A group of trusted peers helps many a person stay sane!
Who but the people in your line of work understand fully the challenges you face? When I was a young woman, recently married and with one then two sons to raise, neighborhood mothers offered a lifeline as we learned by experience and from each other. Since then I have often developed special relationships with co-workers.
As a clergyperson I find collegial connections essential to my formation and continuing education.
Clergy love the people we serve but we need friends among our peers. They are the folks we can lean on in times of struggle–and there are many! My group of twelve meets monthly if we can possibly be there. We share a devotional time of reflection and ritual. We brag on our successes but more importantly we share the raw edges of our lives, the places where we’re bruised and bleeding. We are bound by mutual expectations of confidentiality so that we, too, have a safe place to be open and real.
Uncertainty, confusion and doubt? Of course. Requests for advice? Sometimes. Leaning on one another? By all means.
We hold one another accountable when our professionalism or actions fall short of our Code of Ethics as Unitarian Universalists. Between meetings we often follow up with a phone call of support or a one-on-one meeting. We serve as mentors to one another–either on a formal basis or through simple collegiality.
Then we go back to our ministries, refreshed and ready to serve.
Thank you, colleagues!
- On My Own Two Feet (womensrabbinicnetwork.wordpress.com)