to the helpers who cannot serve
I know this is hard. I know you are hurting, wanting to help but being told to stay inside, stay away, stay still. However, being still is not what you know. What you know is speaking out, creating action, being on the front lines, and fighting disparity, discrimination, and injustice. But through all your experience, no one prepared you to be told to do nothing.
A frustration is building within my co-workers, my friends, and myself. It is a deep, growing rumble focused on this inability to respond to people’s suffering and loss. My field is the field of helpers and many of us have been sidelined as we are ordered to confine ourselves to our homes. So that rumble has become a pressure building in the backs of our minds as we try to sleep. Our DNA tells us we need to help, but how?
Now is an important time to remember that we can only do so much. I’m not saying to stop trying or stop helping. Never would those words be my advice. I’m just asking us to give ourselves some grace and understanding. We can only do so much. We can only reach so far. We can only work so long. In between all of this I hope you don’t forget yourself. The loss you have experienced through this is just as important as everyone else’s. The isolation you may feel, the frustration, the helplessness – others feel the same.
As we try to continue to serve, we need to make sure we are resting our bodies and minds as well. Although uncomfortable, we can allow this to be a time of rest and replenishment. Our passions drive us so much that we often overlook our own needs in our service to others. Let this be a time we band together and strengthen bonds, so when the time comes for us to return to the front lines, we are refreshed and ready to help our communities begin to heal.
Rest now and do what you can, because our role is coming soon…a role I know will gladly be filled.
Adriane Matherne, MSW
Manager, Community Resilience
The Family Center