Nowhere is it the same place as yesterday. None of us is the same person as yesterday. We finally die from the exhaustion of becoming. This downward cellular jubilance is shared by the wind, bugs, birds, bears and rivers, and perhaps the black holes in galactic space where our souls will all be gathered in an invisible thimble of antimatter. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Yes, trees wear out as the wattles under my chin grow, the wrinkled hands that tried to strangle a wife beater in New York City in 1957. We whirl with the earth, catching our breath as someone else, our soft brains ill-trained except to watch ourselves disappear into the distance. Still, we love to make music of this puzzle.
Times are difficult globally; awakening is no longer a luxury or an ideal. It’s becoming critical. We don’t need to add more depression, more discouragement, or more anger to what’s already here. It’s becoming essential that we learn how to relate sanely with difficult times. The earth seems to be beseeching us to connect with joy and discover our innermost essence. This is the best way that we can benefit others.
I have been employed as a permanency caseworker with Child Welfare for eight years. I have worked nearly 30 years in some capacity with children and/or families. There are times when I feel the weight we carry due to being underfunded. Sometimes I also think I'm too old for this work and long to retire. But I'm still here, actively engaged in my work with children and families. This article from The Guardian very much illuminates some of the reasons why. Bless the children. Bless families. Bless us all. ~ Molly
This is not a short-term career and the profession needs experienced workers, so give it a good run
You will not be bored
No two days will ever be the same. The variety of children, families, complex problem-solving, situations and locations will keep your brain moving at a pace. You will be in a process of continuous learning for as long as you stay in the job.
What you will learn about yourself
The physical and emotional demands placed on you will highlight levels of personal resilience and skill that you never knew you had, or were capable of. When life throws other hardships at you, you’ll be amazed at your ability to resolve them. You will develop a high level of emotional intelligence, and perceptive skills that you never thought possible.
Daily life in busy child protection teams builds relationships with colleagues that will see you through the challenging times, and bring you together in a way that no ordinary office life can. Remember, you will encounter cases that change the way you practise, and might even alter your whole outlook on life. Working in this environment will build relationships that stay with you through your social work career.
You are privileged
To be involved in a child or family’s life at what is often a crisis point, and being key in developing changes and promoting a good outcome – whatever that might be – is an absolute privilege. Treat that with respect, keep those key values close to you and you will always feel honoured to be in such a position.
You work for the local authority, on the frontline, at the heart of making a difference and achieving change. That is something to feel proud of, there are many who would not tread that path, and for those who do, be proud of what you do and where you work. Talk positively of your role; remember “positive talk encourages positive talk”.
There are lots of career opportunities, whether you want to be a social worker or move to management. Child protection will give you a breadth of knowledge that will stand you in good stead if you want to branch out to a different area of social work. Experienced child protection workers are always in high demand.
Enhanced critical thinking abilities
What other profession requires you hold, juggle and analyse such a huge amount of complex information, and make sense of it? The complexity can be astounding, but it will be a personal challenge to get through it. And when you do, it will be worth it. Remember to be aware of cognitive bias, from yourself and other professionals; it will be one of your biggest challenges on this road.
The profession needs you
Do not think of this as a short-term career: anything less than three to five years will be unlikely to allow you to be at a point of feeling “halfway there” in terms of your confidence and competence. The profession needs experienced workers, and children need experienced workers. Give this a good run; the longer you stay, the more able you are to prioritise, manage stress and generally sift “the wheat from the chaff” and focus on what you need to do, and what really matters. Do not come to “earn your stripes” for a year; you will gain little.
It can be fun
It will make you laugh, but not all the time.
You will make a difference
And most importantly, you will make a difference. This may not be in quite the way you thought when you came into the post, but nevertheless you will. They may be enormous, life-changing events such as adoption, that you have been instrumental in progressing. They will mostly be small shifts or changes that you never thought possible. The parent who has started to take her child to nursery, the mother who came to one last contact, the family that came to court without tracksuits on (on your advice). They are all small things that make a difference to outcomes, and if you decide to stay in this role, make sure you allow yourself mental space to consider the outcomes you achieve. It will preserve your sense of self-efficacy and spur you on.
Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive. Jump into experience while you are alive! Think... and think... while you are alive. What you call "salvation" belongs to the time before death.
If you don't break your ropes while you're alive, do you think ghosts will do it after?
The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic just because the body is rotten— that is all fantasy. What is found now is found then. If you find nothing now, you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death. If you make love with the divine now, in the next life you will have the face of satisfied desire.
So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is, believe in the Great Sound!
Kabir says this: When the Guest is being search for, it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that does all the work. Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.
Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose. Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it. Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world so worthy of rescue.
There are many others left off the above list, including the shooting at Reynold's High School outside of Portland last spring. Our children are symptom bearers of our larger culture, and some are so much more vulnerable than others to it's toxicity. My deep prayer is that our country, our world, and each and every one of us will work with increasing passion to heal and awaken and be brave and be a light in the darkness that all too often permeates what our children and all of us are exposed to. There is a reason why school shootings - and so many other forms of violence - are so horrifically common in America. There is a reason why our culture manifests such suffering. Among my longtime teachers is Michael Meade, who illuminates how a culture is in deep trouble when it disrespects its youth and ignores its elders. This is a profound truth, and a tragic reality of what has so often become "normal" in America.
May we each lower our tolerance in ourselves and others for insensitivity, blame, shame, projections, polarizations, judgements, neglect and abuse, addictions, racism and all the "isms", separation and isolation, fear and greed, obscene redistribution of wealth upward, and all the overt and often subtle forms of violence that have been rooted in our culture since the earliest days of America that included genocide of native peoples and slavery and more. We have much healing to do individually and collectively. May each of us hold the intention, and back it up with fierce compassionate action, that we are all in. We are all in! We each can increasingly find our part, our place, our role - no matter how large or small - to affect change, heartfelt change. We are all in this together. Another world is possible. Let us love the children, all the children. Let us love and care about one another and all beings. This very much includes ourselves. We can only allow love in and bring love into the world to the degree that we have healed and opened our own hearts.
May we be courageous enough to deepen our commitment to the ongoing work of becoming and growing in consciousness. To the degree that we are asleep is the degree that each and every one of us causes harm to ourselves and others. To the degree that we illuminate, heal, and transform those dark places in our own hearts is the degree that we bring much needed healing to the world. We are all connected. We are all Sacred.
Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.