This week I received a strong taste of my own medicine. Increasingly over the last year, I have spent more and more time traveling around the country talking to audiences about the risk of vicarious trauma for public servants. There have been police officers, child protection workers, mental health clinicians, medical staff, and first responders in the audiences and it always makes me feel unbelievably proud to speak to them about self-preservation and protection.
With several major life milestones approaching in the next few months, there is one person that is constantly on my mind. I am dreaming about him, I am seeing him walk by, I am wondering whether any of these significant life elements would be present if he were here. On this Father's Day, just like every other one, I look around and feel deeply for those father friends and family that are raising their kids and I am drawn straight back to the man that made me.
In so many moments recently I have had to confront my profound desire to grasp, clutch, hold, and cling to those that I love. There have been clients that wandered away, loved ones that will not come close, and friends that I can't seem to land. Loving others is, at times, just a lesson in allowing space between ourselves and someone we desperately want to be close to. Relationships involve understanding that others' timing is not our own, that another's availability is not determined by ours, and that someone else's need for space often is not governed by our need for intimacy.
This past week there was no time to be alone, one thing after another left me arriving home late, talking and listening all day, and craving isolation time to decompress. That desired time finally arrived this weekend, this morning when I woke up my first thought was today I don't have to speak to anyone and a small smile crept across my face. This past week was not slow by any stretch of the imagination, a 20 hour drive from Georgia, a speaking engagement, a family medical emergency, and work. But finally, today as I process slowly my week I am struck by the hero that I met on Wednesday.