We’ve got three days and nights between us and it now. Three days of conscious sadness, three nights (for those who slept) of subconscious processing of the incomprehensible, and we’re living our way through the fourth. This is how our psyches work; this is how we integrate truths into our reality. We don’t “get over” tragedies; we digest them because we have to, because we don’t have the option of rejecting them, of vomiting them out of our minds.
Sure, people try and sometimes succeed at kicking truths out of their conscious minds, exercising full denial, but the subconscious holds it all, and if we don’t let the conscious mind give the sub an assist, integration is delayed or distorted. We need to give this some, but not too much, conscious attention.
On Friday, when the news broke, I cautioned you to be selective in the amount and type of media coverage you would allow in. Not to callously ignore what happened, but to avoid immersing yourself in the breaking newsfeeds, or visualizing the scene, or putting yourself in their shoes. I recommend this still.
It’s not a failure of your human empathy to have a limit to how much you can receive, ingest, digest, and eventually integrate. If you want positive changes to come of this, you have to stop before you’re overwhelmed or you’ll deplete yourself of everything you have to contribute before you’ve had the chance.
So here on Day 4, I’m mindful of what happened. I’m reading headlines but not very many stories. And I’m finding support in music, a language loved and trusted by all parts of my mind. This song has been playing as I wrote this, and it’ll be on repeat for a while longer. It’s not about this or any specific event; it touches on a number of chronically tragic realities in our world, and it reiterates that we CAN do something to make it better, one relationship at a time. It’s one of my most reliable go-to tunes when I need to be uplifted.
Wishing you peace.