Monday, August 01, 2011

Compassion Fatigue

I try to keep myself informed about what is going on in the world around me. I watch the news, read newspapers, and get on the Internet daily. There’s gridlock in Washington, political acrimony, the possibility of world wide economic collapse, famine in Africa, murders, child abuse that is difficult to fathom, political unrest, the instability of the stock market, unemployment, war, and natural disasters. I am a very empathetic person and I truly care about people and their lives. I certainly cannot fix all the problems of the world but I try not to live in a bubble of uncaring and denial. However, sometimes I am overwhelmed with all of it. There is so much to care about and so many people suffer and are in some kind of need. As a result I often suffer from compassion fatigue. The cares of the world at large, and even the cares of my own personal world, sometimes wear me out. I think this has a lot to do with my frequent feelings of physical fatigue, emotional exhaustion, and spiritual dryness. I simply can’t walk around pretending that all of life is beautiful when so much of it is not. Still, I refuse to give in to it. Hope is always alive. I do what I can with whatever challenges I have in my life and in my limited worldview. I feel empathy,and I attempt to show compassion as much as I can. I remain an optimist about life even when nothing seems to justify it. I live believing that everything will get better even when it never seems to do so. I try to live in the moment, not to escape anything, but to become more aware of the extraordinary and good that is sometimes hidden from view. The world is full of darkness but I refuse to let my light, no matter how small, be extinguished.

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