Taking A Step...

Hopefully Helpful Musings

When the World Hurts

October 4, 2017

     I work with people who have experienced various kinds of trauma in my work with individuals and couples. Trauma is pervasive and has a lasting impact on how a person lives, feels, and interacts with others. Most of the time, these traumas are very personal and emotional. A person relives the experiences and deals with flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, and other significant issues that interrupt everyday life. But what happens when the world hurts?
     This past Sunday evening, most of you know that there was a tragedy of the deadliest shooting in modern American history. It was a terrible act that resulted in numerous deaths and excessive injuries to people at a concert. There was no reasoning or cause. There was no fight that broke out. There is no understanding. The Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, various school shootings, and other times when there was extreme injury and loss of life without rationale are similar examples from my own lifetime. These things happen so far away from us at times, yet they hit close to home. These events are traumas in our lives. Often, people struggle with similar issues in response to these events as they do with traumatic events that are more personal. People relive the experience. There are flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, fear, sadness, anxiety, and other manner of struggles that make these events more personal. What can be done when the trauma is far away but the impact is near?

     The first step is to acknowledge that these things have an impact even when we are physically far from the event. The fear and sadness reach much further than the bullets could have. It is easy to become overwhelmed and scared to the point of giving in to depression, isolation, and other struggles. If we don't recognize the impact, then we can never overcome these negative effects.

     The next step is to rely on others to help to provide support for one another. Depression, fear, isolation, and anxiety are fed by loneliness. They grow in the absence of love, relationship, and community. On the other hand, love, connection, and relationships can help a person to deal with emotions in a way that is healthy. It does not mean that there will be no negative emotions or issues. We will be saddened and fearful at these times, but these emotions may be lessened and healed through the comfort of others.

     When the world hurts, take the next step...

                                                                                                                    --Derek

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