I deal with physical injuries all of the time. Just like a physical injury, yesterday our country was affected emotionally and mentally by a coward who chose to murder an innocent man in cold blood and then attempt to do something horrible in the name of possibly nothing but stupid ideology. To be blunt, I’m happy he’s dead. I feel horrible for the family of the soldier who gave his life, and I feel horrible for the fact that one mentally disturbed person can change the feeling an entire country has towards safety. A lot of people are saying to just move on like nothing has happened and by not letting it affect us, we win the fight. But the reality is that it has already affected us, just like if one of my clients tears a muscle. There’s nothing we can do about that except to figure out how to deal with it and heal.
Driving into work today I was thinking about injuries. In the acute stage things hurt, which is a signal that something isn’t quite right with your body. In our society, obviously this disaffected person and others who create chaos in the name of a religious ideology have this symptom. Something isn’t quite right, whether it be their mental state, their background or just the fact that they don’t like normal society. And they lash out, which causes pain, sometimes on a large scale as happened yesterday. Sometimes it is on a smaller scale and we simply don’t hear as much about it because it only affects one or two people or a family, but the common symptom and result is emotional and mental pain. We cry out as a nation and clutch onto whatever area we feel is injured. It consumes us when we sleep. We cant ignore it because it is everywhere.
Then the acute stage is done, things calm down a bit and the evaluation process begins. As with injuries, the first reaction is full defense mode. We shore everything up just like the body does when it creates inflammation around an injury. We close doors, we cordon off areas, we stay home. We’re afraid that things might get worse. This is a normal reaction. We stop moving. It takes times for that inflammation to fully set in and for someone to realize what has really happened. We also try to diagnose what happened and why. It;s really easy for us to claim a cause, but fundamentally we just don’t know 100% what created the situation. Was it the chicken or the egg? Did that one jump that led to the trauma create the problem by itself, or did it take place over a period of months? We might never know. But we can look into it and look back and try to figure it out, because that’s what is going to help us figure out the healing strategy.
The next step is to figure out what to do about it, just like the state our city and society is in today after the event took place. For a lot of people with injuries, they live with it for a while or ignore it, which is often the worst thing they can do. It certainly doesn’t solve the problem and means that the person has to live with the effects of what happened, which can change how they move and think about their day to day life. Or even worse, they try to go about things exactly like they did previously expecting a different result or for that pain to not happen again. They think they are invulnerable. Nobody is. In order to heal, we need to take steps to help ourselves.
Healing takes a proper strategy towards two things. The first is to address the situation and deal with the area that was affected. For us in Canada, this means that we have to acknowledge that there are people in our society who obviously have enough issues that they decide to commit crime under the flag of hatred. They are out there, and there’s no question about that. However, we also have to realize that the actions of a few misguided people doesn’t represent a whole segment of our society. Just like if I perform a quick movement slightly wrong and cause myself to injure my back, it doesn’t mean that my whole spine is broken. It doesn’t mean that you have to suddenly put yourself in a full body cast and not move for six weeks. While it may feel that way temporarily, the simple fact is that it isn’t the whole picture. One person committing an act doesn’t mean that a whole group is bad, just like one exercise causing pain doesn’t mean that a machine is bad or good. It just wasn’t the right application. For some reason this person reacted differently to the way we live than what a normal person would. This doesn’t mean that a whole group thinks the same way or would react the same way.
The second part of the healing process is making sure that it doesn’t happen again. In the strength world we apply force to an area because we know that once it heals, it will heal stronger than before. Our society is the same way. Through the actions that we take from now on our city and country will be stronger because we’re finally going to apply things in a way that (hopefully) deal with the actual problem, not just the symptom. I’m not claiming at all to know what that is, but whatever it might be the process of healing remains the same. Maybe it is a new policy towards something, maybe it is increased vigilance towards certain movements and maybe it is both. The point is that we can heal, and once we heal we will be stronger than we were before. That’s certain.
So in my opinion here’s what we can do, just like I would do with a client. Deal with the acute symptoms, create a strategy, and what is most important is making sure that this doesn’t happen again. Life in general should be a continuous learning process, and we as a society can learn from this, as horrible as it sounds. Whatever your strategy is for dealing with this pain that we have had inflicted upon us, don’t ignore it and just move on with your life. Make sure that you evaluate and we can all take steps to make sure that this doesn’t happen to us again. That’s what will lead to true recovery as a nation.
Thank you to our military personnel who sacrifice all the time in the name of our country.