August 09, 2007

Yeah, I know....

It's been way too long since I've blogged here. Here's a list of my excuses, in no particular order:
• it's summer and I've been busy
• I've been spending my free time reading and writing elsehwere
• I've not really had anything that I wanted to write about recently.
• I'm still not sure if I've painted myself into a corner with this blog, which originally had a very limited focus.

Anyway, as noted, I have been writing, albeit not here. I wrote a feature article on the centenary of Frida Kahlo's birth that got published. (yay me!) And I've been doing a lot of journaling, mostly about cognitive distortions (of which I seemingly have many). So, hopefully I've redeemed myself somewhat and you won't take away my blogging credentials.

So, what else of interest has been going on? On July 22 we celebrated the feast day of St. Mary Magdelene at our church. For years, this has been an opportunity for the women of the parish to take a strong leadership role. I was skeptical this year when they decided to celebrate with a priest officiating, rather than a woman. We agreed on this decision because the feast fell on a Sunday this year, so we celebrated it during the usual 10am mass — which offered an opportunity for more people in the parish to become familiar with MM's story. And women played a strong role in the mass, so all said and done, it was really nice. Just different. I wonder what Delle would have thought of the big change this year. And I'm hopeful that next year, we'll return to our usual form -- with a woman at the helm and I will once again be able to participate in the multi-generational "consecration" of the bread.

I've also found myself pondering questions of empathy and healing lately. I'm wondering to what degree does empathy play a part in a person's healing? Does "feeling" the pain of another make you a more effective healer, or is more detachment what is required? Or are these just different approaches, inherent to the healer's gifts/traits/personality and neither is more effective? And if you are the empathic sort, I'd love to hear stories about how to protect yourself from becoming overwhelmed. I have several friends in healing professions. Some have described becoming "the machine" to get their job done, while others have told of crying while giving an elderly person in pain a massage. This intrigues me, as I often wonder if I'm too empathic for my own good.

Yeah, I know, this is a rather rambling post, but I just wanted to get the ball rolling again. Thanks for indulging me.


vegan.mama said...

Re: empathy, I'm not sure. It's been a struggle for me to become more empathic in my life (I'm usually very detached) and it's difficult. I think once you make the decision to offer empathy, it's hard to know at what point to stop trying to feel the other person's pain and begin to intellectually understand the experience and offer support. Is there a line there? And how do you know if you've crossed it? At what point does compassion (which I think is more important than empathy for the healing process) become too emotionally exhausting? You've raised some good questions. It's too bad I don't have any answers. But it's good to see you back.

zawelski said...

Ha ha! Do you know what piece of paper Dave REGULARLY shoves in my face or places in my lap: the list of cognitive distortions that our couples counselor from a couple of years back printed out for us! Oh my gosh, do I know about those. You'd think I think I'm SUPPOSED to think that way, the way that I get with him! Do tell what are your thoughts about them. And which do you engage in most? Very interesting and I want to know and talk about this more.

goddessonwheels said...

Hello, I just stopped by because you wrote in your profile that you like The Dance of the Dissedent Daughter. I'm reading the book right now and am really struck by the similarities in her story to mine.

Peace and blessings!

Jami said...

CONGRATS ON YOUR PUBLISHED ARTICLE!!! All my friends are so fucking talented it just hurts. ;)