Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Countdown to Boston: Have Courage and Be Kind

The Mass. Resiliency Center posted this on their Facebook page the other day:

With the jury reaching a verdict this week in the on-going marathon bombing trial and the anniversary coming up, we at the Resiliency Center are aware of the fact that these are significant moments which may provoke a spectrum of emotions, some of which may be challenging. Be patient and kind with yourself as you go through this time.

Please know that we at the Resiliency Center are thinking of you and we are available for support.

There's a wonderful line from the new Cinderella movie. Before Cinderella's mother dies, she says to her, I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer, "Have courage and be kind."

Last week I was blessed to attend an event at Old South Church sponsored by the Resiliency Center. There were two workshops being offered: Psychological First Aid and Psychological Strategies for Runners. I attended the workshop on Psychological First Aid with Dr. Kermit Crawford

He talked about the ministry of presence and that you don't have to have a Ph.D. to administer psychological first aid following a traumatic event. He talked about how his grandmother who only had a 3rd grade education, could make you feel better no matter what happened by patting your hand and saying, "It's all going to be all right sugar."

Kindness and being there for each other provides powerful healing among the survivor community.

Until recently, I didn't consider myself a member of the survivor community because we did not sustain any physical injuries that day. Both my husband and I were experiencing an anniversary reaction yet were not aware of it until I attended this event last Wednesday. It was Divine intervention because Tom and I were struggling and were unable to see what was happening until I heard Dr. Crawford speak about invisible injuries and provided education about a human response to an abnormal situation. Now one would think that being a social worker trained in trauma I would have known all of this and I knew it but Tom and I just couldn't figure our way out of what was happening. I told Dr. Crawford he was heaven sent. Tom and I are now practicing kindness and allowing for the full range of emotions to emerge so we can heal.

What a blessing to hear the stories of courage from Lynn, Scott and Dave and to hear Dave McGillivray say that everyone in the room was a hero.

Those of us who lived through that day here in Boston and the events that followed with lock down are all heroes. We survived. We are resilient. We did not let darkness win. We have become family and have shown ourselves and the world that what it takes to be Boston Strong is to have courage and be kind.

Here is an article about Invisible Injuries posted by the Associated Press.

Tomorrow we gather for One Boston Day to honor, to commemorate and to continue to move forward in healing and wellness.

Together we are Boston Stronger.

Journey well!

My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.

When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.

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