I woke up bone tired today.  The task ahead felt like aimless drudgery.  I cannot see the whole of my efforts supporting people who help people suffering from addictions or mental health.  Nor can I see the progress of those in recovery as the clinician’s fallacy continues – as those that do recover leave and others are ready and waiting to take their seat leaving the professional with an unending procession of people in desperate need.  

In Delaware and nationally there is a focus on the Opioid epidemic.  The tragedies and pain suffered by families and the community is often turned into anger and rage at the professional provider community (sometimes warranted) and even the self-help community.  Missing in this dynamic is a true understanding of the dynamic and evasive monster that addiction can be in its various forms and how difficult it can be for the “addict” or “alcoholic” to use and maintain the recovery tools provided by either or both groups above – sometimes leading to death shrouded in mystery.  Throw into this mix serious and persistent mental illness and we have a ship in a great storm.

ship with oars

My role professionally is one of many and my Oar is tiny in the great sea of human misery.  I trust in my fellow oars men (and women) are pulling with equal vigor and some through natural talent and sheer determination are carrying the greater weights.  I do not possess at times the vision of God’s hand guiding our plight as the apostles did on the fishing boat.  If in my own vocation my sight is limited – how obscure is my vision of God’s way? Without this vision and never-ending work within and outside my vocation – I am ripe for burnout and disappointment. This is especially so when my faith is under attack, my spiritual adviser has taken ill, and my nation is abandoning the poor and downtrodden in troves.  

At my fingertips in a Catholic book club on-line this a.m. Veronica Mary Rolf mentioned her article that was published in the UK at a site named “Transformation: Where love meets social justice.”    The article tells of the life of Julian of Norwich and her theological teachings despite herself being “unlettered” – meaning lacking formal training back in 1390!   

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Veronica captures the trial and tribulations of those who serve others perfectly below based on her readings about Julian:

“What has Julian to tell us about the process of transformation? How can we work to make ‘all things well’ in our world without losing heart? Anyone who has ever served the poor, the persecuted, or the marginalized knows that the two greatest dangers are disillusionment and burnout. The problems are so vast and our efforts so small. In our frustration, we may try to dictate solutions instead of eliciting creative collaboration. We become exhausted, infuriated, and sometimes feel betrayed. We question how we can continue when the odds seem stacked against us.

Julian would tell us that we must go into the “ground” of our being in order to “live contemplatively.” Like her, we must develop a daily practice in which we learn to rest and breathe in silence and stillness, becoming aware of the turbulence in our minds, releasing thoughts and letting go of our emotional attachment to those thoughts. We need to become ever more aware of being aware, in order to experience the deep interconnectedness of our own awareness with divine awareness. And then we must rely on divine awareness working in us and through us if we are to make a difference. We cannot do it alone. And we cannot do what others must do for themselves. We can only evaluate, advise, encourage, and empower.”

Whenever we are tired or downtrodden – if we look for it, strength and inspiration is all around us.  I have yet another writer to explore….and reminder to find strength in God at all times, good and bad.

“And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceeding well.” 
― Julian of Norwich

Please visit Original source for Veronica’s article below.    A must read:

https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/veronica-mary-rolf/alle-shalle-be-wele-julian-of-norwich-and-process-of-transformatio

 

 

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