You are More Than Your Job!

happiness law enforcement one dimensional police social emotional stress wellnes training wellness Mar 10, 2022

Are you one-dimensional?

You went into the job at the police department with the many facets of yourself, all the things that made up your identity; a parent, a spouse or partner,  member of the choir, flag-football team, book club,  etc.  All of these are or were the different facets that made you whole.

And then you tacked on Law Enforcement Officer. Over time, your “whole” self eroded because of the job's demands, and then the only identity left is law enforcement officer. 

The job consumes you, which could lead to some harsh realities. A few of the extreme possibilities are the officers who die by suicide because it's too much, or the officer that works forever and a day until they f retire only to drop dead the next month.  T may seem harsh, but they are real-life examples, and anyone that has been in law enforcement long enough has seen both happen.

 

When you decrease the roles tr sense of self, becoming even more invested in the police role, you are increasing your level of emotional vulnerability and losing control: Dr. Kevin Gilmartin, Emotional Survival For Law Enforcement.

Remind yourself of who you WANT to be.

When you get caught up in the day-to-day stress and drama of work, you get distracted from what matters most -- that's when you need to pause and ask why. Who and what do you want to be in this world? 

Go that big.

Try it. 

In this job, on this day, in any particular situation: who do you want to be? Open your heart and eyes wide. 

And then knock your socks off by genuinely showing up.

Pausing requires enormous self-awareness and the ability to discount voices from the past, present, and future. It's ignoring the supervisor who said you'd amount nothing, the citizen who spit at you last week, who says you're too nice, and the child you may have one day asking why you're not the president. It's a reflective awareness of what makes your heart sing and why. It takes time to remember your purpose continually, nurture your spiritual self, and stay grounded.

You are making a life, not just making a living.

I can hear the cynics now, especially the law enforcement officers out there: ‘We work, we play, we die; what's to figure out? And seriously…connect to my greater purpose”? 

Um, yes. Exactly right.

Make time for self-compassion. Assess your personal and professional goals. Remind yourself of who you were before you started this job, and in doing so, you can figure out ways to be your “whole” self again.

 

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