Compassion Fatigue – Cultivating Self Care, When you Care too Much.

cropped-img_3344-copy.jpegWhen the news is so loud and every system seems broken. When the nation is even more divided and people have been shot dead. When people in India can’t breath the air and a caravan is approaching. It hurts too much to care.

This week I have been wrestling through the question – What does it look like to practice self-care when were called to bear each other’s burdens? Ignorance may be bliss, but that’s not covering your ears is never a helpful option, it’s actually just a privilege. But depression, anxiety, and second-hand trauma cannot be the norm. We were made to love – love the world in all of it’s mess and to love ourselves, in all our mess.

Here are some things that have saved my life this week:

  • Unplug – I’m all for staying up to date and connected, but we can only take so much. A constant stream of information, whether or good or bad,  is not healthy, it’s not what we were made for. We need to learn to turn it off.
  • Be Present – ask yourself what your feeling and why. Engage with the people right in front of you. Enjoy the beauty of the place you live. No matter what is going on in the world, you are here.
  • Find solace in art – poetry and music have gotten me through. I read some before I go to bed, and I feel my heart ease. There is beauty and grace for me here.
  • Follow through with small acts of kindness and justice. Pick up some trash off the street, recycle when it’s inconvenient, eat a vegan meal, buy a coworker a coffee, smile at a stranger. I am not called to bring restoration to it’s fruition. I cannot, it is not possible, no matter how much I want to.  I can however love the people and place in front of me, I can make small, meaningful choices.
  • Listen to your body, what does it need? Nourish it, move it, rest it, heal it. Take time by yourself or reach out to friends. Take care of yourself in a way that sustains you for tomorrow.

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things_ to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go..png

 

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