Today’s reflection comes from Chaplain Rainy who serves as chaplain with the Palliative Care team and the Kadlec team. She re-frames a rather common frustration into a positive reminder.
Tape. Yellow tape (to separate). Blue tape (for paint masking). Red tape (a nuisance). Pick your color, there’s lots of tape going around (and around and around).
Indeed! Here’s an exasperated quote from one of my colleagues: “There is so much more tape these days!” Everything we do takes an extra measure of “tape”. For example, where one phone call used to be enough, now it takes three. SIGH. The tape seems longer as we deepen the conversation around the emotional-spiritual effects of virus, economics, politics, and cultural shifts with patients. Our home lives have increasingly wider tape, complicated by juggling work, children’s schooling, and the constant insecurity of Covid’s trajectory. It’s no wonder we are tired!
I confess feeling worried; concerned with the mental status of my teammates, and our community. I am worried that our spirits are silently being eroded by the depth of tape that we are wading through very day. We may forget that our work was difficult BEFORE these events and our sacred ministries already have so much deep meaning to them. I am worried that we are acting as if we have to have it all together—and we just can’t. So I am concerned, because the long-term mental health effects of anxiety, depression, and insomnia can linger for a long time.
So much is out of our control, thus it is vitally important that we talk about the tape. Let’s take the time to talk about what is awkward and hard in our lives, what tapes are longer, deeper, and wider. That’s not complaining, that’s therapeutic. Talk with your colleagues, your family and friends, your chaplains, and listen together for what is experienced in common.
We may discover that tape is the very thing that reminds us: we are bound together in shared grace and empathy.
Wrapping you in our virtual arms,
The Chaplain Team at Chaplaincy Health Care