introduced which i'm

39:57

be shocked if that didn't happen but can

39:59

you give us a little

40:00

little therapy session on how to how to

40:03

walk through

40:04

a year a time a season of life like this

40:06

that seems so chaotic and out of control

40:09

how do we hold all that how do we how do

40:11

we deal with it

40:12

yeah well i um you know before

40:15

i was reminded of this last week too

40:17

that before

40:18

psychology and in particular the

40:20

practice of counseling was ever a

40:22

concept ever a thing

40:25

there was something else that human

40:26

beings have always had available to them

40:29

and i'm going to use the language of

40:31

spiritual direction and this is where

40:32

i've been personally immersing myself

40:34

in just in my own study

40:38

reflection so bottom line is there's

40:42

only one way we're going to get through

40:43

it

40:44

it really at the core and that is going

40:46

to be

40:47

we're either going to embrace a theology

40:49

of sufficiency

40:51

or we're going to live in a mindset of

40:53

scarcity

40:55

unpack that for us yeah theology of

40:57

sufficiency versus a mindset of scarcity

41:00

i when all this began i felt led to be

41:04

stay almost this entire time in the

41:05

sermon on the mount

41:07

and doing study on it and in particular

41:10

in

41:10

matthew 6 25-34 about why do you worry

41:14

about your life look at the birds of the

41:15

air look at the lilies of the field

41:17

i i really came i came into an

41:19

understanding

41:21

through some helpful commentators where

41:24

the the commentator was basically saying

41:26

jesus was not

41:27

saying like live in denial live with

41:29

your head in the clouds

41:31

jesus was actually in a culture

41:35

that was poor the rich

41:38

ruled there and there wasn't enough

41:42

and and honestly for many of the same

41:44

reasons

41:45

we in our culture are experiencing

41:48

scarcity as well or certain populations

41:51

are experiencing scarcity so when jesus

41:54

was saying look at the birds of the air

41:56

and look at the lilies of the field he's

41:57

really saying

41:59

do not focus your attention

42:02

on the scarcity that's caused by greed

42:07

and anger and dehumanizing behavior

42:10

focus on the provision of the father the

42:12

sufficiency that's there

42:14

in all conditions in all circumstances

42:17

that's where you're going to have your

42:18

that's where you're going to have your

42:20

peace

42:21

okay and then um so i think that

42:25

that is one of the biggest ones the

42:27

other thing as i was watching

42:29

bits and pieces of george floyd's

42:31

funeral

42:33

is the practice and concept of black joy

42:36

i don't know if you saw that but what i

42:39

would say

42:40

if you guys are sitting on my couch the

42:42

way to get through it

42:44

is the jesus way and i would call that

42:46

subversive

42:48

coping where we practice joy

42:52

in the midst of evil and

42:55

we look at and trust sufficiency

42:58

and we're very careful about staying too

43:01

attuned

43:02

to the crazy messages about scarcity and

43:05

about toilet paper about cleaning

43:07

supplies

43:07

i could go on and on and on okay but we

43:10

live in what what we're designed to live

43:12

in

43:13

and that is in joy and in the trusting

43:16

and

43:16

insufficiency of of god

43:20

and that may sound very overly

43:22

simplistic but i would say that is

43:24

really at the core

43:26

of easing that anxiety

43:29

the panic that we know this does not

43:32

have the final say and we really

43:34

shouldn't be surprised this is the

43:36

groaning of creation

43:38

and i'm not minimizing what is going on

43:40

and i'm not saying we should put our

43:42

head in the sand

43:43

however if we don't immerse ourself in

43:46

what is still good

43:48

and still available as good always has

43:51

been always will be

43:52

we will not come through this well

43:55

yep that's so good jenny subversive

43:59

coping that's my new term

44:00

i love it sounds like a book title

44:02

coping it's sure how about that

44:04

if you write a book with that title i'm

44:06

thinking you

44:10

subversive coping it's good that's the

44:12

only this really that's as far as i

44:14

could ever get by the way

44:15

with the book is the title

44:19

um so i'm curious if

44:22

because you're a pastor or used to be a

44:24

pastor in addition to being

44:26

a therapist and you were just sort of

44:28

leaning into a little bit of that just

44:29

now

44:30

um so do you think as a christian and as

44:33

a former pastor

44:35

is there any special advice for how

44:38

christians specifically

44:40

might be able to do good in the world

44:43

uh during all of this and also stay

44:46

psychologically healthy while doing it

44:47

some of what you just said kind of uh

44:50

goes into that a little bit

44:51

um but a lot of what you said is kind of

44:54

universal to everybody so

44:55

let me reframe the question here is does

44:58

christianity

44:59

