How I Cope with 9/11 – by Danny Pettry

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Monday is 9/11.

It is the anniversary of the attack on the United States by four hijacked planes. Two went into the World Trade Center. One went into the Pentagon. The passengers on the fourth plan fought back and the plane crashed in Pennsylvania. It is hard to determine where that fourth plane was aiming for.

I get overwhelmed with emotions around 9/11. I often feel depressed dwelling on the past or anxious worrying if it will happen again. I use Radical Acceptance as a coping skill. I’m don’t like that it happened, but I radically accept that it did happen, it is in the past, and there is nothing I can do to change that.

How far in the past is 9/11?  I provide services for children and teens. None of the kids were alive in 2001 (when it happened). The teens were either not born or too young to remember what happened 16-years-ago.

The truth is: bad stuff happened.

And yet, as a self-identified Idealist/Healer (INFP personality), I want to see the best in all people. Of course, I’m not so idealistic that I’m blind to evil in the world. I’m fully aware of The Force (Star Wars reference) and that that the Dark Side exists. It is out there. And yet, like the yin-yang, the opposite of the dark side exists too. I strongly believe in the Light Side (a Star Wars reference) to the good in the world.

Disclaimer: I read metaphysical books and I believe in the force. Of course, my belief isn’t like the force like Star Wars, but I do believe there is some larger connection, like the force, at work in the universe. Scientists have discovered the connection. They call it Higgs boson. It is often referred to as the “God particle.”

Is it real? I have “faith.” Is there evidence? A group of 4,000 people who used meditation and prayer (during the summer of 1993 in Washington) argues that their work was the result of a 20% decrease in crime during that time.

Recreation therapists who are trained in Heart-rate variability (HRV) understand that our hearts radiate energy. Some recreation therapists claim that the practitioner (the recreation therapist) should be in a state of intentional heart-rate coherence when providing services for patient. Being in a a state of heart-rate incoherence can have negative impact on those around us.

WE, recreation therapists believe in the powerful and healing aspects of recreation and activity.

Some ideas for interventions:

  • Donate money to support a positive cause, like Red Cross
  • Do something good for someone else, for free
  • Volunteer to help a charity (by spending real time helping)
  • Collect items for a good-cause (a book drive)
  • Start a singing group (like Christmas carols)
  • Let another car have a parking space that you want
  • Say something nice to someone
  • Help an adversary (or a competitor)
  • Give someone a hug
  • Sending supplies to a nursing home
  • the list of ideas is endless
  • You. You’re creative. I feel confident you have many amazing ideas. Do it. Don’t wait. there time is never right. Do something good today. Start a domino effect. Start a Pay It Forward movement in your local area.

I’ll end this post with advice from The Beatles:

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