Dear Health Care Worker,

Today I read that it’s “Your time to shine” and it didn’t feel right. My first reaction is that you are not shining, you are frustrated, tired, angry, scared, feeling guilty and a plethora of other things; shiny wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind. So, I looked up the definition of shine, one of the meanings is “be very talented or perform very well.”  You are shining, aren’t you?

You are performing very well with the training and talent you have accumulated over your lifetime. Remember that. Remind yourself that you are doing what you know how to do. The decisions you are making are not out of fear or emotion, they come from a well of knowledge that the average person does not have. Do not be afraid of them, do what you know. You’ve always done it, but we’ve taken you for granted.

Yes, you will be judged. People will be angry, they will blame and question you and, they may say hateful things about your choices. It all comes from emotion, while they are feeling the same fear, frustration and anger as you, they also feel they have lost control and you have it. They don’t realize you are not in control; biology, science and supply are, not you. You are doing what you know how to do in the current situation. Keep doing it.

What you may not know how to do is talk to someone about your feelings, relax and let go of today so you are fresh tomorrow, ease your children’s fears, keep the nightmares at bay or find the energy to comfort another family. Do not lay your head in your hands in despair, you are not alone and never will be. All those hotlines and resources for first responders – they are yours, also. Use them. Reach out. That cop that you see in the ER all the time, s/he will listen, they understand. The firefighter that lives down the street, they get it. They will be happy to help you.

While you need to shine today, there will come a time when the spotlight is not burning so hotly on you. At that time, you will work your way toward inner peace, you will find ways to heal from this and you will be happy that you asked for help. Don’t go it alone, shining is also defined as making something bright by rubbing it. Rub your soul, keep it bright so you continue to be talented and perform well in years to come. Society needs you now, but you need you always.

Stay safe emotionally and physically.