Last week on September 11th, I was reading a blog post by Lissa Rankin with the same heading. It got me thinking, both about all of the changes in my life since that date that we will never forget, but also about the lessons that I have learned as a result of that day.
I remember standing in a conference room at work near Boston, staring in awe at the television, not really understanding what I was seeing. I remember thinking that I had been on that flight from Boston a few months earlier. I remember wanting to reach out to my boyfriend for reassurance that there was still good in the world. I remember feeling numb for days and feeling like the world had tipped upside-down.
Since that fated day, and because of it, I’ve learned so many lessons.
It’s important to let go of things that don’t serve you. I’ve let go of a lot in the last ten years: the anger from my childhood, unrealized dreams, unhealthy relationships and a long list of things that I thought I should do. Anger and hatred breed more of the same and aren’t healthy. While these feelings may be unavoidable in small doses, I can choose to let them go. Instead, focusing my energy on loving myself and being true to myself has served me well.
Focus on the Positive
Look at all of the amazing things that people do in the face of a tragedy: post-September 11, earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in Japan and so many countless other natural and unnatural disasters. People have banded together to face the aftermath. People have a beautiful and giving side as well, and it’s challenging times that remind us of that.
Importance of Connection
I felt like my life was invaded by monsters on September 11, 2001. The news portrayed such horrific images that it was hard to close my eyes, as they were all I could see. It was my connection with other people that kept me grounded in reality and in the importance of the wonderful people in my life, allowing me to lean when I needed it. Be sure to tell people you love them frequency. It’s so important to live in the moment and be grateful for those around us.
Drop in the Pool
Have you ever noticed something when you see someone laugh, a really deep, infectious laugh that you feel the impulse to smile? A small drop of positive energy is like a drop into a pond, and can cause ripples that continue to spread out to others. We can choose to spread positive to those around us. This is something I thing about every day, in terms of how I influence others around me.
The Big Stones
My priority has always been on doing good, helping others and my relationships with friends and family. Yet, my focus was always on my job. I can’t change decisions I’ve made in the past, but I can certainly consider the decisions before me to ensure that they align with the things that are most important to me.
The past cannot be undone, much as we may wish we could. I think the best way that we can pay homage to the tragedy of September 11th is to do better: be kind, be grateful, be forgiving. I think it’s important to learn from difficult and painful experiences, and to put good out there to create more of the same.