The Sandy Hook shooting and Boston Bombings shocked the world to the core and begs the question why are human beings are so cruel and destructive towards each other? We want to help of course, and yet do not know how to. What can we do to ease another’s pain? How can w reach out to distant strangers who have been deprived of their loved ones?
If we allow the shocking news images to condition our lives we could fall into depression even desperation about the state of the world. How can we lift up our morale, and participate in others’ tragedies without being overwhelmed? How can we come to terms with our own fear, sadness, or even desperation as we react to bad news? How can we help out, and understand ourselves in that process?
- Realise that your support counts, even the smallest gesture like a prayer or a loving thought will help someone.
- Do not be shy of talking about your feelings with friends and family. A chat helps you come to terms with why you feel upset about a massacre, especially when children are involved.
- Even if it is best not to be affected by the violence of news images it is important to keep yourself updated, so switch to different style news programmes and get all the information you need to understand what happened as best you can.
- Prayer groups have been scientifically proved to hasten a patient’s recovery, they also help individuals recuperate from trauma, so you might want to join one.
- Accept that a traumatic event can bring up difficult emotions, so be open to yours and others’ sadness, and be prepared to discuss what your friends feel too.
- You could observe a moment of silence for the victims of a terrorist attack.
- Be available to all those who want to talk about the catastrophe; do not underplay their need for comfort or guidance.
- Enjoy the company of your closest friends in such sensitive times, invite them to dinner.
- Realise it is natural to rant at the Forces that Be, it is okay to want to blame someone.
- Understand that it is natural to identify with the victims and their families. You could organise a candle lit vigil; which tend to have a huge impact and will support those who are suffering.
- You might realise you do not want to spend any more time with negative folks, so end difficult connections.
- You could start to appreciate all you have, and the friends and loved ones close to you.
- Try not to look at life from a black and white perspective. Know that there are many explanations for human behaviour even if sometimes difficult to understand.
- Be aware that millions of people are willing to show their solidarity, unite with some of them.
- Do not be afraid to say what you think or go for what you believe.
Be aware that even if the trauma did not happen to you personally, images on the TV could set off some unconscious patterns, and feelings.
- You could feel moody, and anxious.
- You could keep thinking of the images you saw and replay them in your mind, creating fearful feelings.
- You might burst into tears for no reason
We all have different coping strategies but one of the best is to turn to Spirit. You do not have to be religious to be spiritual but knowing that there is some greater plan will help you overcome the challenging events in your life. Focus on the positive in your life and pay attention to what is good about you, rather than what is wrong with you.
The fact that you care about what happens to other people means you are a human being with a deep need to love and connect to others. That is a gift, and even though at times your sensitivity will cause you some challenges, your life will be full and rich.
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