• Jon Olangi

Quarantined Q&A: Speaking Truth To Faith, Relationships, And Trauma With Healing Circle Podcast

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

Photo by Jennifer Austin | Jennifer Austin Photography

One of the most joked about topics on social media once we all realized we'd be quarantined for a while, was the idea of couples actually being around one another for a prolonged period of time. Imagine that. Truthfully speaking, the dynamic of a relationship and marriage should be magnified and nurtured carefully, specifically during a pandemic with more time together than before. It's important to note however, that things are not always so easy. So how can a foundation of faith help keep a relationship structured during a pandemic? Or how does identifying trauma help the synchronicity within a relationship and family? Kyle and Kobe Campbell of The Healing Circle Podcast help unwravel some of the most profound aspects of a healthy relationship for now and beyond COVID-19.

Photo by Jennifer Austin | Jennifer Austin Photography

Jon: Who are the Campbell’s and what is the Healing Circle Podcast?

The Campbell’s: The Campbells are Kyle and Kobe. They are pretty complex individuals but the most important things about them are simple. They used to be (and still are in some ways) hurt people that hurt people. Now they’re healed people that seek to heal people and they’re passionate about a God that made all the difference between those two identities.

The Healing Circle Podcast is an authentic conversation born out of that journey. The world loves to put an Instagram filter over what it means to pursue healing, but the reality is that healing is messy. The Healing Circle is a place for that messiness and the legitimate fears and joys that come along with it. Kobe uses her expertise as a clinician, and Kyle uses his experience as someone who’s received therapy, to facilitate that conversation.

Jon: How important is therapy and communication right now as social distancing has hindered the act of physical human interaction?

The Campbell’s: Communication is incredibly important in times like this. Not everyone can afford therapy, but everyone can afford to communicate. The problem is that social distancing takes away a huge portion of communication, the non-verbal part. The lack of non-verbal communication leaves a lot of room for people to find themselves misunderstood in the middle of an incredibly stressful time. Misunderstanding breeds offense, offense creates (more) distance, and distance destroys relationship.

Jon: For couples that begin to identify things about their partner that they might have overlooked pre-pandemic, how must they begin to express their feelings towards those realizations as a union?

The Campbell’s: Couples who’ve stumbled upon negative traits in their partner need to be very intentional in how they express their feelings. You can always add words, but it’s incredibly difficult to take them away. If something has been overlooked in an otherwise healthy relationship, it’s likely because it was buried. Human beings do not bury trash, we bury treasure. If it was put somewhere deep there’s a pretty good chance that it’s valuable. It may not be a good thing, but it is an important thing.

Partners must be sensitive about how they approach their significant other. They should investigate their own feelings before starting a dialogue. Once they understand how they feel, they should share vulnerably about their feelings, but leave space for their partner to offer insight into what’s going on in their world. They should come armed with more than accusations or statements; they should have questions that create on-ramps for their partner to join the dialogue. Remember, everyone feels trapped right now; don’t put your partner into a smaller box. Be more concerned about being gracious than being “right”.

Jon: In what ways has your faith continued to be the foundation and base of your marriage during such unprecedented times?

The Campbell’s: Our faith has challenged us to be generous to each other during this time. God has been incredibly patient with us. We struggle with doing that with each other but we’re most successful when we remind ourselves that our “turn” to be the recipient of grace is right around the corner. Christianity is a faith built on self-sacrifice and humility, it just so happens that marriage is an institution built on self-sacrifice and humility; it’s almost like they were made for each other. We have to acknowledge, daily, that neither of us is the hero of the story; Jesus is. It’s easy to let offense turn into self-righteousness and view each other as the villain. It’s easy to feel like we “deserve” our anger or bitterness and that our spouse is holding us back from something better. Our faith is a giant reminder that when we said “Yes” to Jesus, we said “no” to taking the easy way out.

Jon: Is there a sense that the traumatic aspect of this pandemic has yet to resonate with most? And what advice would you give to couples and families everywhere on how to identify and manage trauma?

The Campbell’s: Most People are blind to their own trauma and triggers. Many people aren’t resonating with the trauma of this pandemic because they have coping mechanisms that are lessening the felt effects. However, not feeling doesn’t mean there aren’t real effects that are chipping away at the foundations of a healthy life. Those who are struggling to identify their trauma should simply ask the people closest to them. It sounds simple, but the truth is that we are often the last to know that there’s something wrong with us. The people around us hear the difference in our tone, they see the slouch in our shoulders, they recognize that we’re quicker to anger or despair. Your spouse and your children will tell you if you’re not ok, so long as you make a safe space for them to do so. There’s no magic bullet to spotting and dealing with trauma, especially if you don’t have therapy as a resource, but honest and vulnerable connection is a great start.

Follow The Healing Circle Podcast on Instagram and Subscribe to their Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify. Make sure you join their Patreon for exclusive mental health resources and faith based content.

Jon Olangi is a senior editor and writer at TTT Media, where he covers culture.

Connect on his Twitter and Instagram


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