Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Emotional Quotient and Compassion Fatigue

O My Soul:

I continue to work on my Emotional Intelligence (also called Emotional Quotient). Lately, I've been working on increasing my awareness concerning how I make others feel but also how others are making me feel. This emotional dialog does play a factor in communication for better or for worse.

For example, I have been increasing awareness of my physical gestures as I listen and talk with others. However, I'm also trying to be aware of how others are making me feel and how those feelings (more than my thoughts and good intentions) affect others.

Lately, I feel tired. I am wondering why I feel so tired. I have been sleeping well, eating well, and taking my medications. My wife and I are getting along very well. We are settled into our new home. I like the congregation a lot.

Maybe I like the new congregation too much. I'm thinking I on the beginning descent into Compassion Fatigue. I think I might be trying to play God instead of pastor. Just look at my past week:

Physical illness: One person's detached retina turned into heart attack then kidney failure but she's doing better. Another person had a kidney removed due to a mass growing on it. A school girl had surgery on her ankle to remove an extra bone? the other ankle will be operated on in a few months.

Mental Illness: Discussion about depression and alcoholism in one family and making a plan to assist them. A shut-ins sorrow three months after the death of her husband. One person I have no idea what to think.

Spiritual Illness: Elderly man talked about how he was sodomized against his will as a teenager but with his consent for a time in middle age; very repentant. A couple resigned to divorce, but not repentant.

Congregational Governance: The congregational by-laws do not reflect how the congregation makes congregational decisions, which greatly upsets a few people. recommendation to be presented by a task for to Voters' Assembly.

And that is just the last week.

These situation keep turning over in my mind. Morning Matins is great. I debrief with God in prayer at night which is great. I am able to sleep but I feel myself getting tired.

The beginning of compassion fatigue is trying to please all people. Trying to be God instead of pastor. I can visit, speak from the psalms and scripture, pray, bless, and in all point to Christ but I can't solve the problems or give a quick fix to the people. Sometimes I need to speak things I would rather avoid (law) and good things (gospel) to people I don't really like. It all ups the stress.

So far so good. I am more aware of this because of the Emotional Quotient skills I'm developing, but there is room for improvement.

Hope in Christ &
God bless you.


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