How To Let Disruption Be The Catalyst For Your Liberation

“I’m called to be gay because I’m here to minister to the Q plus community because no one else wants to talk to”

Episode summary:

In this episode, Nick speaks with Karmen Michael Smith, who shares his journey of self-discovery and healing as a queer black man growing up in a religious and conservative environment. He talks about the challenges he faced in finding acceptance and belonging within his family and society. They explore the process of healing and self-acceptance, including therapy and self-reflection, emphasizing the importance of asking questions and being a catalyst for transformation. Karmen shares about his journey of self-discovery and healing, from childhood trauma to finding his calling as a minister to the LGBTQ+ community, and encourages others to embrace disruption as a catalyst for liberation and self-mastery.

What to listen for:

  • Being different can be challenging, but it can also be a source of strength and connection.
  • Healing and self-acceptance require facing and processing past traumas and societal pressures.
  • Asking questions and being a catalyst for transformation can lead to personal growth and positive change.
  • Finding community and support is essential in the journey of self-discovery and healing. Finding the right therapist is crucial for effective therapy.
  • The process of healing and self-discovery is similar to the stages of grief.
  • Redirecting anger can be a powerful tool for personal growth.
  • Embracing disruption can lead to liberation and self-mastery.
  • Your experiences and struggles can inform and shape your calling.
  • Ministering to marginalized communities requires understanding and empathy.

“Healed people go on to heal people.”

  • When someone heals from their past traumas or struggles, they often develop a deeper understanding and empathy, enabling them to support and guide others on their healing journeys.
  • Personal healing transforms individuals into beacons of hope and strength for others, showing that recovery and growth are possible and inspiring others to seek their own paths to healing.
  • Healed individuals often form or contribute to supportive communities, fostering environments where collective healing can occur, and everyone feels understood and valued.
  • By healing themselves, people can break cycles of trauma and negative behavior patterns, preventing these from being passed down to future generations and promoting healthier relationships.
  • Those who have healed become role models, demonstrating resilience and the possibility of overcoming adversity, which can motivate others to embark on their healing journeys with hope and determination.

“It gets worse before it gets better. The stuff that you’ve been repressing and locking away has to come up in order to get out.”

  • Healing often requires confronting painful and repressed emotions, which can initially intensify feelings of discomfort and distress but is necessary for true emotional release and recovery.
  • The journey to healing involves an emotional catharsis, where hidden and buried emotions surface, creating a temporary increase in emotional turmoil before leading to a sense of relief and clarity.
  • Allowing repressed emotions to come to the surface requires vulnerability and courage, but this openness is essential for breaking down emotional barriers and achieving deeper healing.
  • Recognizing that discomfort is a part of the healing process helps individuals persevere through tough times, knowing that these feelings are temporary and part of the pathway to improvement.
  • By allowing repressed emotions to come to the forefront and be released, individuals can transform their emotional state, leading to long-term benefits such as reduced stress, better mental health, and increased emotional stability.

“It’s okay to be upset about that. And then also come to a realization that that anger has to go somewhere, and you can direct it in some way that serves you.”

  • Validating feelings of anger and upset is crucial, recognizing that it’s natural to experience these emotions and that they are a normal response to certain situations.
  • Instead of letting anger fester or manifest destructively, individuals can channel it into productive actions, such as advocacy, creative endeavors, or personal growth, turning negative energy into positive outcomes.
  • Understanding and managing anger involves emotional intelligence, where individuals learn to process their emotions constructively and use them as a driving force for positive change in their lives.
  • Directing anger in a way that serves one’s goals empowers individuals to take control of their emotions, transforming potential setbacks into opportunities for progress and self-improvement.
  • Redirecting anger towards beneficial activities can lead to personal and communal benefits, such as initiating social change, improving relationships, and enhancing overall well-being by turning negative emotions into a catalyst for positive action.

About Karmen Michael Smith

Karmen Michael Smith was born and raised in small-town Texas. Karmen is a Black queer theologian, cultural critic, author, and Lizzie Mae’s grandson. Karmen is the author of Holy Queer and hosts Heart of the Moment on YouTube. A catalyst for personal and social transformation, Karmen’s experiences have shaped his unique perspective on the intersection of identity, faith, and social justice.


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