In an afternoon CPE session, one of our supervisors did a class on how often shame comes up when we as chaplains talk with patients. She talked to us about some themes that might indicate shame was part of the conversation. Since I'd heard many of those things in my visits with patients, I asked for further reading. She lent me three books by Alice Miller: The Body Never Lies, The Drama of the Gifted Child, and For Your Own Good. "These might be hard for you, I think it may be painful material," she said.
"No problem. I can handle hard. I like to learn."
I can handle hard, but after getting halfway through the second book, it occurred to me that there's a fine line between hard and torturing oneself. I'm barreling head-first into heavy stuff in CPE supervision (because it matters, because it's important, because I'm terrified of the kind of damage we can do if we don't deal with our stuff). I'm about to change spiritual directors. Dave's out of town for chunks of time. I haven't seen most of my friends in... no, let's not count. I can do hard things, but let's not do them all at once.
I'm going to go find one of Dave's old Calvin and Hobbes collections, and put Alice Miller on a to-read list for later. If you're wrestling with your own heavy stuff, I'll scootch over on the couch, and let you leaf through the Peanuts books.
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