Cheryl Pappas


Archive for April, 2013

Boston and Terror: Love is the Answer

Friday, April 19th, 2013

We are traumatized as terror unfolds from the Boston bombings and the murders at MIT.

Our minds are full of horrific images, as we feel more and more fearful and out of control.

What do we do and how do we talk to ourselves during this traumatic time?

The quickest, most effective way out of fear is to turn to love.

Actively loving knocks fear right out of our heads.

Our hearts are instantly softened by love.

It may sound simplistic or corny, but love is the answer.

What does this mean, to turn to love?

Call your friends to tell them you love them.

Love yourself by turning to things that soothe you.

Love means right now turning away from televised pictures and discussions of terror.

Watching the pictures of blood that were caused by hate is the opposite of what we need now.

We know what happened and we won’t forget.

We deserve and need to love ourselves through the trauma.

Do the things that soothe you.

Put on music you love that touches your heart.

Say sweet things about yourself out loud.

Dare to feel silly in this way, knowing this is the love you need from yourself.

Focus on love.

Who do you love?

Write love letters to those who are in your heart.

Write yourself a love letter.

Love is the immediate antidote to the pain in our hearts.

It is a medicine far more powerful than any poisoned daggers and actions of hate.

It is the only powerful weapon that conquers and cleanses and can’t be destroyed.

The cleansing power of love destroys hate, though it doesn’t stop hate from existing.

This is true, although a puzzle for us to understand.

Love is user-friendly, for it naturally comes from inside of you.

Rather than participate in fear conversations about how the world is unsafe, talk about love.

In the words of Carole King, “Only Love is Real”.

The chorus of her song has a provocative lyric following “only love is real” with “everything else illusion”…

This is impossible to comprehend or believe right now, in the midst of acts of real violence.

Yet there is no doubt that “love is real” because if love wasn’t real, it would have no impact nor would it have the instant healing power that it does.

Practice love right now, and feel how soothing love is.

You deserve to be soothed and that is not at all the same thing as being in denial.

You deserve to be healed by love and to feel love.

Right now.

What Are We Adults Telling Ourselves About Boston?

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

The heavy impact of the Boston bomb attack terror is weighing rightfully on us.

It surely is cause for reflection, the need for urgent waking up to the possible continued existence of terrorist activity here in the so-called “homeland” of America, and legitimate cause for great concern.

The media daily news programs present all manner of counselors to advise dialogue for parents to calm children about the horrors in Boston.

What about the adults?

There is an unspoken assumption in America that adults have the wherewithal to emotionally take on the unspeakable violence of the day.

We are instructed to soothe the children; we being stalwart leaders in emotional stability.


It is my experience privately in my office as well as out on the streets that adults routinely are revealed to be children in large bodies.

Everything from driving behaviors to political name-calling to skirmishes in grocery stores tells the same story.

The existence of “adult” by the old definition of synonymity with maturity, is a dead reality in this era of acting out.

Further, I must emphasize that the “children” of advanced ages are abandoned children.

Abandoned by a society that demands an emotional intelligence that mostly doesn’t exist and is no longer socially encouraged.

Yet, these same so-called adults are called upon to emotionally leap to the fore when terror strikes.

Ordered to lead the children, in a big way, these adults come up empty and befuddled.

So I ask now: who is caring for the adults, when they, like the children, have not learned to care for themselves?

In making this point, I do not mean to coddle or excuse the abovementioned half-baked emotional development of people my age and older.

Nor am I side-stepping personal responsibility for our own maturity.

I am saying that the blocked and blind(adults) are expected to lead the undefended(children).

I emphatically also am saying that, popular assumptions aside, television lifestyle coaches and gurus do not pierce the heart of any urgent human matter enough to serve as leaders who provide clarity or guidance in how we grow up internally.

But that’s a matter for another discussion.

The complicated challenges of living an adult life must be sold to Americans and that is not on anyone’s media agenda.

Television is show business, and show business is not about building an inner core of psychological strength.

It is up to the individual, yet the question today is in neon: how to motivate people to grow up?

Or as Cher demanded with a slap on the face to Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck, “Snap out of it!”

Not an easy command. It is an unhappy fact that just because a birth date falls on an advanced year does not a wisdom figure make.

We are then back to the question of how we are talking to ourselves as adults about Boston.

Are we glued to the bloody visual news loops?

Or are we striving to understand that our country is truly aligned with the rest of the world in its vulnerability.

Do we take this moment to seek a deeper perspective on hatred, or do we fall prey to hating and ignorantly naming possible targets for our hate?

Will our government seize a culprit as terrorist for these hideous actions because the American public demands the experience of the justice and solace in the form of an “end” to this story?

Or is it possible that we are forced to live with an unfinished justice; the personal accommodation of possible terror without a crime neatly solved, where it and we are not put to bed.

Do we dare to look into the fear and vulnerability we feel and reach for strength, community, and humility?

It is never a matter of whether terrorists “win”.

It is a matter of daring to strive to be whole as the habits of fear and war within us beat and pound our personal drums.

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