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I am not going to talk specifics. So, please don't worry about that. The details are far too gruesome and terrible to have in our lives over and over again. I am also not going to make this a political blog about how I think all automatic and semi-automatic weapons should be banned from the hands of anyone. Nope. Instead, I want to talk about a subject about which I know a great deal. How To Deal With Trauma. Trauma touches all of our lives. Every last one of us.
I don't know about you, but last Friday, I was a mess. Let me briefly explain a little of what I went through last week. First, I need you to know that I went to Samuel Staples Elementary School, in Easton, CT, which was about 12 miles from where this horrific event occurred. I knew I group up in different times and I probably do NOT know anyone currently in Newtown, just a short 12 miles away, but it hit home. Boy did it hit home. It hit me in such a way that I could not even concentrate. Clearly, we were all beyond affected by what happened. I was devastated. I was in Shock.
1. THE SHOCK OF TRAUMA - "Whoa!"
Once the news hits, it's like a torpedo straight to your heart. The body, however, has one of the strongest defense mechanisms known to humankind...Shock. Your mind will NOT allow the information through until such time as you can properly and appropriately handle the traumatic event. We don't really know why. It just happens. But, thank god it does. Shock -- it does a body good. We all experience it the same way.
2. THE MOCK-CCEPTANCE OF TRAUMA - "I'm fine!"
Over the weekend, I was busy. I kept telling myself that I was fine. That everything was going to be okay. That I didn't want to know anything else...I knew enough. Remember, though, the details of what had happened weren't 100% clear as of Saturday. This is sort of a fake acceptance, which coats and protects you from the truth. I loved my world where everything was a-okay. It was nice and peaceful...the calm before the storm, if you will. Everyone will also pass through this "blissful" phase, no matter how short lived. The mind is a powerful thing, no?
3. THE OVERWHELMINGNESS OF TRAUMA - "Ugh!"
Ugh! says it all, man. This is the part where all of our emotions come through. For me, it was Tuesday morning when I read through the entire CNN timeline of what had occurred last Friday. The tears were flowing and I could feel my heart racing. At times, I thought I was going to throw up. I was upset, sad, and angry. These feelings are important to feel. They are not bad. They are all constructive and we must plunge through them to get to the other side. Remember, there is sadness and anger and then there is overwhelming sadness and anger. All unique yet poignant emotions.
(I myself am somewhere between Overwhelmdom and Learning with this Newtown catastrophe.)
4. THE LEARNING IN TRAUMA - "Ohhh...Wow!"
Once the overwhelming feelings subside, there will come a time of reflection. This reflection is where we stumble, where we pull up our sleeves, and where we eventually grow. Inevitably this event has already changed anyone who reads about it. It is how we move forward that will show our strength, our resolve, and our livelihood. There will come decisions in the next few months, I suspect, that will shift our consciousness a bit. That's good. That's what growth and learning is. I say, let's all welcome it!
5. THE EMBRACE OF TRAUMA - "Yeehaa!"
Last, but certainly not least, we need to eventually accept what happened (emotionally - speaking). We will never forget the situation -- it will always remain in our hearts. Once in acceptance, we can then take the final step toward Embracing what happened as a necessary evolutionary step in our lives at humans, or as our culture as Americans. I can't say I'm even close to this point right now, and sometimes, it's just not possible. It's some place for which I personally strive with all my traumas. Again, sometimes we just can't! In this case, I just don't know if it's possible.
Horror is horror and this was absolutely terrible and mind-boggling for us all. So, how do we even begin to heal from this traumatic ordeal?
In order to heal, we need to acknowledge the process happening to us. The more aware we are of our own individual process, the more poignant and constructive our healing can be. It takes great courage and determination. We each have the capacity to climb the insurmountable with inner strength, hope, compassion, and love. Follow the above plan and watch yourself. Be kind to yourself this week too!
Lots more to come on this topic of trauma and healing. I promise! :)
1) Shout out to my good friend Ciara for her new blog (which I love) http://tgfrl.com/. Check it out!
2) My apologies for being late this week by 24 hours. It has been quite the week for me.
3) I hope your Hanukkah was fab! Please create a safe, happy, and healthy Christmas and Kwanzaa!
4) When President Obama wept, I couldn't help but clench my heart and cry right along with him. It was beyond heart-wrenching. And so honest! God, I love him.
5) I should be receiving the electronic version of my book any day now...and the first physical copy of my book next week. OMG...i can't believe it. it's really happening. Will start the countdown soon.
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A Smile From The Inside Production :)