Use your God-given talents to help others

By Ty Salvant

How are you?

I’m not okay. A few days ago, I learned about Ralph Yarl, the 16-year-old boy shot twice for going to the wrong house to pick up his siblings. I empathized with his mother. By the grace of God, Ralph survived, but their entire family was traumatized.

I thought about my commitments for the day, an all-day women’s conference where the first question someone asks is, “How are you?” I contemplated how I would answer this question. I was uncertain.

I unexpectedly had to drive to the event. If you know me, you know I don’t like to drive, so I was a little frustrated. On the drive, I prayed with the daily United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) readings and Gospel reflection. The reflection reminded me that God gives us each a mission that only we can complete. I wondered how I was being called to use God’s gifts to move forward. I was uncertain, but open.

Leaving the parking lot, I ran into a friend who also was struggling with the news. I vented. We were able to discuss current events and create an opportunity to collaborate on ways to support other women needing a safe space to process. I was a little better.

Connecting with existing friends and making new friends, refilling my cup with information, resources and community, and utilizing my gifts to help others was exactly what I needed that day.

I laughed, ate, walked and hydrated. By the end of the event, I could see the benefits of my day unfolding as it had. I thanked God for allowing me to cross paths with the specific women and men I did that day. I continued to feel better.

During our evening prayers, I repented for my sour attitude about having to drive. Later, Derrick and I talked about how the day unfolded. My heart was not as heavy.

I pray for, and with, all families impacted by violence and remain open to using my God-given gifts and talents to fulfill his mission for me.

How are you? How do you process your emotions and feelings when you are not okay? Do you cry, laugh, vent, pray, sleep, self-soothe, seek professional help, spend time outdoors or use a combination of tools?

Processing information and events as they arise leads to a healthier, happier and more whole version of ourselves, making us better in the roles we manage. Modeling healthy coping techniques teaches our children to how to navigate difficult situations.

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