Sunday, January 24, 2010

The things we carry...

Its been a number of years since I watched the news regularly. Since my brother graduated from RMC and any news of deaths in Afghanistan made me tear up. However, if something big was going on usually I’d tune in to make sure I was an up-to-date citizen of the world.
I’ve probably watched less than a minute of coverage of the earthquake in Haiti.
The thing is, every image, every story, that we bear witness to stays with us. It becomes a part of what we carry. We can manage the effect it has on us and how much we remember, but it adds to our load. Maybe a heavy weight, maybe only a little, but you carry it with you.
In my new role as a counsellor, I hear a lot of stories. Terrible, sad, what is wrong with the world stories. My load has gotten a lot heavier. Some days I can see clearly the light and the hope, some days I can’t stand under the weight. I trust that I will get better at bearing these burdens as I learn and grow.
What would be the point of making this weight any heavier than it needs to be? Could I still contribute to aid for Haiti without knowing the details? Yes. Would my knowing the details help them any? No.
My lack of knowledge about this disaster might lead some to believe that I am ignorant. But something in me tells me that I need to protect my heart. This is not my trauma to bear witness to right now. I have another role.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Have mercy on us...

My heart throws up a desperate prayer
even though it is roughed up
and losing hope and faith

It cannot praise
because it is uncertain of God's provision
wondering why there is no intervention
only humanity's inadequate attempts
holding a hand against the wound
not able to heal
only acting as a bandaid
for a trauma that should never have occurred
human intercession has no power over the darkness
that damages these poor souls
yet Your light does not pierce it
where is God?

And yet
my heart throws up a desperate prayer
in its distress
it knows not what else to do

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

While you’re in the midst of doing said scary thing...

... you will simply put one foot in front of the other and make it happen because you have no other choice.

My supervision summary for this week stated "Biggest Achievement: Surviving"

That's how my week is going... 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Please don't fight these hands that are holding you...

I didn't update this last term nearly as much as I hoped to. I think that I only processed in bits and pieces, somehow knowing that if I opened my heart and mind to all that I heard and saw I would not be able to handle it. What I did feel was quite enough. Helplessness in the face of terrible parenting leading to broken young women. Watching a life spiral out of control. Breaking confidence to stay in line with the law and damaging relationships in the process.
I'm nearing the end of a two week vacation from my counselling/student role. I blocked out most of my experience and didn't give it a thought. When something did come to mind I pushed the thought away, giving my mind and heart a much needed break. But now as the new term draws very near I feel a lot of anxiety, not having processed what passed before. I could use another week, one spent in solitude without distractions, just to think about and process everything I've learned and experienced and discover what I need to do to be successful in the months to come.
I'm also anxious because the women I've come to rely on at my placement have moved on to other pursuits. Who will be there to coach me through the hard parts? When I'm unsure and overwhelmed? In some ways it feels like I'm starting from the beginning again. Being outside of the experience has lead to questioning again if I can do this, if I'm meant to do this... once again praying for strength and wisdom, whispering to myself to go forward with courage.