On Depression and Needing Books

After years of battling depression and anxiety, I’ve learned that some weapons are more potent than others. I’ve learned that exercise is as indispensable as food, that sleep is magic, and I can’t be afraid to ask for help before depression robs me of the ability to ask. But also, surprisingly, I’ve learned that reading – what I read and how much – is an indicator of my mental health.

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Suffering and Sacrament: On Finding Connection as a Grocery Store Cashier

Every day, I go to work as a grocery store cashier at a family-owned business in a prosperous region of the more generally depressed Appalachian mountains. This work has transformed my life, not because it is the exciting, high-impact, high-power job so many of us dream about in our twenties and thirties, but because it brings me into direct contact with humanity.

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Three Steps of Healing as a Gay Person

Three Steps of Healing for a Gay Person
Image Source: Unsplash.com

I’m happy as a gay man. In fact, with the exception of when I sit down to write about it, I rarely think about being gay. It’s simply a fact, fading into the details of life. I think of myself as simply Stephen, with a myriad of interests, and I think of my partner as my partner, whom I love dearly. Very rarely now do I ever stop to consider that we are both men. I love my partner’s masculinity (I am gay, after all) but that doesn’t mean I stop to dwell on the fact. This lack of dwelling is a mark of happiness and freedom for me.

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Post-Christian: A Lament

I’m slowly coming to the realization that the faith of my childhood: the Evangelical, middle-of-the-road, straight and narrow faith that was passed down to me by my parents and community, no longer fits. My faith has gone through a myriad of transformations, and I’ve always prided myself on having an adaptable faith. But this feels different: the faith itself is no longer working. It’s an old, trusty Toyota that has carried me through forests and over deserts, but it’s sputtering now, starting to break down.

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On Not Taking the Bait

I was traumatized by my time in church. The years of sitting in pews, Bible studies, and coffee shops with Christian leaders, listening to variation upon variation of how wrong homosexuality is, slowly eroded me. Words might not seem that powerful, but if they are a steady trickle, coursing over your young mind which is porous as fresh soil, they carve out whole canyons of self loathing.

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Tarot, Journaling, and Meditation

I have several not-so-secret ambitions in life; one is de-stigmatize the use of Tarot as a meditative and creative practice. I’ve already written at length on Tarot: on how I can be a Christian who practices it, my personal method for reading it, and a meditation on the first Major Arcanum, the Magician. This article will explore the method of Tarot meditation I use most regularly.

Before we get into the meditation technique, however, we need to talk briefly about why Tarot is so effective as a Meditation practice.

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