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How does Bin Laden’s death affect you? | True Nature Clinic

How does Bin Laden’s death affect you?

The news broke last night that  Bin Laden was killed. When I heard the official announcement by President Obama, I felt mostly sad and also grateful. Sad about the journey that began on September 11, 2001 and where it’s taken us and grateful for the risks our armed forces took to successfully complete their mission.

The Trauma of 9-11

The first indicator I received  about the 9-11 attacks was when I pulled into the parking lot of my acupuncture program and saw two normally reserved classmates crying and hugging. I assumed that it was a private matter and didn’t approach them to find out why they were crying. Once I walked into the campus building somebody approached me and asked me if I saw what was happening.

Classes were canceled and the rest of the day was a blur of television footage, news reports, phone calls and trepidation about the rest of the flights still in the air.  I was living far away in Boulder Colorado but still felt panicked. It was like the world was falling apart. Later that week I took a walk down Pearl Street, a normally bright pedestrian zone. The cloud of gloom hovering over everyone I encountered was tangible.

Loss is a part of every life

A couple of years ago, I experienced some big losses in my life which included both trauma and the death of a family member. I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like to have lost a loved one during the terrorist attacks of 9-11. However there is a deep part of me that strongly resonates.

During my personal losses, I was given unexpected and helpful advice from two people; my mother in law and one of my meditation instructors. Both experienced the big losses of being widowed at young ages and  both echoed the exact same words to me: “Let yourself grieve… just let yourself grieve”. They instructed me to create a regular time and place to let it out. That was one of the most helpful things I did.

Collective Wisdom Collective Grieving

I facilitate a study group about Buddhism and find that the participants bring in so many kernels of wisdom. One relayed to me what they learned from Pema Chodron  about the layers of feeling whenever strong emotions arise. The first being a hardening (anger, judgment), which covers over fear, which covers over sadness and beneath all of those layers is spaciousness.

These past ten years it seems that we have mostly been cycling through anger and fear sandwiched between thin layers of grief with no space. The first thing that I saw that related to  9-11 was authentic: two people crying and holding each other. Last night I felt that I could again touch that soft spot on the middle of this huge mess, the sadness of our  losses since this happened.

About the Blogger:

Rebecca Hindman L.Ac. provides Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal therapy and holistic health consultations to the community of Austin, Texas. To receive free information about Acupuncture in Austin visit www.TrueNatureClinic.com.

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One Response to “How does Bin Laden’s death affect you?”

  1. Deirdre 02. May, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    very well said Rebecca, thank you for posting~

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