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Comfort, Hugs and Hope!

My Deepest Heartfelt Sympathy to All Directly and Indirectly

Touched byTragedy! 

Our hearts, our thoughts, our prayers, our tears are with the Newtown Community & Beyond!

Comfort, hugs and hope–a balsam to soothe the soul! What is balsam?

Balsam is a general term to describe an oily, resinous substance secreted by various plants and bushes. The fir, spruce and poplar are among balsamiferous trees. Balsamic oil is used medicinally and contains benzoic or cinnamic acid. It is also used as a perfume and is aromatic contrasted by a musty smell. It is applied to wounds! If you read ancient literature, you will come across references to the special healing properties of balsam.

Wounds…many are wounded and J’ai le coeur brise: heartbroken, mindbroken, crushed over the school massacre in Connecticut. Others are crushed and heartbroken by compounded tragedy that has touched their lives through the years. Many are mourning and in need of hugs, comforting words, hope…balsam.

“When I was burdened with worries, you comforted me and made me feel secure.”—PSALM 94:19, Contemporary English Version

What do you need? What can you give? Who can you help feel secure?

Can you choose to live in a manner that reflects your deep appreciation, respect and love for life?! Can you choose compassion? Who in your path can you reach with a kind word of encouragement?…can you say hello to a neighbor you may have previously ignored? Can you do an act of thoughtfulness for another breathing-fragile life today?? every day?? Can you choose unselfishness??

Every breath we take is a privilege not to be taken for granted! Let’s live in a manner that shows we respect other breathing-fragile life. Choosing to live in a negative, damaging, selfish manner destroys. Choosing to live in a positive, healing, helpful, selfless manner builds!:)

What can you help build today? Who can you help heal…by being kind, unselfish and forgiving?! Can you promote peace? Yes, You Can!…Thank You for promoting peace!:)

It will be easy for some to hate. Hate the horrific act. Hate the tragedy. Hate the violence…don’t glorify it or perpetuate it! Please, let’s all protect breathing-fragile life by self-examining our pattern of daily choices. Can we improve in showing love to our fellow beings?  Can we improve in our conversations of compassion? Can we make small choices reflecting big value for love of life/each other? Can we choose to speak the language of Agape love over the language of selfish hate?

Can you volunteer your time to help someone in need? Can you listen to someone pour out their broken heart? Can you offer someone practical assistance/help like a cup of comfort soup? You have a lot to give!:) Don’t underestimate your potential for unlimited compassion!

Creative Commons License photo credit: CasualCapture

The day after tragedy…

an opportunity to help others heal. Please, help mend the broken-hearted. When we help others and care for them, it takes our focus off ourselves and our own personal pain. Unselfish acts help heal the doer and the receiver!:) Even when we have no words to give, we can give a hug! We can listen and be there!

“Children who watch a lot of TV news tend to overestimate the prevalence of crime and may perceive the world to be a more dangerous place than it actually is, observes the Kaiser Family Foundation.”

Children interpret the news and events differently than adults. Small kids may think that a tragedy broadcast repeatedly may be actually happening repeatedly! Let’s not needlessly terrify kids…by repeatedly exposing them to tragedy they are not emotionally equipped to handle. Many adults may not be well-equipped to handle repeated exposure to the gruesome details of horrific events. Due to various factors, some may be especially sensitive to terrible news.

Let’s be discerning and thoughtful in how we communicate. Why subject yourself or others to damaging, repetitive news reports needlessly. Yes, we need to be aware of what’s happening. Yes, we need to be aware of ways we can help. Yes, we need to be aware of our personal emotional limitations and of those in our care! Staying safe may mean staying away from TV!  Experts and researchers help us appreciate that media can cause us to fear things that probably will NEVER happen to us.

Spending numerous hours/days/weeks glued in front of the TV taking in the full scope of negativity, violence and horror…isn’t healthy for anyone. Yes, we can offer help and support in “positive” ways that don’t damage ourselves or others needlessly. Use common sense in handling senseless events. Of course, it will take time to collect evidence and find some answers. However, is it “really” possible to make sense out of the senseless?! Can we use our time and energy in a more positive way…i.e helping others heal?

“Children ages 3-7 are more frightened by stories of natural disasters and accidents, whereas older children ages 8-12 are more scared by stories about crime and violence.” -Kaiser Family Foundation.

A couple months ago or so, i read a practical article: “Disturbing News Reports and your Children.”  Let me give You a brief summary of points i found valuable:

  1. PROTECT: Set limits of amount of exposure kids have to the news. Kids are not ignorant to current events. Even younger kids may hear or see more than we realize. Be alert to any signs of anxiety or fear that your child may display. Address their anxiety and help them cope.
  2.  EDUCATE: Watch the news with older kids/teens. Use this time as an opportunity to teach! Emphasize any positive aspects like relief efforts to help victims. Talk about ways you can reach out in your community to help those in need.
  3. REASSURE: Draw out your kids and their feelings. Comfort them and tell them you are there to protect them.

It’s important for all of us to stay balanced by maintaining a positive attitude and not being overly-consumed by the negative. Don’t forget that some reported calamities and natural disasters are relatively rare so, that’s what makes them newsworthy.

Please limit your kid/s’ exposure to the news, and help preserve some innocence. All children deserve a childhood. It’s so very tragic and very sad to an extreme degree that anyone would take a child’s life and/or their childhood!!

Parents have the responsibility to protect their kids’ childhood…they cannot expect anyone else to do it! Parents have the responsibility to set limits for their kids that protect them (i.e. disturbing TV/media/news watching/consuming among other things).

The day after…an opportunity for helping and healing…what did my family as well as other families do today? What did you do today?

This morning those of us who were able (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually) volunteered in our local community to reach out to our neighbors to help them, comfort them and show them we care. This afternoon a bunch of us: young, old, single, married, with kids or not, grandparents and others, got together for a Peaceful Picnic at a park on the water…we brought food, we shared, enjoyed fun games and non-competitive sports! We talked, we hugged, we laughed, we played…necessary steps in the process of healing and wellness…steps of hope.

Thank You for taking a moment of your precious time to read my post: Take care, be safe and choose compassion everyday, every minute!:)

Creative Commons License photo credit: emma keiger




Comfort, Hugs and Hope!

Joan Winifred

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APA Reference
Winifred, J. (2012). Comfort, Hugs and Hope!. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Dec 2012
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