Remembering where we have been and what we have been through is valuable. It can teach us things from a perspective that we didn't have before, but in order to heal and apply those lessons we must not allow ourselves to be re-traumatized over and over again.
Honoring our experiences and those of our loved ones, service members, firefighters, police officers, and the many others who remember that day is an important part of our country's culture, history, ,resolve, and healing. It is important that we always honor each other for the resolve that was shown that day and ever after. We must also teach the generations to come what that day meant and how it changed the world we know.
If you are someone who was immediately and deeply impacted by that day, know that it's okay to not read the papers or turn on the television. You must care for you in the best way possible and sometimes the media coverage, although with or without good intention, can be re-traumatizing. It does not mean that you don't care or that you don't honor the events of that day, but it does mean that you've been through enough and you can quietly show your reverance for that day in a way that is personal to you.
There are many local and national events that take place for the public to show their reverance for those that were lost and those that have passed fighting for our safety, but for those who that loss was personal, it can be difficult to attend those kinds of events.
Remember that our nervous system does not have different departments for fear. Stress chemicals are stress chemicals. The brain doesn't compartmentalize fear. Watching the events of that day again on television can bring up those very same feelings you had on that day 15 years ago because the fears rise and the same stress chemicals that operated then, now operate in much the same way today. It's important to be kind to yourself and allow healing to take place in a way that feels best for you. Know that you are never alone and if you need someone to be with you, reach out.
Photo by Janise Witt Photography