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Mental Health Providers Deepen Compassion in the Face of Burnout

When in love,

It’s easy to write poetry.

In limerence the words flow.

And so,

in limerence with the process,

The process of turning compassion inward,

Sharing time with 30 luminous humans

in service to other humans,

Over 17 weeks…

poetry.


In collaboration with a man whose soles of the feet steep in Barcelona

Trilingual–Catalan, Español and English

Bridging worlds of law, professional and personal awareness, compassion and states of emotion.


In collaboration with a woman whose home is in the ‘hood of Tenochtitlan

Driven to serve, to organize, to excel, to compassionately embrace,

Bridging worlds of younger perspectives, clients, young adults with middle age.


In limerence with the process of adventuring

Through the slow and easeful path of self-compassion,

If interrupted by wafts of backdraft,

With all of your brilliance

Cases abounding, doors a knocking, calendars binging

Windows of tolerance breeching,

And each week, your faces reappearing:

I have been blessed.


For some, it’s seemed a review,

And for others, it’s seemed all new.

Perhaps there’s been some reflection?

To be with suffering because we suffer:

Not to resolve or solve

The pain of our own parts,

Redefining our own needs

Moment by moment–

is this ever fully known?


Paradoxes abound, for example

The poet, David Whyte suggests that anger

“is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt.”

What are the unmet needs beneath the anger

And the softer emotions below–

“Where the spirit meets the bone?”


The wish to be loved…

To arrive… welcomed home.

And David Whyte with more wisdom muses:

“But it’s interesting to think that … our sense of slight woundedness around not belonging is actually one of our core competencies; that though the crow is just itself and the stone is just itself and the mountain is just itself, and the cloud, and the sky is just itself — we are the one part of creation that knows what it’s like to live in exile, and that the ability to turn your face towards home is one of the great human endeavors and the great human stories.”


So here we are,

Making our way toward home,

In service to life and our fundamental

Wish to be loved,

Feeling angry, loving, welcoming and unwelcoming

Perhaps, at times, not knowing how to feel anymore…

For our mind is mired in forms of resistance:

Fight, Flight, Shut down.

And how deep these patterns run,

Beneath our radar where shame hibernates

As Gollum, seeking the distraction of Precious,

Yet with intention, collective intention,

We are coming home to core fundamentals,

We align around our deepest intentions.


Ok, I’m resisting–tense, tense, “No!”

Exploring–what is this tension?

We begin to feel again,

The constellations of relax and strain,

Of patterns we call emotions,

And to grow our capacity to tolerate:

Label –ahh there you are shame, anger, frustration, sadness

Feel–

Soften–

Soothe–

Allow–

Befriend–though difficult, my friend, I offer kindness in tone, touch and word

You, emotional constellation of sensations, are home, welcome home.


Nothing molds us,

Nudges us,

Like a sense of not belonging; Shame–

I feel blameworthy, yet am innocent

I feel so alone, yet this is a universal state

And it feels so permanent, yet proves again and again: temporary.


May we learn to forgive ourselves, our seeming to not belong

So that we may forgive others:

David Whyte’s wisdom once more–

“To forgive is to put oneself in a larger gravitational field of experience than the one that first seemed to hurt us. We reimagine ourselves in the light of our maturity and we reimagine the past in the light of our new identity, we allow ourselves to be gifted by a story larger than the story that first hurt us and left us bereft.”

For “Everyone is on their own life journey I am not the sole cause of suffering (neither yours nor even mine), nor is it entirely within my power to make it go away, even though I wish I could. Moments like these can be difficult to bear, yet I will do my best and cultivate being with.”

And all the while, coddle and grow happiness this negatively biased human world needs it, Let’s heed Hellen Keller, and turn from the closed door To savor what’s in the open window: Sunshine, how grateful for the sunshine, And the rain on desert soil, And the reflection on leaves, For smiles and tears, For the loving connected presence of Life Link staff, over 17 weeks, taking care of needs showing self-appreciation, as well as gratitude.

We know not all the factors that brought us here to this moment together in which our lives “are truly blessed”–just to be together, together we have practiced turning toward our greatest fear: Our light–that most frightens us– Since playing small does not serve the world As we are liberated from our fear Our loving, connected presence with self Frees us and others.

In love with the slow, easeful process: Mindfully knowing suffering and non suffering Knowing we are not alone in this And so we offer kindness in word, tone and touch:

Loving, resisting loving and wishing for loving, loving.


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