in your view offer anything specific and

45:02

unique or different

45:04

for the believer that you couldn't get

45:07

as a secular person

45:09

yes and i i'd say two things

45:12

one is we we can walk with

45:16

responsibility

45:17

and sober awareness while still

45:21

being free you know because

45:24

we know because of christ and

45:27

his his life his death his resurrection

45:30

and his ascension

45:32

all four of those are important we know

45:34

that

45:35

the reign of christ the kingdom of god

45:37

is is here

45:39

not in all of its fullness and so we

45:41

take seriously then what

45:43

what paul says in in romans that nothing

45:45

can separate us from that reality

45:48

i mean go through that list nothing in

45:51

heaven on earth above or below

45:53

things present past future nothing in us

45:56

outside of us can separate us

45:58

from from that love and from that

46:00

reality that the reign of christ the

46:02

presence of christ the kingdom of christ

46:04

is here

46:04

so that's where we get grounded and

46:06

anchored but then the second thing is

46:09

i think so often i do i have to remind

46:11

myself of this daily

46:13

and be reminded of it is that

46:16

we are little christ's jesus was

46:20

the one true human and we are made

46:23

in the image of god to be the people

46:26

who carry not only the good news but are

46:29

reflective

46:30

that in fact new creation is here we're

46:33

the carriers of hope

46:35

um and so the the hope there is that we

46:38

we live

46:38

out our our our human or our christian

46:42

vocation

46:43

in the midst of impen a pandemic mm-hmm

46:47

yep i love that i uh the way i've been

46:50

the way i've framed that to brief city

46:54

to

46:55

our congregation your former

46:56

congregation jenny has been to say

46:59

this is we are in the birth panes of new

47:01

creation

47:02

that this reality is giving birth to

47:05

another more beautiful full one called

47:07

new creation

47:08

the kingdom of god in all its fullness

47:10

and goodness and

47:12

birthing is painful and it's traumatic

47:15

and it's incredibly difficult in gory

47:19

in in messy and it feels like that's

47:22

what we're in right now

47:24

and that's not to minimize anybody's

47:26

experience during

47:27

this this crazy chaotic time but birth

47:30

pains of new creation helps

47:31

me see it in a bigger way than just this

47:34

particular moment you know

47:38

jenny this is now getting personal

47:40

because i'll just tell you my my

47:41

experience

47:42

with with kovid you know i could tell

47:45

you

47:45

almost day by day that week when this

47:48

hit right

47:49

i was with a group of pastors on

47:50

wednesday and we were all kind of like

47:51

hey is this real why are you guys doing

47:53

anything

47:54

and yeah we're not going to have people

47:55

shake hands you know that was the extent

47:56

of it

47:57

and and i remember one of our elders was

47:59

like no hugging

48:01

get out of my face with that you know it

48:02

was at that point yet that was wednesday

48:04

thursday um the memphis grizzly player

48:09

test rody gobert tested positive for

48:10

kovid and the nba season was shut down

48:13

then the next day friday was you know

48:16

all of us were going crazy i mean it was

48:17

just on a day by day basis and

48:19

i was just as all of us were i was just

48:21

responding in moment by moment

48:23

you know how do we okay we're not going

48:25

to meet it's not only that we're not

48:26

going to shake hands and hug on sunday

48:28

we're not going to meet on sunday

48:29

we're going to do this online and now we

48:30

got to pivot what do we got to do you

48:31

know

48:32

elliot was part of so much of that and i

48:35

would i felt like i was rolling with the

48:36

punches pretty well i felt like i was

48:38

not stressed or anxious about it i felt

48:39

like i was doing

48:40

like just responding well in the moment

48:44

feeling good about it not feeling not

48:46

staying up at night

48:47

but then i've told you about this in the

48:49

past where i've had these what you call

48:50

psychosomatic pains where at different

48:53

points in the last

48:54

three to five years i'll get recurring

48:57

tightness in my chest that freaks me out

48:58

that i'm gonna die soon or

49:00

a pain in a cramp from my chest up to

49:03

the base of my neck

49:04

of to my jaw and that happens numerous

49:07

times a day

49:07

and i don't tell anyone about it because

49:09

i'm freaked out about it i don't know

49:10

what to do with it

49:11

and all of a sudden i'll tell someone

49:12

like you or my spiritual director

49:15

or whoever and it starts going away

49:18

slowly but i had to deal with it for

49:19

months because i didn't tell anybody

49:21

that started happening again to me it

49:23

was gone i went on sabbatical last

49:25

summer and went away

49:26

and all of a sudden late march early

49:29

april this

49:30

pain in my in my chest going up to my

49:33

neck started happening again and i was

