Now that you know how old I am it won't come as a surprise that I LOVE disco! I used to love going to the Mad Hatter (a local discotheque) and dance the night away with my girlfriends.
When 'We Are Family' came on by Sister Sledge, we would all be jumping up and down, dancing, and singing along - it was so much fun!!
Do you know the words to this song? (Besides the chorus ). They are pretty empowering.
"Have faith in you and the things you do,
You won't go wrong, oh no, this is our family jewel"
I presented last week at the University of Utah Health's Annual Neonatal Conference entitled: Human Dimensions of Caring and included a Youtube video of Sister Sledge (and others) singing We Are Family.
As I was building my slide deck for my talk "The Power of One - Caring for Families in Crisis" I realized that we all, at one time or another, have been 'the family in crisis'. Maybe we experienced a family crisis when we were growing up, maybe the crisis occured in our marriage, maybe we are in crisis right now!
By tapping into our own story, our own experience(s) with crisis we have the opportunity to channel that 'knowing' into compassion and become a healing presence for other.
Although I do believe we have a compassion instinct, we do have a ton of 'rules' and 'fears' around operationalizing compassion. We are afraid if we are too compassionate people may view us as weak, they may not take us seriously, or they may take advantage of us.
These societal mores (predominantly in western cultures) keep us from fully operationalizing our compassionate nature and as a consequence hurt and suffering continues.
Families are funny things, as microcosms of our larger society, whatever troubles or problems endemic in the society can also be found in the family. Societal problems to include poverty, intolerance, alcoholism or substance use, economic deprivation, unemployment don't create a very stable foundation in the best of situations nevermind when an unexpected crisis is thrown into the mix - that's when all HE11 can break loose.
This is a picture of me (on the far right) and three of my six siblings. Growing up in my family we had lots of ups and downs (like many other families out there). My childhood experiences left me with many joyful memories but also some unresolved anger. It wasn't until I was able to deconstruct my dad's life, examining it through a trauma lens, that I was able to let go of my anger and really love my dad - we are family after all.
We are ALL family in the most basic of ways, we are part of the human family. We've all experienced those dark moments when we feel lost, alone, frightened. But the beauty of family is when we witness our brother or sister in the darkness and we feel that tug on our heart and feel that stirring in our soul, a call to help, a call to kindness, we have the power!
We have the power in that moment of decision to be a healing presence, to ease their suffering, to make that one moment a little less painful. And in doing so, we fill our own cup up at the same time.
I have faith in you and the things you do, you won't go wrong, oh no this is OUR family jewel .
Take care and care well,
P.S.: Early Bird Registration is OPEN for Science & Soul 2020 through October 31st. Please join us in Lisbon Portugal February 28-29, 2020.
Together with our esteemed organizing committee, Science & Soul 2020 promises a learning and networking experience like no other! With prestigious keynote presenters and our international interdisciplinary faculty, delegates from around the world join a movement to transform the experience of care for infants, families and themselves!
P.P.S.: Using breakthrough, evidence-based strategies Caring Essentials helps you achieve clarity, build congruence, and challenges you, your colleagues, and your organization to become a center of excellence in trauma-informed care for infants, families and professionals.
P.P.P.S. Here is your quote for the week!