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Processing Paris (of peace, war and people)

London graphic artist Jean Julian designed this simple, powerful image, which is now being used by people all over the world to express their support and prayers for Paris. (image courtesy of Jean Julian's Twitter account).
London graphic artist Jean Julian designed this simple, powerful image, which is now being used by people all over the world to express their support and prayers for Paris. (image courtesy of Jean Julian’s Twitter account).

…article excerpted from Processing Paris on The Huffington Post.

I woke up on Saturday, November 14, to my usual laundry list of worries.

Should I color my grey roots today or wait until tomorrow? 

I hope I can speed-read those two library books before I get a “late” notice….again.

I wonder how close (far away) I am from making rent this month.

I’d better take Malti outside right away this morning in case it starts to rain.

Then, while casually browsing Facebook, I saw this phrase:

“Terror in Paris.”

I won’t lie – reading those words, it felt like watching the Twin Towers all over again, just in somebody else’s country this time.

Then I tumbled right into that empty-headed, open-souled, weightless and totally safe space inside that is always waiting for me – for just such times as these.

And then I read, and watched, and read some more and watched some more, trying to put at least a few reassuring pieces together before starting my day in earnest.

In the days that have followed, no such reassuring pieces have yet presented themselves. Instead, I have continued to wake up first into the shock, then into the pain, then into the tumbling-into-my-safe-space that helps me haul my legs over the side of the bed without wrestling too long or loudly with thoughts like, “why bother?”

I had met a friend for coffee later that same Saturday, and she said, “I just think this is how it’s going to be from now on – terror and more terror and more terror all over the world.”

I couldn’t really argue, but I didn’t want to agree.

I felt a little better after my boyfriend and I had a long talk, but only because we dissected human choice to the point where life itself began to feel like the ultimate inscrutable Zen koan – illuminating to the Dalai Lama perhaps, but certainly not to the likes of us.

Then I saw a video on the news where the terrorists were saying they have plenty more terror planned and that it includes us Americans.

And I went right back to being “here but not here” and thanking my lucky stars for wonderful lifelong coping strategies like dissociation…..to read the full article CLICK HERE

Today’s Takeaway: What has it been like for you – processing the events in Paris? Have you uncovered any insights or inspirations that have given you strength and hope? Are you feeling a lot of pain or anger or hate or fear, and, if so, what do you think you need to be able to move forward without taking it all with you? I would love to hear your insights and experiences!

Processing Paris (of peace, war and people)


Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering. http://www.loveandfeathersandshells.com http://www.shannoncutts.com


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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2015). Processing Paris (of peace, war and people). Psych Central. Retrieved on June 24, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mentoring-recovery/2015/11/processing-paris-of-peace-war-and-people/

 

Last updated: 22 Nov 2015
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