49:34

just

49:35

so dang pissed off i was just like i'm

49:38

feeling good i'm handling this well

49:40

why is this happening and i kept dealing

49:42

with it kept dealing with it until i

49:43

told my spiritual director and then

49:45

kind of went away what i want to know

49:48

about that process within me and people

49:50

like me

49:51

why did that happen why does it go away

49:53

when you start talking about it what's

49:54

the deal with that

49:56

it's normal normal and expected there's

49:59

a term that i think will be really

50:01

helpful to you

50:02

and to anybody else experiencing this

50:04

and and i really can empathize with you

50:06

i mean and by the way

50:07

anxiety and stress we experienced it in

50:10

the body

50:12

probably even more so than we experience

50:14

it in our emotions and our psyche it's

50:16

it's both places we're embodied

50:18

creatures but

50:19

anxiety is very physiological but

50:21

there's a term called called

50:23

allostatic load all

50:29

allostatic load which means that

50:32

there's a type of load that is so

50:36

high for so long that the body adapts

50:40

so we always would think oh the body is

50:41

very homeostatic that's the way god made

50:43

it'll get back to normal what a

50:45

wonderful thing but what we know

50:47

is that there are certain types of loads

50:49

over periods of time

50:51

that the body is actually not designed

50:53

to ever adapt to

50:55

because it would be maladaptive and so

50:58

at a certain time the body will start

50:59

sending off signals like tightness of

51:01

chest

51:02

headaches tensions decreased immune

51:06

system you know you name it there's all

51:07

kinds of things aches and pains

51:09

um and that just is our body's way of

51:11

saying i've done this long enough

51:14

and i need to get a little bit of of

51:16

reprieve and so

51:17

the way that i for myself and and for

51:20

the people i work with that i would say

51:23

is we kind of have to make friends with

51:25

that that we

51:26

we can say this is a real gift actually

51:28

that my body

51:30

is giving me these signals and nothing

51:32

to be alarmed here

51:33

there's this is what a body does we know

51:36

from research that if we can

51:37

we can talk to ourself that way that the

51:40

the stress symptoms decrease but

51:43

honestly

51:44

the shame about them is what really is

51:47

messing with people that somehow we

51:50

should be above

51:51

yeah the human experience or that randy

51:54

and i lead pastor of bruce city who's

51:55

leading people and can cope with things

51:57

doesn't get these we're all subject to

52:00

the human experience

52:01

which is why embracing that talking

52:03

about it and then doing things to really

52:06

take care of our body

52:07

get margin is is real important but i'm

52:10

right there with you

52:11

yep i feel like you need to bill me

52:13

after this episode

52:15

all free free for all of you i mean not

52:18

all in the podcast

52:21

yep so jenny that's that's me in my

52:23

process

52:24

um have you has your anxiety levels

52:28

personally

52:29

like what what has been your you know

52:31

now if you were sitting down with

52:33

someone

52:33

and saying this has been my experience

52:36

during this time

52:37

yeah how did you describe that oh boy

52:40

i'm with you like at the beginning

52:42

i i felt like i was handless like a

52:45

trooper

52:46

leading interns through it you know

52:48

family through it

52:49

all that but at the time it felt like

52:52

maybe one long snow day

52:55

but the more this went on and after the

52:58

first safer at home

53:00

expired and we went into another one and

53:03

now we're looking at these numbers that

53:05

we're looking at and

53:07

you know even what just happened in dane

53:09

county today and where we're probably

53:10

going to be headed and all those kinds

53:12

of things

53:13

over time what i started to experience

53:15

it's just it was

53:17

first of all just plain weariness like

53:20

the the feeling like i am having

53:22

trouble making decisions

53:25

even about my schedule like even getting

53:27

myself up

53:28

out of bed and it wasn't depression it

53:30

was just

53:31

weariness and then for me because one of

53:34

my core themes is the

53:35

fear and the shame of not being

53:38

competent

53:39

having to navigate liability issues and

53:43

i've never been a therapist i've made a

53:44

vow i will always operate

53:46

ethically but i don't ever want to be

53:48

driven by the fear of liability

53:51

and right now the fear of liability is a

53:53

big deal

53:55

for many many people and so that i would

53:57

say for me

53:58

has been the thing that i've needed i've

54:00

gotten re-established with my own

54:02

therapist

54:03

spiritual director who's really helped

54:05

me navigate that

54:07

but i think that the fear of doing

54:09

what's best

54:10

and what's good in particular for my

54:12

clients and for my family that's been a

54:14

big one

54:15

