Tuesday night my partner, Donna, and I began our group counseling session with a guided imagery that we have done many times before. It is called "Self-identification". It is too involved to discuss completely here, but part of it guides the participants to realize that "you have a body, but you are not your body" and "you have a mind but you are not your mind" and "you have emotions but you are not your emotions". If we had an hour to talk, it would have much more meaning but you probably can see the direction. Many people define themselves by their bodies--either positively or negatively. Likewise, many rely on intellect and reasoning to portray to others who they are. And, you guessed it, emotions control the world of many as well. How we see and define ourselves largely dictates the choices and directions of our lives. There are many exceptions but the generality is that females lean toward and embrace emotions more and males value logic and rationality. I clearly fit the norm in this way, normally operating from a logical perspective and having great difficulty exhibiting patience with the highly emotional. There are times, though, when emotions drive my thoughts and actions. Today as I drove two hours each way to attend the funeral of a friend's father and listened to commentary on the 9/11/01 attacks, I cried some. Not for the recent death. The end of suffering from cancer was a relief to the deceased and all his family. Not for the loss of time when other, more fun things were planned. What better use of time than to hug a friend and say "I love you" when that is exactly what is needed? Some of the tears were for people who died on THAT day. It makes me very sad and very angry to think of the days, years, and dollars spent in planning to murder so many in order to be heard. This picture from my daughter, Laura's blog (http://www.lauragoins.blogspot.com/) at this time last year adds another deminsion to the emotions.
Laura is the one kneeling on the right with friends from the church youth group as they pose on top of the World Trade Center. No, this was not 9/10/01 or anything that dramatic--it was 5 years earlier. But it could have been THE day. Somebody was headed there THAT day. Thousands were. Thousands were there. Thousands died. So the possibilities and the realities bring the tears almost to the surface. Then I think about where we are now and all that has transpired since THE day seven years ago. I see that we are a nation given to group-think that reacts based on emotion more than reason. Some political operatives feed information and puppets who think they are "independent thinkers" make accusations that the president of the United States blew up the World Trade Center. What??? Rosie says fire can't melt steel. What??? We take actions to prevent these terrible things from ripping apart other families and those who proclaim tolerance as the holy grail are suddenly intolerant of law enforcement agencies sharing information and actions that require professional, career soldiers to actually fight. It is almost as if half the country does not believe that evil people really lived among us for years and learned from our flight schools how to fly our planes filled with our families into our buildings, killings passengers, building occupants, passersby, and brave public workers who attempted to save all they could. Go back and look at that picture again. The buildings really existed. They are not there now. This is not a movie. And as we stand just weeks from electing the next president of the USA, the general consensus--if you believe the print and televised media--is that the evil ones are George Bush, oil company executives, and Christian conservatives. Actually, it is the "Christian" part that causes so many to hate President Bush. Is he eloquent? No. Is he suave? No. But how could so many hate him for those things? That is not it. They hate him because he will not give a wink and a nod to whatever lifestyle you choose like the president before him and at least one candidate that hopes to follow him. I plan to share my thoughts about the election in a separate post so I will not go further about that now. Obviously, it concerns me that there is widespread resentment for using our national defense to keep the bully out of our backyard. If I were coming into your yard and harming your child--or even your DOG--you would not tolerate it. You would not hesitate to call the police and insist that actions be taken to prevent my return. The irony is that those who most oppose attacking those responsible (as best we can identify and find them) are bothered by Christians who shine a light on sinful lifestyles. These who oppose the actions that have been taken fail to realize that their actions are leading us toward becoming a Muslim country that would cause survivors to remember the good old days of tolerance.