Soul Repair

I’ve recently been writing about the concept of moral injury and how I immediately recognized that as a way to express many spiritual struggles in my life. (see below). Specifically, moral injury is a perspective for understanding the damages done by racism and colonization.

I’ve been anxious to explore how moral injury might be healed. I’m realizing this helps me understand why I’m so drawn to Mutual Aid. Mutual Aid is a mechanism for treating moral injury. Mutual Aid is “soul repair”. Mutual Aid, with its emphasis on horizontal structure, where everyone has a voice in the work, provides “integration into a culture where one is accepted, valued and respected, has a sense of place, purpose, and social support.”

Treating moral injury has been described as “soul repair” due to the nature of moral anguish.[17] 

According to Jonathan Shay, the process of recovery should consist of “purification” through the “communalization of trauma.” Shay places special importance on communication through artistic means of expression. Moral injury could only be absolved when “the trauma survivor… [is] permitted and empowered to voice their experience….”. Fully coming “home” would mean integration into a culture where one is accepted, valued and respected, has a sense of place, purpose, and social support.[10]

The responsibility to acknowledge, accept, and heal from moral injury doesn’t just belong to those suffering from moral injury. When we send our youth into battle on our behalf, we are complicit in their actions. We are responsible for bearing our portion of the pain those actions cause. And in taking re­sponsibility, we are empowered to help these women and men rebuild their moral scaffolding, reclaim their place in the soci­ety they volunteered to protect, and remember what it means to be human — and to belong.

Experiencing Moral Injury In The Face of Violence, Indifference, and Confusion by Tom Voss, InnerSelf, Excerpted from the book Where War Ends. © 2019 by Tom Voss and Rebecca Anne Nguyen. Reprinted with permission from

Moral Injury | Quakers, social justice and revolution (
Naming Historical Moral Injuries Committed in Quaker Colonizing | Quakers, social justice and revolution (
Moral Injury 2 | Quakers, social justice and revolution (

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