and then quite honestly just the

54:17

heartache of watching my kids

54:19

miss out on some really important rights

54:23

of passage

54:25

during this season and

54:28

that kind of that kind of thing but yeah

54:30

i've had a lot of disruptive sleep too

54:32

but then this might be tmi and you guys

54:34

can take it out but

54:35

i'm like man i'm like disrupted sleep

54:38

i'm

54:38

sweating i've got a rash then i found

54:41

out

54:42

geez i'm in menopause that's what that

54:44

is so

54:45

i was just chalking it all up to the

54:46

pandemic man

54:50

when i started growing a beard and a

54:52

mustache i'm like

54:53

okay i don't think this is stress

54:55

related i think this is something

54:57

different you're amazing so

55:01

i mean of all times to go through that

55:03

for crying out loud

55:05

seriously no one gets to complain about

55:08

20 20 as much as you do jenny

55:10

oh gosh for our dear listeners uh jenny

55:12

heckman is a woman who celebrated her

55:14

40th birthday birthday by

55:16

competing in an ironman competition and

55:19

did you do a marathon for your 50th

55:21

i did the ironman again for my 50th iron

55:23

man again that's right

55:24

i remember working with you when we were

55:26

you were trying to get

55:28

what an animal no more

55:31

no we told our daughter about that this

55:33

today actually because i was talking

55:34

about you

55:35

and she was like she looked like i had

55:38

just told her about some

55:39

horrible torture that that you just

55:42

subjected yourself to

55:43

well and that it is yeah and in theory

55:47

it's a fantastic event

55:49

yeah we'll do a second episode with

55:51

jenny heckman the

55:52

the ironman athlete that you are about

55:55

that experience

55:56

well jenny um you know kyle mentioned

55:59

that you were a pastor i

56:00

see you as still a pastor along with

56:03

your expertise in the

56:04

therapeutic world but i wonder if you

56:07

could you know fully step back into that

56:09

pastor role and just

56:10

speak a word of blessing over our

56:12

listeners who have

56:14

walked through a chaotic crazy year

56:17

and had to endure all sorts of things

56:20

would you just finish our time together

56:22

by just blessing speaking a word of

56:24

blessing over our listeners

56:26

i'd love to and you know you actually

56:28

you didn't know but you gave me a real

56:29

gift

56:30

of validation because when i

56:33

talked with my therapist spiritual

56:36

director

56:36

last week and told her how ungrounded i

56:40

felt

56:41

as a professional what she brought me

56:43

back to is jenny i think it would be

56:45

much more congruent

56:46

and this is a woman who is skilled she

56:49

is

56:50

she's older than i am more experienced

56:52

and one of the most

56:53

professional people i've ever met

56:56

and she said i think it would be so much

56:58

better for you

57:00

to envision the work that you do that

57:02

you are a pastor

57:05

disguised as a therapist that's right

57:07

cleverly disguised as a therapist like

57:09

to bring those two things together so i

57:10

just wanted to say thank you

57:12

thank you for that it's true yeah so i

57:15

think

57:15

the blessing would be that

57:18

by the empowering grace of the lord

57:21

jesus the heavenly father and the holy

57:23

spirit

57:25

may you make room expand your paradigm

57:29

to let all that is good and all that is

57:32

not good

57:33

coexist and trust

57:36

that what is truly joyous truly good

57:41

truly available and sufficient in new

57:44

creation and the reign of christ

57:46

will never be snuffed out by what's not

57:49

good

57:50

and may you embrace your

57:53

unbelievable vocation as a human being

57:57

modeled after the one true human jesus

58:00

to carry out his work his joy

58:04

his goodness his hope among all the

58:06

people and places

58:08

you find yourself in during the pandemic

58:10

and beyond

58:12

amen yes in the name of the father

58:15

and the son and the holy spirit amen

58:18

jenny thank you so much for joining us

58:20

thank you for having me it was a joy so

58:22

fun

58:24

i'm not crying you're crying

58:32

we hope it was as helpful for you as it

58:33

was for us to talk through these things

58:36

to focus in on the anxiety the mental

58:38

health realities and to

58:40

find a center and some health in the

58:42

middle of what's a really stressful year

58:45

if there was something in this episode

58:46

that hit home for you or if there's

58:48

someone on your mind who this would be

58:50

really helpful for

58:51

please share the episode put it on

58:53

social media text it to a friend

58:55

whatever it takes to make it so that

58:56

this important message uh can be shared

58:59

and

59:00

experienced by many don't forget to like

59:02

us on facebook subscribe wherever you

59:04

get your podcasts

59:06

so you'll be on top of all future

59:07

episodes we're looking forward to

59:09

spending more time with you

59:10

thanks for joining us

59:20

[Music]