Love Is The Strongest Medicine: Notes from a Cancer Doctor on Connection, Creativity, and Compassion

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Compassion Fatigue

Compassion Fatigue

Compassion what?

Compassion fatigue.

Yes, it’s real.

Many in the healing professions are vulnerable to it.

I am.

I deal with heart-wrenching stuff.

Day in, day out emotional challenges.

My patients’ stress affects me deeply.

I can lose my sense of hopefulness.

Compassion fatigue can get better.

Mindfulness can help.

I observe my thoughts like clouds drifting by.

I give them a musical rhythm.

I give them a color.

A sound.

A shape.

A song.

Then I let them be.

I do my best to release them.

I am not my thoughts.

You are not your thoughts.

You’re the observer in the silence between your thoughts.

You are not your emotions.

Let them bubble up.

Express them from a safe, loving place.

Then let them go.

Gently move back to your now.

Move back to your sensations, your body.

Practice this daily.

Bring your creativity and curiosity to work.

Every day, practice closing the divide between work and play.

This is the beginning of the end of compassion fatigue.

Microstep: Compassion fatigue can get better. You start by expressing yourself fully to those you love. Then bring your sense of wonder and creativity with you to work. Express your creativity and joy to your patients.