We, as regular citizens, are not often aware of the depth by which they were impacted. Therefore it is important to keep in mind that Law Enforcement professionals have feelings just like you and me. Yet they, unlike the rest of us, have to transcend their feelings to keep us safe. As a Baton Rouge Life Coach I can attest to just how difficult at thing that can be.
We, as the people that they serve and protect, must understand clearly that the intended reactions – insecurity, distrust and occasionally fear – are the purpose of terrorist acts like that of that Sunday morning months ago. Remember, the purpose was to terrorize both the common citizens and the police that protect them. The gap between the horrific acts of that Sunday morning and the demands of daily life creates a gap: a dissonance. It is that dissonance that, regardless of training, can be difficult to maneuver.
As a newly repatriated citizen of Baton Rouge,
it is clear after the events of Sunday that our Law
Enforcement Officers will be,
for the foreseeable future,
living daily lives affected by that day.
Filling the Gap with Understanding
What do officers of the peace do when they know their peers have been barbarically murdered and yet the tasks of policing continue as if nothing has happened? Do we give a second’s thought to how this actually affects their lives, their psyche, and the ways that they do their incredibly dangerous jobs? Some of them look for a Baton Rouge Life Coach while others tackle it on their own.
Consider this, how well would you go from life at risk from start to finish, wearing a bullet proof vest and riot gear, to going home and playing with Legos on the floor 30 minutes later? How do you kiss your wife knowing that your friend’s wife will never see her husband again?
Cutting the Grass Life for those left behind goes on. How do you cut the grass? You still have to buy groceries; Somebody still has to clean your house. You still have to walk the dog. It doesn’t make sense and it cannot make sense…It is impossible to make sense of it. We all live within the context of our lives, so punishing oneself for what may seem to be superficial daily demands of life, in comparison to such loss and tragedy, is not healthy.
Keep in mind that the affects of these feelings are cumulative. They heighten levels of anxiety, thus building a ‘default internal setting’ of increased insecurity… keeping in mind that insecurity is not a word I use lightly for men and women who rush towards danger, rather than away-from-it as most of us would.
Above all else, they need our support.
Our protectors must be able,
for purposes of fortitude and resiliency;
to turn to the very people they protect and serve,
to provide them with hope.
As the people for whom they risk their lives, we must do all that we can to help them fend off and rise up against that sense of hopelessness and helplessness that comes with such a tragedy.
Our protectors must be able, for purposes of fortitude and resiliency; to turn to the very people they protect and serve, to provide them with hope. Even today, if you go to the site of the murders, you will be exposed to the best of humanity brought out tragically by the worst of what unbridled hate can cause. The place the officers fell is filled with news people recording, for all time, the offers of sympathy and love for the men assassinated by a monster who felt only hate.
The New Day Unfolding
If you look at those horrific acts, and the ones that continue to this day, there is another story unfolding: a story of people mobilizing themselves to take care of their protectors, of people coming together to push back and declare that kind of action not consistent with living civilized lives.
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Frank Hopkins is a Baton Rouge Life Coach. He is certified as a Professional Coach (CPC) by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Frank has helped numerous people to go through emotional change in a way that is positively transformative. You can find out more about coaching and Frank at www.frankhopkinlifecoach.com.