In lieu of going postal

Emotional baggage gets formed whenever we experience a tragic loss. There appears to be no other narrative than a victim story that tells us how powerless, helpless and persecuted "we really are". The painful separation from what was once ours gives us a hot button issue. We get easily provoked by reminders of our loss that stirs up the ache in an instant. We then retaliate by "acting out" our frustrations and taking them out on others. The shootings last week in two places I've lived: Binghamton New York and Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, may prove to be the preview of many more people "going postal" during this recession.

The global recession is giving our planet a massive, worldwide production of emotional baggage. Staggering numbers of respectable, reliable citizens are losing:
  • their cash flow from employment, investments or their own business sales
  • their ability to make payments and to keep current on debt obligations
  • their possessions forfeited in a house foreclosure or consumer debt repossession
  • their protections from theft, criminal assault, gun violence
  • their resale value on vehicles and mortgaged properties
  • their equity invested in real estate, stocks, or mutual funds
  • their established credit ratings and access to future leverage
  • their ability to attend pricey social engagements and sporting events
  • their reputation, control of rumors, freedom from sneering by others
  • their self respect, identification with success, pride in accomplishments

With so much being lost by so many people, negative emotions are stewing at a grand scale. Thousands of people are seething with resentments, hatreds, vengeance and callousness. Their abilities to keep a lid on their frustrations may be getting compromised by deteriorating situations and a growing consensus among victim stories.

If this problem gets alleviated before it explodes, the baggage needs to be resolved all over the planet. The outlook on the tragic losses needs to transition FROM "I cannot reconsider, change my outlook, rethink my reactions, move beyond, or learn from the losses" TO:
  • "I can forgive others and let go of my grudges over what happened"
  • "I can take this as an opportunity to outgrow my previous ambitions and ideals"
  • "I can stop commiserating with those who share my misfortune and victim stances"
  • "I can revise my story of what happened to include some purpose, lessons and empathy for others"
  • "I can beware of the dangers of becoming paranoid, totally risk averse and withdrawn"
  • "I can get that seething rage of out my system in ways that are harmless to others and myself"
  • "I can help some others out of their predicaments while I have time on my hands"

Whenever we get to the other side of a painful setback, our tragic loss is no longer the boss of our lives. We take control of our conduct in ways that change what we're feeling. We find new ways to respond to the challenges and think about other people. We access our human intelligence while others are behaving badly again.

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