grace & mercy

tonight i attended the onsite alumni monthly meeting. it is an event i look forward to every month. they are the people who get “it” & me. they are my community.

onsite is where i spent 30 days in their residential trauma treatment facility, milestones, to begin the process of recognizing & addressing the origins of my depression & anxiety.

but, let‘s go back to the meeting for a hot second. there were about 30 of us & we were treated by the phenomenal andrew krichels, to a “body works” session. (check out his website for more info). andrew was a most cherished leader during treatment, so tonight was a joyous reunion after two years away. during tonight’s meeting, andrew mentioned how well we were all working together as a community, then suddenly proclaims “community is the opposite of trauma.” what?!

with the state of our country, especially after the last weekend in #charlottesville, we need to show ourselves some grace & mercy right about now. it’s a phrase i learned in a 12-step meeting, specifically in reference to ourselves, which i had not considered previously. perhaps if we showed ourselves more of this, use kinder words/self talk, then it would become a natural pattern in our daily lives towards others.

people hold onto hatred & bigotry for one reason…fear. fear comes from the unknown, lack of education & misunderstanding. if you do not understand something, you fear it. so when andrew announced tonight “community is the opposite of trauma,” i was aghast. how had i missed this wonderful point of light previously? it makes complete sense.

when people feel love & belonging , they come together…in community. when they experience trauma, they pull away looking for something else to mask the pain & generally blame others for the situation. those people who spew hateful vitriol & threaten harm to others, they are in pain. i have seen it, first hand. these humans were not born hating, yet have suffered something so horrific at the hands of others, who have also suffered generation after generation. fear is a learned, intergenerational behavior.

this is where we must pay attention. “the butterfly effect” is the greatest example in describing how to begin. one small act of courage & kindness towards each person you encounter will bring about small change. change propels us all forward. if we remember everyone is fighting a hard battle, then healing will commence. small, positive changes = larger, positive outcome. grace & mercy.

“community is the opposite of trauma.”

who are your people, your tribe, your community? who are the ones who lift you up & sustain you. let’s build bigger communities where the goal is to show everyone grace & mercy. to whom will you show some tomorrow? here’s a thought…begin with you.

as always thank you for reading.


xo, PG