It is a fact that, when we humans are exposed to something that initially shocks us, this happens:
- We are at first appalled and disgusted by it
- We continue to see evidence of this shocking event, and it slowly becomes part of our lives
- We become used to it and may even come to embrace it
What a short slide it is from shock and horror to acceptance and inertia! It takes a great deal of effort to sustain that first shock, so to keep our sanity, we eventually get used to it. The reason that some things shock us is because they ARE shocking and they shake us to the core of our being.
What would it be like to endure an earthquake or tornado that ripped your home apart once a month? How would it be to step out of your car in a parking lot, close the door and have your car drop into a massive sinkhole–each week? What would happen if you kept on breaking the same arm over and over again? Would that become our new normal and could we get used to it?
We remember where we were and what we were doing when the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001. For us older folks, we remember where we were and what we were doing when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX on November 22, 1963. My parents never forgot December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Events such as these changed our lives forever. These events marked us and our country in ways we could never have predicted. They changed our view of ourselves, our thinking and our way of life. That’s what major events do.
So when terrible things become part of our lives, what do we do? Since we can’t predict the future and can’t tell what’s around the corner for us, all we can do is to go forward as prepared as we can be. When something initially shocks or horrifies us, it is well to keep hold of those emotions. They remind us that we must never become used to terrible things, but learn to act on how to avoid worrying about if/when/where they will happen.
This is trickier than it sounds, and it’s an issue with which I constantly have trouble. So many awful things happen and there is nothing I can do about them. It’s one thing when a friend or neighbor is sick; you take them a meal or two and ask what they need done and then do it. It is something else altogether when a nation falls under attack, a tsunami decimates a village, a bomb goes off in a city nearby, or there is a shooting in a high school.
When major events such as these happen, it hurts both my heart and spirit. We have all felt that helplessness in knowing that we have no power to make horrible things go away. These are the times when prayer, good wishes, Reiki and positive thoughts can make a difference. Positive energy is an unseen force that has a powerful effect. It may not stop terrible things from happening or erase them when they do, but they do have a definite effect on us.
I do not trivialize the horrific events—they are horrific. But I do know that in my own life that when positive, kind, loving energy goes out, it is transforming to the heart and mind. If all I can do when a neighbor loses a son to suicide is to take a loaf of homemade bread over and tell them how sorry I am, it matters. If all I can do when a friend loses a beloved pet is to send her a heartfelt note and let her know that she is not alone, it matters. If all I can do is to listen to someone who is sick and worried and hear them out, it matters.
It comes down to this: learn from the horror, but do not put all your energy into worrying about the horror. Keep as positive as possible to avoid your heart and soul from hurting as well as your mind. Send loving energy and prayer to those who need it. Lastly, create a “shield” in your mind that you will use to put up to block the negative energy that such events exude. Detail it in your mind; it can be a bubble of golden light, an actual metal shield, an iridescent wall of protection, etc. (My own shield is a bubble of bright rock crystal.) Most of all, remember that while your shield can block negative energy and darkness, it will always let in positive energy and light.
As for the ‘new normal’, it’s ok to be horrified. It’s not ok to ignore it. Be aware, and keep your shield handy.