Those of you who knew me when I posted at The Wounded Healer Journal know that on 9/11/2001, I was living not all that far from NYC. Like everyone else, I was profoundly affected by that day and the events that followed. This weekend I had to fly for professional reasons and I did so thinking of that day.
Whenever something like this occurs, or we are reminded of such events, it’s easy to become even more afraid than before. But if you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all, you know that I believe in facing fear head on. I believe in being prudent but not letting fear rule our lives.
I also believe that we, of all people, must remember to look at everyone as individuals. We must look beyond labels and expectations to see the person within. How often, after all, have others looked at us and made assumptions based on knowing how we’ve been hurt in the past or on who we APPEAR to be?
What I would love to see us do is to focus on the courage and goodness of so many people that day and in the days that followed. While the acts of the terrorists remind us the world can be a dangerous place, the actions of courage and kindness of so many people remind us that most people are good. We can be a nation and a world where people care about each other, where we are all connected and understand that we are so that we reach out to help each other.
We can remind ourselves of the strength of the human spirit—that it IS possible to rise above tragedy and survive. We can use the memory of 9/11 to affirm to ourselves that we will not waste our lives wallowing in pain or sedating ourselves with food or drugs or alcohol or mindless television, but rather we will choose to LIVE each day!
That, above all else, was what I took from that day five years ago. I realized I had to make changes. I could no longer go on living as I had. I won’t lie—it was scary. I was terrified at the steps I was about to take. But 9/11 made me realize that it was even scarier to think that I might die without ever having let myself try to be truly happy.
It has not always been easy. But in these past 5 years I have grown in ways I didn’t know were possible. I have found contentment and laughter and made new friends and created a new life for myself.
I hope that for each of you this September 11th was a time for reflection and a time to remember how far you’ve come in the past 5 years. I hope that it was a good reminder to you to LIVE and look for ways to create the life you want to have.
As always, sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),