Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Anniversary of 9/11/01 -- Is it really 8 years?

Hijacked airplanes 8 years ago set in motion a set of losses that many feel are still unresolved.  The nation, and many of us as individuals, still face a mourning process.   The subsequent years following the attacks produced a number of unforeseen consequences that still plague the nation. And actually many of the losses occurred after that singular day.  For example, a number of New York's firefighters died prematurely because of exposure to toxins at Ground Zero.  The two wars in the Middle East are still taking an awful toll on military and civilians alike.

For us as individuals, the grief work to process losses is highly personal, depending on the nature of our involvement in the actual events of 9/11. For us collectively, losses include the lives of thousands of people, our sense of geographical invulnerability, trust in the government --specifically the intelligence and military communities-- to keep us safe, and finally a great deal of the national "treasure."

In order to process loss we must go through certain stages of predominant feelings arising from grief.  Classic theory lists shock, denial, anger, bargaining, confusion, sadness and finally acceptance and moving on.  And an argument can be made that the country must pass through those same stages in order to heal.  We are not there yet.  And that is because we have experienced so many losses as citizens and groups along the way that we continue to cycle back through the grief stages with each new major loss.  And here we are left with unresolved losses that plague us.

Anniversaries associated with loss inevitably bring up other unresolved grief issues in each of us.  For me it is primarily the loss of my mom just prior to last Christmas.  But we also suffered losses as citizens: thousands of members of the military and civilians have given their lives these last 8 years.  As citizens we are enduring the loss of privacy and civil liberties protection,  the loss of billions of tax dollars, a recalcitrant recession, the loss of old alliances with other nations, and also the loss of bipartisanship within our own political system.

On this day, September 11, 2009, Democrats have yet to let go of certain losses and move on.  Those might include: the loss of the 2004 election, the loss of a budget surplus, and the loss of a predictable "loyal opposition."  Republicans have yet to let go of the loss of the 2006 and 2008 elections, the loss of their moderate wing, and the loss of control of Congress and the administration.  Democrats are in the bargaining stage regarding bipartisanship, and the denial stage regarding the budget and civil liberties.  In some ways Congressional leaders still seem to be in shock that  Democrats have the majority and the White House.  And now they mourn the loss of Senator Kennedy. Republicans are now stuck with recycling through denial and anger, with no wish to bargain with the opposition.  I see no signs of sadness and moving on to acceptance for any of them. except the almost entirely absent Moderates now trying to rebuild their lives .

What does this thesis have to do with 9/11?  The nation is in denial about Afghanistan, though that is changing.  The country is angry with Wall Street, who let us down, but not yet willing to get out of denial and pass new regulations or restore a fair tax level for the wealthiest citizens.  And leaders are confused about adhering to the rule of law and enforcing accountability for wrong doing.  We lost a lot these 8 years and we have not yet recovered.  But we all need to feel the sadness, get into acceptance, let go and move on.  It is the only path to national health.


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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.