Mar 162011
104/365 cry by mellyjean
104/365 cry a photo by mellyjean on Flickr.
Sorry.  I’ve been trying to give you a new blog post for several days.  Instead I have coughed and sneezed and tossed and turned…. I’ve got “the yuck.”  In a big way.  Unfortunately that has meant way too much time on the couch in front of TV news.  Like you, my heart aches for the Japanese people coping with a disaster of barely imaginable proportions.  And of course, being me I wonder how it is that people can cope with real disasters with courage and grace while our little, personal “natural disasters” can render us helpless. 

Here’s a “replay” of a post called “Is Your Family Prepared for a Personal Earthquake?”

We know that when families grow and change it is not always by choice: divorce, job changes, relocation or re-marriage are not always choices that the entire extended family can agree on. The impact of those changes can rock our world in ways that we can’t imagine ahead of time. The foundation upon which our families have been built is tossed around like buildings in an earthquake.

While we may not choose the circumstances that create the change, we can always choose our response to it. Unfortunately, in our culture, most of us are not very good at making these changes, especially when we feel victimized by another’s decisions. In the midst of the shock and grief that accompany serious medical issues, or the hurt and anger that can go along with divorce, it can be really difficult to remember that we have choices — lots of them.

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where your are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” And while I’d like to take credit for such wise words, they are a favorite quote from Dale Carnegie.

So what should we think about in times of personal upheaval? I think that lots of us get into trouble by hanging on to ideas about some fictional perfect TV family – you know, the one we think everyone else has? Another common response is to keep our focus on the unfairness of the situation and relive with our friends, over and over again.

What would work better? People who, after surveying the damage and having a good cry, make a decision to ‘make the best’ of a situation always impress me. I find their approach inspiring and, frankly, would like to be better at that than I am.

A decision to shift focus from “why me?” to “what can I build that’s even better?” is an important first step.

Do you believe that it is possible to salvage what’s still good, clear away the rubble and build something even stronger than what you had?


Google crisis response

Twitter resources for Japan

Mashable resources for Japan


  4 Responses to “Are You Prepared?”

  1. Sana – Then you might enjoy this one from my personal blog!

    That’s where I “stash” the “unrelated” stuff that makes me feel good. 🙂

  2. exceptional 1st step. thank u for leading me to this empowering thought. blessings and hope u r feeling better.

    • Thanks for finding me, and of course, for your comment. I took a quick look at your blog — love the idea of helping people befriend themselves.

Care to share? Hearing from you makes my day!

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