Beware The "Cheerleaders"



Dear Everyone: In this week’s edition of Cereal With Hand Poured Milk (aka “figure out what you can half-ass without harm”) we’re going to touch ever so briefly on the danger posed by Those Who Cheer For Us. We all have them, those well-intentioned co-workers, bosses or others who radically cheer on our herculean efforts and outcomes while willfully ignoring the toll it exacts. They see and love all we DO, are in awe of all we ACCOMPLISH, and clap their hands to the beat of a relentless cheer for “More! More! More! More!” It looks and feels and sounds like lovely support right up to the moment you say, “No. I’m sorry, that doesn’t work for me.” — I’ve never seen people as weary as they are right now. We’ve done our best, and nothing feels like enough. The Tridemic Trauma of Covid, Violence and Isolation has been relentless, and the burden of moving our institutions and communities through these times is disproportionately distributed. It is ok - it is necessary and appropriate - that we take time for reset and restoration. This also is a time for intense reflection: What matters? Who matters? What is the endgame? Where can and should I say, "No, I’m sorry, that doesn’t work for me.” {pro-tip: practicing this sentence over and over actually does help} — Much has been studied and written over the years about the power and beauty of post traumatic growth. As we move through this year of unrelenting toxic stress and trauma, I’m seeing a new phenomenon emerge: Intratraumatic growth. Even in the midst of ongoing pain and harm exists enormous opportunity. This is a time to deliberately and mindfully create and step into spaces of healing and growth. It takes intention. It takes connection. And it takes CHOICE: what matters? what is my endgame? what does it look like when I’m dead center in my integrity and how do I get from where I am to where I want to be? Sometimes it even takes tuning out and disappointing Those Who Cheer and naming Weaponized Resilience. Energy, capacity and resilience are limited resources. Even if you’re someone who generally has more than most, it is ok to be exhausted and in need of restoration. This week, prioritize connecting with people who normalize rest and play. Take care of you.

Don’t forget to #Hydrate More soon,

Dr. K

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