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wisdom of dogs, Issue #034-- Year of mindfulness
October 20, 2021

Compassion Fatigue

We’re all slogging through the pandemic. It’s not over, but it feels like it should be. Maybe we’re getting there. But maybe we’re not as safe as we think.

The uncertainty of it all sucks.

We know that people are hurting – lost family members; lost livelihoods. We know the kids are suffering - disrupted schooling; fearful adults.

We are tired.Just tired of dealing with all the things all the ways COVID has made life more complicated. We hate the way it has brought the fact of our vulnerability to us: right in our face, where we can’t ignore it.

We just can’t anymore. We can’t deal with the mundane tasks of life. We can’t care enough about others. This is compassion fatigue. We’re not bad people. We are tired people.

Back in June, I hit that wall. I saw it coming, but I pushed through, until I got sick and slammed into the wall. The proper metaphor is to lean on the wall and rest. But I didn’t have sense enough to do that. I hit it hard and it knocked me out.

Now when I feel the first tinges of that compassion fatigue, I use mindfulness. This is one of the few times it is my go-to!

My Practice

I stop thinking and look around. I see what is here now.

I listen. I hear the sounds that are here now.

I inhale deeply and pay attention to the scents around me, here now.

I give my mind the time to pay attention, to be where I am, here now.

I touch things. I connect with the here now through physical objects: the desk, a photograph (no not the digital kind), the squishy seal that my granddaughter gave me to deal with stress.

The practice works. (So does poking the squishy toy.)

This practice grounds me in the moment. This moment where the breeze is ruffling the maple leaves. This moment where a blue jay is squawking and air smells like it might rain.This moment when I remember my granddaughter loves me. And I love her.

This moment.



I am mindful.

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