Friday, January 13, 2017

Social Media and PTSD

A friend just posted a request on Facebook that I feel is worth discussing.  He asked that people refrain from posting horrific pictures of abuse, war and other horrors because these images as well as words used in the discriptions can trigger serious symptoms in people who have suffered from PTSD.

I agree.  Why do we need to, for lack of a better word, terrorize others with such images or abusive, hateful language?  To be honest, I have blocked people who constantly show such horror on social media.  

My belief is we reap what we sow.  Therefore, let's sow seeds of love, understanding and acceptance.  

My dear, dear teacher/writer friend, Maryam Dilakian Passley wrote on her blog what she called the, Resistance Anthem.  I would like to share it with you all:

May everything I write this year be an act of rebellion. 

May my pen draw its ink from an ocean rising in fierce waves of collective resistance. 

May these waves come crashing down on everything and anything that threatens peace and justice. 
May we all roar until our voices come together into waves so fierce that they will sweep bigotry and tyranny out of all the spaces where they reside. 

May the fruits of our resistance be worthy of the righteousness of our struggle. 

May we see our country settle into a place that belongs to the people, even if all that is likely to be left at the end of a catastrophic storm are ruins and rubble. 

May we then build up, brick by brick, cementing together a home with walls resilient enough to keep away all beasts and monsters born of hate, and doors open wide enough to welcome all who come in peace and solidarity. 

I echo these thoughts.  We must join together and call others to stop acting mindlessly.  We must think about our actions and what ripples they send out into the world, for when they return, we don't want them to be tidal waves of hate! 

Let us send out Love, so that what returns to us are the soothing waves of Peace and Unity. Let us be fearless!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

My One Word for the New Year - Fearless

Lighting the Path (c) 2016 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

In the wee hours of this New Year, I was struggling to find My One Word for 2017. In the past, the word for the year jumped out at me long before the old year ended. This year...nothing.  Then, this morning, as I searched for my word, there it was on the first site I opened - Fearless!

Fearless -  to be without fear; bold or brave; intrepid. Easier said than done! How am I going to do this?  After all, the idea of My One Word is to find an adjective that you can meditate on, in order to personify it in your own life. Me, fearless??  Yikes!

So, I immediately began to meditate on this word. Who do I see as fearless? What makes them that way? What is a fearless act? 

I typed in fearless women, into Google. And, there she was. One of my all-time heroines, Rosa Parks. What made her fearless? She had had enough of being pushed aside because of her race. She was tired and wanted to keep her seat on the bus. She knew she could be arrested, or worse, but she was just too tired to kowtow to Jim Crow laws. Her quote, "I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free," says it all.

Other women jumped into my mind: 
  • Josephine Baker, the jazz singer, dancer and activist, was the only woman officially invited to speak to the crowd with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the dais at the March on Washington in 1963. 
  • Malala Yousafzai, the young girl who said, "I don't want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up." And, stand up she did! She has become an icon for women and girl activists, everywhere.
  • Frida Kahlo, the artist who never let tragedy stop her from creating. Frida was horribly injured in an accident, yet survived beyond the doctors' expectations. Her art shows her pain, but also her fearlessness. I love her quote, "Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"

The list goes on and on.  I realized I had many examples to follow; many women who had done extraordinary things in ordinary ways that made a huge difference in their world.  

Being fearless for me at this moment in time on this New Year's Day is to continue to believe that Love, Kindness, and Acceptance will prevail. Good people will continue to be good people. Shining my light, sharing my love and being the best "me" I can be will continue to be my goals this year. 

May we all face the future fearlessly!