Sometimes, in this column, I share with you something from my professional development reading that I found so powerful that I want to share it with everyone. This month, it’s Trauma Stewardship, by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky. This book has been talked about in my clergy circles for several months now, and I finally started it a few weeks ago. I’m privileged to be a very fast reader, but there are some books, both fiction and non-fiction, that must be savoured. This is one of them.
The book itself is about secondary trauma — what happens to those of us who are in close proximity to and caring for those experiencing direct trauma. I started it with the assumption that I’d be reading through it with my usual speed, highlighting things I wanted to find easily later. But within the first chapter, I found passages that would hit like I’d had the wind knocked out of me. I needed to stop, and let the words roll around in my mind and heart, feeling what else was going on in my body as well. It was only then, after reflection and discernment, that I could continue reading. It described, in page after page, so much of what I felt and experienced in this last year and a half since the global pandemic arrived in our lives.
It is so easy to think that no one else has ever suffered like we have. It’s our natural reaction to believe that we are alone in holding the pain of those around us, and it makes it worse when we, too, are also in the midst of our own pain. This book helped me feel connected to all the caregivers of the past, to really understand that I am not alone.
And that means you’re not alone, either, beloveds.
If you’d like to read it yourself, it’s in stock at McNally Robinson. If you want to get a copy, but finances are preventing you, please call or text me at (204) 809-3656 and I will make sure to get you a copy at no cost. You can also read more at the Trauma Stewardship Institute’s website: https://traumastewardship.com/
In gratitude and faith,