Recently I came across the term “moral injury.” This term was used in reference to soldiers returning from tours of duty. Different from but not unlike the physical and emotional symptoms of PTSD, symptoms of moral injury include lingering memories and dreams that disturb the mind and soul with feelings of regret and guilt for violating one’s own conscience. One cause may be a situation of carrying out an order outside on one’s own moral compass.
In many of the investigations going on in our political arena today, distinctions are made between what is legal and what is illegal, whether or not it is morally or ethically right. The dis-ease one feels in acting in a way that does not feel morally right is a high price to pay for money, fame, love, or misguided “loyalty.”
Serenity or peace of mind is another way of describing mental health and wellness.
When there is dis-ease in our minds, we may be rationalizing a behavior that just doesn’t sit right with us. Somehow what we say and do need to match up with what we say we believe, or that vague but nagging discomfort will not leave until we get in sync with ourselves.
When “group think” in work, family, or friends causes us to live outside of our own values, moral injury will be felt. How well we recover depends on what price we are willing to pay for peace of mind.