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Bouncing Back from
The events of Sept 11th in
New York City will leave an imprint on each of us for the rest of our lives. As
many of you, I made frantic calls to check on family and friends in harms way.
They were safe but many of their friends weren't. I listened as they shared
their fears, their hope, their pain - and then returned to sit stunned in front
of the TV set in disbelief watching, hoping, and feeling powerless and numb as
If any of us could we would
undo this tragic and unspeakable horror. We cannot. What we must do is tap our
reservoir of resilience that is always there.
Resilience is the ability to
bounce back from any setback, change, challenge, or in this case, horror, in
life. It is more than surviving, it is thriving. It is dealing with whatever
happens and returning to a place of joy and happiness. So how do you do this
when the pain is so great?
1. Mourn the loss
Cry, talk about it with
friends and share your feelings honestly. Even those of us who have no direct
loss sense a loss of family -of security - of the way things were. It has been
shocking, abrupt, and life changing. The world as we knew it is no more.
It will take time to heal-to
grieve. Sometimes the pain comes in waves. You'll feel fine for a day or two and
overcome the next. This is a normal process. Rituals can help. Candle vigils,
religious services, or any other form of group or formal remembrance. We have
many memorial services in our future. These are the times to honor our dead and
say a final goodbye. Each will help to cleanse our wounds and allow healing to
If you feel the need, talk
with a grief counselor. Get your feelings out. If you have losses from the past
which you have not mourned those feeling may surface as well. Get help and
support. Don't try to "tough it out" alone.
2. Recognize that
things will be better even though it may take time.
Overwhelming grief and life
changing events can shut us down. Our view is to the next few minutes or hours -
not to the future. Even in your pain or fear, know that things will get better,
you will heal, and you will go on. Be gentle with yourself. Healing is a process
- it is gradual.
3. Take control of
what you can.
You may feel powerless. You
can't control what happened - you can't fix it - you can't turn back the clock.
Your world has changed without asking your permission. To the extent you take
control you will reduce your stress and powerless feelings. Take control of what
you can. Send a card, listen to someone who is grieving, take him/her food, hold
a hand, give blood, attend a religious service, or assist in any way you can.
Process your emotions but don't allow them to take total control. Do something.
I'm writing this. What can you do?
4. Commit to
resuming your daily routine as much as possible - as soon as possible.
Don't expect to go full speed
back to normal. You may feel unusually tired or listless. Do what you can to
regain your balance and take on usual tasks. Eat properly, take a walk, visit
friends, go to work and focus your thoughts.
5. Continue to look
for the good, the wondrous, the joyful in life.
It's all around you - even
now. There have been acts of heroism, generosity and caring. People come
together in mutual grief. This is a time of reflection on what is truly of value
to us. This is a time to reflect on the joy and goodness in your life. Hug your
family - your friends. Value your relationships, the greatness of your life and
the freedom of the United States, flaws and all.
Resilience is like a bank
account. Every day we make deposits or withdrawals. If you have made enough
deposits of joy, happiness, love, belief in and responsibility for yourself, you
have plenty to draw on in times of need. Even in these tragic days -keep making
deposits even if they're small. As individuals and a nation we are resilient -
we will bounce back to an even higher level than before.
Nash is a nationally recognized consultant, speaker and author in the
areas of change and resilience. To receive her free E-zine Bouncing Back go to
www.Lindanash.com To contact Linda
314.872.8787 or e-mail
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