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I have finally decided to reemerge into the world of online writing.  During this time of a global pandemic, I realize that perhaps I should add my voice into the mix.  By adding my voice I mean finding ways to support others and highlight the way many have risen to the occasion to care for the sick, the vulnerable and each other.  My hope is that this will be a place of reflection on things thought, things read and things needed to help us combat these next months.  As colleagues have shared, this is a marathon not a sprint.  So welcome (or welcome back) to my leg of the marathon.

These past couple of months have been both a slow burn and a whirlwind at the same time.  I finally realized this on Friday when everything began to boil over in my mind.  Have I done enough?  Is there ever such a thing as doing enough? Have I slowed down to grieve and remember?  Have I begun to accept that with all we have done, not everything is in our control? I realized over the weekend in looking upon these questions that they continue to prove true something I recently came across.  I have been trying to wrap my mind around the terms PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Moral Injury.  In my research, I came across the following quote from  “WHAT SPILLS BLOOD WOUNDS SPIRIT: CHAPLAINS, SPIRITUAL CARE, AND OPERATIONAL STRESS INJURY,” by Beth A. Stallinga,

During the work of ‘Remembrance and Mourning’, recollections will likely stir up feelings of guilt and shame as well as deep grief. Herman writes this: “In the aftermath of traumatic events, as survivors review and judge their own conduct, feelings of guilt and inferiority are practically universal.”41

I realized this point some weeks ago and came back to it again.  I think trauma can very easily leads us into moments of self-doubt.  I think this self-doubt can be dangerous because in the midst of the work, one doesn’t have the luxury of second guessing themselves.  Yes, taking a pause is of utmost importance, and perhaps it is a good way to combat the compassion fatigue that comes with the constant barrage of emotions.  Yet, I would also suggest that it must at times be tempered with a focus.  Of course, having said that, my reality has been to find myself focused until I’m not and then second guessing myself until I can get back into focus.

The lesson I find myself coming back to in reflecting on these past couple of months is the lesson that we must find satisfaction in what we have done because while there could always be more, not doing more isn’t a sign of inadequacy.