One year after the Newtown shootings the question “Could it happen again?” has been answered. Twenty-five times, guns have been used to kill or maim in schools and colleges across the United States.
We wonder about the signs that might have warned of this violence. We think about the fragile sense of one’s own being and body that could have a boy taking out a gun as an extension of his powerlessness and aiming it at another or pointing it at himself.
As a therapist, I work with teens and young adults. Each has individual brilliance and many have anxiety.
As a young person myself, I was something of a “TV addict.” I used the inner haze created by the TV as an electronic boundary to separate me from many things — anxiety over my mother’s depression, the pressure of being the eldest son in a family forced by violence against Jews to immigrate to the U.S, and the high expectation of my parents for achievement that would reflect well in the world.
A few weeks ago, I taught basic meditation and body awareness as part of a stress reduction day at a local high school. The quick 30-minute workshop (perhaps all the time that could be spared) was packed and I watched the discomfort as I told these students to turn off their cell phones. Yet once they were moving, stretching, reaching for the sky and getting grounded into breath and body, I could feel the humanity in the room. More important, these young people could probably feel themselves and some may have even sensed a connection to something greater.
But let’s not kid ourselves. This is a world where personal imbalance and violence may always exist. It is also true that no parent, teacher, family member or healer can fully protect those we care for from harm. Offering opportunities to interrupt self-perpetuating cycles of addictive activity in a world that is changing too fast and too hard for some will not save every young person we might hope.
Still, we, and our loved ones, following our example, can stop for a moment. We can take care of ourselves.
So I ask myself as you may, what is one action I can take today to promote healing, knowing that all we may have is this precious nugget of time?
The answer may be to reach inside for a second and ask for help. Most often that’s what we need to do, to know what to do.
Neal H. Brodsky is a holistic psychotherapist licensed in Marriage & Family Therapy who has offices in Fairfield County, Connecticut and Manhattan. He also supports young adults online via Skype and by phone through Core Energetics, a process where the focus is energizing the body, mind, spirit and emotions toward life-affirming goals that can be actualized in the world.
In addition, Neal serves couples and families as a co-therapist together with his wife Judy Gotlieb, LMFT. Contact him at 203-644-3960 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The original article to which this is the second yearly addendum, “Finding the Lost Boys” was published in the November 2012 edition of The East Coast Sandplay Journal. It can be found on Neal and Judy’s website at: http://www.lovelifecounseling.com/Articles.en.html
You can check out Neal’s website at http://www.nealbrodsky.com