Friday, January 8, 2010


People tell me they cry when they read my Penny's From Heaven: Stories of Healing book and when they read some of my blog entries.  But this morning I cried. I cried for the two comments posted on my "Seeking Comfort" entry. I cried for the tens of thousands of soldiers returning from a war to keep this country safe - a country where we may write what we think and feel - a country where we can turn on the faucet and have clean water - and find warmth on a cold day - and be offered love, not hate.

I want to tell the soldier that posted these comments as Theodore Roethke wrote, "In a dark time, the eye begins to see."  I want to tell them that it is only in darkness that the light will become visible.  But I wonder if this person will ever see the light....perhaps a glimpse now and then, but I wonder. 

I guess the resistence to the reality of horrors of war is human. Out of sight out of mind.  But I live with it, as I hear the soldiers talk in whispers and see the constant fear in their eyes.  You see there is a belief that by being around soldiers with PTSD, you will be impacted by it as well. I believe that.  I have nightmares.  We try to avoid the truth the nightmares bring to us.  We try to avoid the darkness of it all.  Feeling helpless in my case is traumatic.  When we want so desparately to try and help, to bring comfort, to bring solace, to bring experience and love to those who are imbedded in the reality of a situation most of us choose to not address, brings forfiture of our own peace for which these young men and women so bravely fought and endured a living hell.

To be frozen in fear is hell.

I want to offer this person the sound of peace and quiet and the absence of fear. I find that all I can offer is to care and listen and to take seriously their need to be understood.  So probe at the weak areas in your life that are missing this opportunity to do the same.  Listen, care, understand or at least try to.  Join me in taking responsibility for these young men and women who bear the invisible wounds of living through hell.

"It is impossible to overemphasize the immense need humans have to be really listened to, to be taken seriously, to be understood.  No one can develop freely in this world and find a full life without feeling understood by at least one other person.  Listen to the conversations of our world, between nations, as well as those between couples.  They are for the most part dialogues of the deaf."

Dr. Paul Tournier
Swiss Psychiatrist

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