About the Blog
Hello, and welcome to The Soul Beloved.
It was my sophomore year of college, sitting in my Abnormal Psychology class, that I found my calling. We had been given an assignment to either read a book or watch a movie about a mental health diagnosis, and then compare it to research findings. I started with the topic of “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Caused by Sexual Abuse”. (Just to age myself a bit, Google was not a “thing” when I was in college. I actually had to find the journal articles in print.) There were exactly two articles on my chosen topic, so to make things easier, I asked my professor if I could change my topic to Eating Disorders. When he approved my request, my whole life changed.
I read the book Wasted* by Marya Hornbacher, and as I read her story, I knew this was the population I wanted to work with. (If you are currently struggling with an eating disorder, please do not read this book, as it is graphic and triggering.)
In the year 2000, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I, then, packed my bags, and headed to Arizona (a state I’d never been to) so I could work at Remuda Ranch. At the time, it was the best treatment facility (for eating disorders) in the world. Each day I was blessed to be able to work with such an amazing group of adolescent girls. Eventually, I moved back to Minnesota, and continued working as a Mental Health Practitioner, at The Melrose Center, in their residential program.
In April 2017, I made the choice to leave my position. The decision was not an easy one. It came with much thought and prayer, but in the end, it was what was best for our family. Now I sit here, just two months later, and I miss it. I miss real conversation; I mean real conversation. Not the superficial, façade conversation that says “I’m okay”, when you’re not. I miss brutal honesty. I miss raw and gritty. There were times of joy and times of struggle, but conversation was (almost) always real.
I think being in treatment gives people permission to be vulnerable. The façade is gone. No need to pretend to be perfect. And it is here, at the most vulnerable moments, that we find connection. Not everyone has the opportunity to be in treatment; to be real and raw, and still find acceptance. For some reason, we try to paint a picture of perfection, and in doing so, lose the ability to connect. No one can relate to perfection, or the façade of perfection. We connect when we’re real. We connect when we’re honest. We connect when tears are flowing.
I decided to start a community… this blog. I want it to be a place for real conversation. I chose the word “soul” because its definition gets to the true heart of a person. Soul means, “The immaterial essence of an individual life.” How cool is that? Strip away the façade, the outward appearance, the fake, and you get the soul.
I chose the word beloved because it means “dearly loved”.
The essence of who you are, dearly loved.
If you are looking for real, raw, honest conversation, I hope you find it here. But don’t be a stranger. Let me know a little about yourself. Comment and share your thoughts, feelings, questions, concerns. Encourage each other. Share with each other. Grow with each other. Come as you are, with the knowledge that you are dearly loved.
I would encourage you to read my first post on this blog to learn even more.
About the Blogger
Wife. Mom to three precious little lives. Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling. My passion and heart is with those struggling with eating disorders, and I have had a career in this field since 2000. I have a home/lifestyle blog that allows me to have fun and be creative (you can find it here). I am a coffee lover… ’cause everything’s better with a cup of coffee in hand. I am an introvert, but I’m not shy. I merely find restored energy in time alone. I am not afraid of speaking to large crowds, but prefer sitting with others one-on-one, sharing life together (at the coffee shop, or course 🙂 ). I used to be a night-owl, soaking in the quiet stillness of evening. Then I had kids. Now I’m up with the sun… and in bed by 9.