In the News: Alabama

Tracy Hannah reacts after returning to her house for the first time since a tornado swept through the Alberta community near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, April 29, 2011. Credit: Reuters/Marvin Gentry

Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee are among the Midwestern states that were devastated two days ago when tornadoes, unlike any seen in the past 40 years, touched down, changing many lives forever.

The weather has become another personality that we must deal with in our daily lives. It is like living with someone with whom we have to walk on eggshells. Not really knowing what to expect or when, and then being ill prepared to cope with its aftermath.

It is impossible to know how to handle a situation that you have never been in before. You are faced with a journey that you have not asked to partake in, yet, in being forced upon you, you are left to handle the devastation.

In the Dark Night of the Soul, the journey is forced on you. What is curious, however, is that throughout time those who live to tell about their journey, are indeed survivors. As survivors, they carry on. They grow, move ahead and create new lives, new relationships and new homes. The homes they once knew no longer exist, yet the stability that that home gave is relied upon as the foundation to build again.

The journey begins in its infancy from the moment the eyes take in what has occurred. It gets played over and over again in the minds eye, like a movie that won’t shut off. Denial and shock, walking hand in hand, create a deep sense of exhaustion, sometimes exhilaration, and sometimes just numbness, It is different for everyone. This is the way for the mind and the psyche to cope with overwhelming feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, and disillusionment.

Know that this is a process. It will take time to rebuild the real homes and the metaphorical ones. Reach out. Don’t hold in the emotions and bury them. Being strong does not mean being without an emotional outlet. It is good to cry, to scream, to find quiet and to share.

A collective is stronger than one. Collective grief when given a voice, can collectively heal! Strength will be found where none was known to exist.

Collective intention for healing is important. Anyone who reads this, please pass on healing thoughts for those who have survived these tornadoes.

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