Compassion (Fatigue) in the Land of So Much Suffering Pt. 2

As clients, a little part of us can escape our pain when we think of our therapist as someone who has only just come down off some mountain’s vipassana retreat, mala beads still wrapped around sun-kissed, never-sore arm. Even visibly sweating as a therapist can shatter this illusion. But beyond escape, might we—therapists and clients alike—reach something more like healing if we could both be people, striving in a world we have not escaped, where suffering, pain, bills, and trauma still deeply affect us?

When we wellness professionals internalize this archetype of the escaped healer, we come into conflict with the reality of the world, and we set ourselves up for compassion fatigue because we may begin to believe our capacity to do without more than superficial care for ourselves is what qualifies us to help others.

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The Widespread Abuse and Traumatization of Children in the United States Stops Here.

It is not enough for us to simply stop separating families, stop dehumanizing other people, and stop shuffling their children into a system of widespread sexual assault if not outright trafficking—as important as ending each of those things is. We owe it to these people we have injured to care for the physical and psychological wounds we have inflicted.

We owe it to ourselves, to our own children, and to future generations of global citizens to acknowledge the reality of this situation, to acknowledge what our bigotry, willful ignorance, and civic passivity have permitted, and to educate one another on the processes that led us here so that we may better avoid them in the future. We owe it to every child in the world to take responsibility for our contributions to the society where they grow up.

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More Than Just Sickness Care: What Chronically Ill Americans Like Me Fight For

To say it’s refreshing to hear Marianne acknowledge the integrative nature of health and the interconnectivity of public conditions which sicken and disable many of us is an understatement. No one I’ve so far encountered in the medical establishment wants to hear this stuff. And no other politician or non-disabled activist group seems to want to go that deep with us. Whether you’re on board with her campaign or not, Marianne Williamson has raised the bar. This conversation is no longer ending at what kind of healthcare plans candidates are pledging to fight for. We’re no longer stopping at what meds individuals can access or how we personally relate to our bodies. We’re talking about environmental, nutritional, and economic conditions now too.

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Finding Earth Religion in the Trash

On some level we crave innovation. At the same time we are made to feel so powerless and so ashamed, that we often seem to prefer inaction rather than engagement with the innovation we encounter. Trash is personal like that. When approached as an art form, it’s the most intimate medium I know. Even when you go to very physical arts involving the body or our sexualities, culture, food, fashion—we’re still consciously curating something the whole way through. We’re in an intentional conversation with our parents, religion, society, our oppressors, whoever.

With trash, we are rarely in this sort of dialogue. We are discarding. We are burying. We are throwing away. Trash is a record of all that we consume. Trash tells us everything about the most un-acknowledged parts of ourselves. In this context, I think we attach a lot of shame to it.

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Are Bee Hotels the WORST Thing We've Done to Bees Ever?

When it comes to human treatment of bees, bee hotels are the worst thing we’ve ever done, right? In the past month or so, I’ve seen several articles and other social media posts that might have you believe it. These critiques take an ‘all solutions are terrible’ approach to bee advocacy along the same line as other such catastrophic, dismissive, and pessimistic thinking clouding over real attempts at changing course in response to ecological emergencies. If these critics are correct, it would seem that our efforts at providing shelter for native bees are more effectively speeding up their demise, exposing them to mites and disease, and leaving them at the mercy of devastating forces like rain and cold weather, than helping boost their population numbers or bringing pretty insects into our backyard. Conclusion: give up. There’s nothing we can do about anything.

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ApiculturePat Mosley