An Open Letter to the Healers on the Front Lines
You just came off another 12 hour shift. Your feet hurt, your eyes are burning, your face is lined with red sores from the mask that has been a near permanent feature since the epidemic hit.
You strip down, attempting to disinfect, putting laundry in hot water right away while you steal away from your waiting family and plunge into the shower.
It isn't after it's all washed away that you let them hug you, that you ravenously raid the fridge, that you down your glass of wine, that you open your computer to the news, to emails, to zoning out.
This pandemic stress is a type of mundane trauma that gets into our bones. It is the everyday type that settles into our mood, our relationships, our coping.
They say to get some sleep, they say to put away the vices like wine or binge-watching Netflix. They say it isn't good for you, but you do it anyway.
It takes the edge off. It makes the day feel a bit more distant, makes that weight of the world be a little less obscene, makes your tears feel a bit less pressing, and your tension dissipate...maybe.
But you wake up again, and it's Groundhog Day.
What if today was different?
What if today, you decided not to take that edge off, to zone out, and instead, notice, even if for a moment?
What if today, you were able to come home, do your ritual, and then feel the weight of the world, knowing you are supported and can indeed carry it, for right now, in this moment?
Perhaps if you let yourself release with tears, that energy won't be pent up into a ball of anger, or shame, or depression tomorrow, next week, or in a year from now.
Perhaps if you grabbed the phone instead of the wine bottle, you can receive nurturing from a friend who is worried about you.
Perhaps if you looked in the mirror and instead of a sigh of despair over your appearance, you affirmed your incredible self who sees the day through despite seeing the unspeakable.
It is in these dark times we can show our soul-graced power. Our sacred purpose. Our ability to sit with vulnerability--not because it shows weakness, but because it displays strength.
I am there with you, sending deep gratitude for your strength, for your tenacity in light of the uncertainty, for the watering of tears when the day is said and done. Your vocation needs you to show up now, and your resiliency borne out of strength in vulnerability will carry you through.
With deepest gratitude,