You may not remember me. We met in D.C. last September at our Delta 1/7 reunion. I was one of the people that came up to you and gave you a big hug. I told you and our Marines out loud so everyone could hear that, ‘You are the real thing.’ This week was hard because we had the traveling Vietnam wall in our city. I am emotionally drained but hopeful that people like you can help me and my brothers help each other heal. Semper Fi!
As a veteran advocate, please consider using tools to help in ways you never thought possible. Please trust me, I’ve worked with Deborah's team, and Soul Injury works! The websites offer awesome videos, tools, pamphlets, and resources.
I used Peace at Last with a Korean combat veteran at our nursing facility who served in the Choisin Resevoir. It took him 65 years to speak of Korea. The book opened the can of worms. He identified his Soul Injury, faced his unmourned losses and unforgiven guilt to find peace.
I asked my staff the question: ‘How would the world be different if we weren’t afraid of our emotional pain?’ Here are some of their answers:
People would be more open to conversation when they need support the most. Therefore, they would be more comfortable discussing serious issues in their lives such as loss, grief, trauma and preparing for death.
We would be more willing to open ourselves up to others and take more risks in everyday life.
There would be world peace.
Emotional pain makes you more compassionate and loving because you remember what is important.
People would treat others with compassion instead of hatred because there would be no need to fear or mistrust the "other".
The concept of “Soul Injury” has developed a lot of interest in the Chicago area with little effort. I have been asked to speak about it in three different hospitals, one of which is a VA. I have come to the humbling realization that because no one knows about Soul Injury and because I’ve received the Training, I’m becoming the “expert.” To do this, I can’t be afraid to be the expert. I have to learn, study, and teach boldly. People are thirsty for this information.
At a staff meeting, I asked the question: ‘How would the world be different if we weren’t afraid of our emotional pain?’ Here are some of their responses:
Bereavement Coordinator – If children’s grief remains unaddressed, it becomes a foundation for aberrant behavior in teen years. This may not be a matter of kids being afraid of emotions, but instead it may be due to adults who are not equipped to speak to emotional pain. Often kids don’t have the language to describe grief.
VA social worker – To feel pain is to be human, but we are often not honest with our own humanity about this. We leave ourselves vulnerable and this can be terrifying, while at the same time we want to shield our children from this. Acknowledging and embracing the pain is healing and often “The only way out.
Hospice chaplain – The world would be healthier by teaching our children through “modeling”. If we believe that it’s okay to embrace pain as a natural part of life processes, then it’s imperative that we model what that looks like.
Physician – So much of life now is spent trying to shun feelings and seek unrealistic happiness. If emotional pain is normalized in society, we might ultimately see less destructive behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse, violence, etc. it might become a norm in society to teach coping mechanisms.
Chaplain – It will require equipping families with tools to reinforce support for their children. The world would be a better place to live if each of us would take the time to assist/invest in the lives of others.
Interdisciplinary team manager – Less suicides with young people. It would reduce a lot of the loss of self and need to express negatively those feelings that they have had to hide… and now as adults express inappropriately and hurtfully.
We had our first showing of the Opus Peace-HFA DVD on Soul Injury today. All I can say is WOW!!!! What an overwhelmingly positive response. There was a lot of energy about taking the Soul Injury message forward. Thank you for creating this film…what a gift it is to all of us.
I started a book community with the staff at my Hospice, using The Hero Within. I thought 5 would come and 15 registered! I have read The Hero Within 6 times, and every time I learn something new. I have begun to explore negative things that have occurred in my life and contributed to my Soul Injury. I found out that I’m really good at COPING instead of RECKONING. All of us in the group are moving toward becoming ‘recovering cowards’. I’m already planning another book community and I have a million ideas. I believe that when I see an open door, I need to walk through it. So, I want to be involved in spreading the message of SOUL INJURY.
I attended an End of Life symposium at the Regional Medical Center symposium. I spoke with the head of the Palliative Medicine department about Soul Injury. He is having me come present on it. The Coalition for Compassionate Care of Central California also want me to come speak about it. This is going to be fun!
I am continually amazed by you and your commitment to the movement. I feel honored to be connected to Opus Peace.
OUTSTANDING AND FLAT OUT THE WORK OF ANGELS !!!!!!
WELL DONE DEBORAH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After the Fallen Comrade Ceremony, I can now enjoy my life without that ever-present feeling of overwhelming sadness and disengagement. I haven’t felt like this before even with all the PTSD treatment I’ve had.