As always, I want to say thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I cannot express my gratitude enough for your assistance. I also want to thank you, the reader. I can’t personally shake your hands or buy you lunch. I can, however, let you know that people DO care. This message is being read by departments of all shapes and sizes. To each of you, welcome. I know you’re busy and you do a lot to get ready for your shift. So thank you for reading.
May 12-18 this year is Police Week. It was designated by President Kennedy in “recognition of the service given by the men and women who, night and day, stand guard in our midst to protect us through enforcement of our laws”.
In this note, I want to talk to you briefly about something that we all have in common, and few of us want to talk about, pain.
I read a wise statement once and it was “Knowing that there is worse pain doesn’t make present pain hurt any less.” We all experience pain at some level. Be it physical, emotional, or relational, no pain is more real than another, though it may be more defined. It may give a perspective or context, but just knowing that someone has a broken arm does not make the stubbed toe hurt any less.
Pain is something that we are aware of. Most of us have had to witness pain as part of our duties. From car accidents and cardiac arrests, burglaries to house fires. Some of you may have chronic physical or emotional pain. And for those of you that have given a death notification, you know just what I mean, pain is all around us.
So what do we do in a world full of pain? How can we keep the “spring in our step” with pain in our mind or bodies?
1) Understand that “being tough” is not always the answer.
2) Take time to decompress. I’ve said this before. Take time for you. I know we have busy schedules and numerous commitments, but if you are always running on empty, you’re not doing anyone a favor, including yourself.
3) Get proper rest, exercise and have a proper diet. Every doctor will advise this. Also, as most of us know, this is not always easy. Make gradual changes that you can stick with instead of numerous major changes. Those will be more effective.
4) Get involved in support groups. This can be helpful with physical pain as well as emotional. When you’re with people who have chronic pain and understand what you’re going through, you can benefit from their wisdom in coping with the pain.
5) Get a good massage.
6) Have someone you can speak to about ANYTHING, and be willing to listen. They may tell you something you may not want to hear.
7) If you need help…ASK.
Lastly, do Doc a favor, (well 2 actually).
1) Never minimize anther’s pain because you think yours is more real.
2) Even with your pain (or in spite of it), reach out to someone you see in pain.
It may not change the world, but it will improve theirs, and yours.
For all the law enforcement reading this, I’m praying for a peaceful week for you. Safe traffic stops. I hope people see you in restaurants and pay for your food. I pray for a time of healing for the departments reading this who have had a loss in the last year. I pray that those of you making the trip to Washington will have a safe trip. For those who are attending a memorial to honor a fallen brother or sister, I pray for safety and healing. But most of all, I hope there is an outpouring of appreciation form the communities that you serve.
In closing, thank you for all you do. I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.