A word from Judy Gringorten, Director of PTCNY
I decided to write a short introductory paragraph on the piece below written by PTCNY Susan Pinco. Sue is a frequent contributor to our articles page. But this piece is different. In this essay she is writing about her personal thoughts in regard to the stress that exists in our current day to day life, both from the perspective of her work with clients and as a reflection of her own inner thoughts and feelings. It is touching and well-written. I believe many of us can absolutely relate to what she has so eloquently said.
We welcome you to comment on Susan's essay in the Comments section below.
It seems that each day brings a new assault to our senses. Regardless of where you sit on the political divide, the news is filled with upsetting and alienating reports. There is no refuge except in the caring and attention we can offer others. One person at a time. This is the only way to dilute the caustic atmosphere that we find ourselves in, where what is viscerally right can be so diametrically opposed to what is right for another; where people at the margins of our society take up arms and kill or maim their fellow man whom they dehumanize and demonize.
As I write this I feel compelled to share that I am writing this not only because it touches my life personally, but also because it has shaken so many of my patients and friends. This saddens me to the core.
I'm a white woman of privilege and as such I can 'pass'. I can, if I desire, turn off the TV, stop reading the news and be relatively untouched by the fear and anger that permeates so much of daily existence. What I do instead is work with my patients to make sense of their increased anxiety, fear and reactivity which are normal reactions to this incendiary world that we are living in. In this process, this naming and recognizing, this connecting with compassion to the parts of themselves that are struggling, we can make space for healing. We can accept that sometimes not being ok is ok. We can find ways to 'change the channel' inside of us and focus on what is nourishing in our lives.
For now it is one breath at a time, one heart beat at a time; looking for ways to express kindness and connection, one person at a time, one smile at a time.