What Choice This Time?

HOW CAN WE CREATE THE DEEPEST HEALING
IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBINGS?

This week has been filled with tragedy – shock, terror, danger, grief, and more – in the Boston area, where bombs were exploded during the Boston Marathon and then the area was held captive till the men who planted the bombs were not a danger anymore. But this experience affected us all – all of us in the northeastern U.S., in the United States, and all over the world.

Lest we be remiss, there were also tragedies in other areas of the US this week. In West, Texas, there was an enormous explosion at a fertilizer plant, and it is not yet known for sure if it was a crime or an industrial accident. Either way, it caused huge damage, death, injury, and the destruction of property, as well as shock, terror, danger, grief, and more. Also in Illinois, there was a horrible flood this week . . . causing widespread evacuations, road closings, property damage…and feelings of fear, helplessness, and loss.

People have been suffering in all three of these places. And second-hand, from watching the tragedies. As the immediacy of the here-and-now shock and danger just begin to ebb the faintest bit . . . we have some space to ask a question of ourselves and each other. A question that might be brand new to some of us. A question that might not yet be part of our way of life for others of us. A question that is as ingrained as a reflex to those of us who have been practicing it for years.

The question: What choice are we going to make coming into, through, and back out of these tragedies? Are we simply going to feel and work through things on the surface level of the here and now events? Or are we going to look deep within ourselves to see what from our past – that is still alive inside us – has been triggered by one or more of these tragedies and has come to the surface for healing?

If we tend only to the current events and their aftermath in our world…if we only respond on the surface, as we have to so many other things in our world…the real solutions will be left undiscovered and un-created. If we tend only to the current events, what those events have triggered will still be alive within, affecting us, and waiting for something else to bring them up for healing. If we tend to the ancient events being evoked by today’s occurrences…if we really do the work to heal them…we will help ourselves and each other today more than most of us can imagine. We will help ourselves and each other in more effectively tending to the here and now events and to those that come in our future.

For example, wonder for yourself: What events from long, long, long ago in my life filled me with feelings of shock, terror, a sense of danger and unsafety, grief, confusion, pain? What nightmares did I live through in my waking life? What nightmares did I have in my dream life? What “explosions” did I live through in my young life? A parent exploding with rage and violence? What “flooding” did I face as a child? The flooding of myself with all the feelings that came pouring forth within me? What experiences did I have that felt like life and death? What experiences did I have that threatened me physically, mentally, emotionally? What experiences did I have that left me, if only for a time, locked away in a space it was not safe to come out of – whether that was a physical space, or a space inside my very self that I locked myself in for safety? 

Think of it this way: If the above or any similar experiences from your past have been triggered by this week’s tragedies . . . the feelings you are having in response – whether consciously or not – are far more intense, far more raw, far more primal than the here and now feelings. And if you do the work to heal the ancient events and your feelings from them, the feelings you have left in today’s world will be differently in quality, intensity, and effect on your life . . . and on the life of those around you. The life of all those around you . . . near and far.

If we had chosen to do the inner healing work related to all that was triggered in us by 9/11 . . . our world would be a different world today. Our country would be a different country. And we would be different people.

What choice will you make this time?

© Judith Barr, 2013

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