Our hearts go out to those directly hit by the tragedy on Marathon Monday in Boston.
Traumatic events like this remind us of how fragile we are.
In the face of tragedies like that on Monday, our only shelter can sometimes be in the arms of each other.
Let’s face it
Life is traumatic. It can be horrible for some beyond belief.
In my years as a psychologist, I have heard about things that people have gone through that are beyond my imagination.
Sometimes I don’t know how people survive. How is the family of the 8 year old kid who died going to be able to see another day?
I honestly don’t know.
I do know that people who get through trauma the best have at least one safe and supportive person in their lives.
There is more and more evidence demonstrating that
we are wired to connect and do best when connected to each other.
In the case of what happened on Monday, I’m not sure if anything can demonstrate that more than the strangers who ran head on into the explosion to help the victims.
Hopefully you have many safe and supportive people in your life.
Hopefully one of these safe and supportive people is your partner.
And if not, perhaps this tragedy can be a wake up call for you.
Life is short.
What happened on Monday reminds us of that.
You may say, “Someday I’ll start taking steps toward my dream.” ”Someday I’ll bring up that difficult issue.” ”Someday we’ll go to couples therapy and work on our relationship.”
Someday isn’t a day of the week.
As long as you keep putting off what you need to do for you, you are putting off the life of your dreams.
Let this tragedy be a reminder that you only live once, your time here is limited, and no one is going create your best life for you.
That also goes for your relationship.
It’s up to you.
If your relationships isn’t a source of comfort and safety, you have a problem.
If your partner isn’t a mirror that helps you see yourself for the amazing and limitless person that you are, you are missing out.
I’m not saying that you need to trade your partner in for someone new.
I am saying that you need to take action to create your best relationship.
You deserve it.
You need it.
And in this crazy world where people set bombs off at the end of marathons, we could all blow to pieces at any minute.
There will be more tragedy.
That is a guarantee.
We can’t predict how close to home it will hit.
We can predict, however, that if you are safely and securely connected to someone, you are going to be better off, tragedy or no tragedy.
And if your loved is destroyed and you survive, you are going to be better off for having had a better relationship with them. People securely connected to their partners fare much better after the loss of their loved ones than those who had a more difficult relationship.
So don’t be afraid.
Or, better yet, if you are afraid, embrace your fear and walk into it so that you can grow.
The only time is now.
Don’t put your best life and your best relationship off any longer.
Talk to your partner and do something about it today.
May this crisis in Boston be an opportunity for all of us to embrace and make the most of our lives, for they could blow up in smoke any minute.
Let’s go down with as little regrets as possible.
“One can appreciate & celebrate each moment — there’s nothing more sacred. There’s nothing more vast or absolute. In fact, there’s nothing more!”
― Pema Chödrön
Cheers to your best relationship,
P.S. If you were impacted by this tragedy, here are some tips for coping:
- Everyone deals with trauma in their own way, there is no right way to experience trauma.
- Sometimes people just need to talk. If this is you, seek supportive people out who will hear you out and won’t push your buttons. In other words, open up to the right people, you know who they are. If this is a loved one, just listen. No need to offer advice on how to fix things unless they’re asking, but just listen and be supportive.
- Shut the TV off. You don’t need to see it. If you have kids, really shut it off.
- If you have kids, let them talk about their experience of what happened. Help them feel safe and let them know you love them. Like Mr. Rogers says, focus on the helpers.
The American Psychological Association offers more tips for coping with traumatic events here.