I recently heard a reference to invisible wounds. I recall a former school administrator reminding teachers that students come through the doors daily with an invisible suitcase full of baggage. Don’t we all have some invisible wounds or that invisible suitcase with varying degrees of baggage? Often, we subconsciously reveal what it is that is invisible. We do so through our behavior, or lack thereof. At the time of this reflection, the country is reflecting on the end of a 20-year war and 9/11, 20 years ago. There are so many of us co-existing with those invisible wounds. Invisible wounds from the battlefield. Invisible wounds from relationships destroyed because of tragedies in combat. Invisible wounds from the divorce rate because of the many, many challenges of wartime. The invisible wounds of how the effects of the withdrawal have left many military and civilians who were in some way connected to this longest war in history for this country. When all these events unfold, what kind of triggers does it all set in motion? We will most likely never know because those individuals deal with-it all-in silence.
We must learn to not only be gentle with ourselves but to be gentle with each other. This instant society we co-exist in has only made it that much more difficult to really, really, understand others. We seldom look or inquire beyond the surface. Our usual greeting to each other is “hello, how are you?” Are we genuine when we ask the question? If there is any indication that things are not going well? Do we end the conversation with a “I hope it gets better, have a great day?” If we took just a few moments to inquire deeper, we may be surprised at what we find. Sometimes it is a blessing to the other person, just to have the opportunity to speak it aloud! They may not necessarily expect assistance or resolution on the spot. But just to know that someone took the time to listen and genuinely respond and care, well that can go a long way. Invisible wounds can be with us for a lifetime, especially those who have made the sacrifices to protect this country. One of our former presidents said that our military has shielded their fellow citizens from harm. The next time you encounter someone from the military, just be reminded that there may be some invisible wounds, which may never heal. Be grateful for the shield, the protection. Remember their journey. Let us be kind to one another
I am Paula G Voice! A sagacious influencer breathing life into dreams. Visit Paula’s Blog at www.paulagvoice.com for the full journey.