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Coming Up for Air

I cannot believe how the time has flown.

As I look back at my last post, I am both amazed and dismayed that it has been a year and a half since I tapped into my most cherished self-care ritual.

Writing.

When I created this blog: "Water for Camels" in 2017, I was blessed with the opportunity to remind social workers and other helping professionals of the importance of recognizing secondary trauma and to highlight their need for positive self-care. An unexpected but welcome outcome emerged when I realized that by writing about secondary trauma and self-care, I was able to remind myself of the very same facts. So, I am returning to "what works" in my own journey and will once again take up the pen so that I might breathe deeply again.

Self-care, especially for those individuals who provide service to traumatized individuals, is not a quick fix (one and done scenario). Self-care implies an ongoing dedication and commitment to ourselves based on the Core Belief that we matter and that service to ourselves is every bit as important as our service to others.

You matter.

If you take nothing else away from this blog today, let this one truth sink in.

You matter.

Not only do YOU MATTER, but the service and support you give to others can be life changing. A hurting person, whether it be a child or an adult, longs to be seen; to be heard; to be acknowledged where they are.

Even if that was all you did, you made a difference.

But it is not all. In your role as a social worker, therapist, teacher, caregiver you also provide support and compassion to hurting people struggling on their path; which sometimes involves traversing on treacherous ground. You understand that some people (for whatever reason at this time in their lives) cannot walk their path alone, because the darkness drowns out their cries for help. Without judging or labeling, you shine a light before them and help them learn ways to safely navigate that path.

And you make a difference. You make a difference despite the fact that you will often not get thanked or blessed or acknowledged or even respected sometimes. And that neglect has the power to snuff out the very light you need to perform your miracles. Oftentimes, it does. Your brain can tell you over and over in a conspiratorial whisper "No one sees the good you do" "No one appreciates you". "You are helping people who don't want to be helped, why bother?"

The times may come when the whispers become shouts and you feel like you are diminishing. But my encouragement to you is to be your own encourager when others fail to do so. Recognize within yourself the changes you have brought about in others. Use your positive affirmations to remind yourself that you are instrumental in helping hurting people heal (even when you don't see the outcome right away).

Today's blog is all about you. I See You. I hear you. I have watched you for decades. And I challenge you to see yourself as I see you.

YOU MATTER.

Say it to yourself:

I MAKE A DIFFERENCE

I SHINE A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

I AM A SOCIAL WORKER

I MATTER.

Angela McClintock

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