When Will It Be Ok To Be Happy??
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  1. #1
    Diamond Phenster Moonwatcher's Avatar
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    There is a voice inside of me that wonders if I will EVER feel happy again. My heart is so full of grief. I thought I would share the following article with my Phen Family. Love to all.......Moon.

    Sept. 17, 2001 -- A nation whose heart still bleeds grieves its losses. As we survivors begin to resume our lives, we wonder: What will normal life look like in post-disaster America? When can we be happy again?

    "There is no moral or ethical injunction against being happy -- as long as you learn something from this," psychologist and author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD, tells *****. "It's all right to be happy if you are grateful about the life you have -- and if you are not just sorry about what happened but are ready to make a commitment to make the world safer for the future."

    Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced CHICK-sent-me-high-ee) is a professor of psychology at California's Claremont Graduate University. Formerly chairman of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago, his distinguished lifetime work is the study of human creativity, happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment. Among his best-selling works is Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, which the Wall Street Journal has called one of six essential books for business leaders.

    It's hard not to feel guilty about enjoying the pleasures of life while the lives of so many others are shattered. We may smile, but as yet only through our tears.

    "What we have had this week is this massive collective grief," clinical psychologist Christopher M. Peterson, PhD, tells *****. "There is no normal way to grieve; there is unbelievable variation. Some get over it very quickly; some never get over it. Some are very emotional; some are quiet. The advice is this: there is no blueprint for getting back to normal. People should find what is comfortable for them and let others find what makes them comfortable. There is no need to chastise others for enjoying themselves."

    Peterson, a professor at the University of Michigan, is one of the leaders of the positive psychology movement. Positive psychology, he says, looks at what is good about the human condition. It studies the qualities that make life worth living.

    "Life is already going on -- and it is going on in a very stirring way," Peterson says. "I have heard as many good stories as bad stories coming out of the events of last week -- stories of courage and kindness and compassion."

    As part of his research, Peterson studies the strengths of people's character, using an Internet-based test. The results are still preliminary, but there's been an interesting trend. People responding since Sept. 11 report more spiritual feelings, more feelings of love, and more feelings of hope than they did before that infamous day.

    "Terrible events like this present us with a choice," Peterson says. "We can choose to respond with understanding and mercy and tolerance. Or we can decide to respond in a bad way. This is a choice. We choose good character. We choose virtues. This is an opportunity."

    It is an opportunity that Americans must seize if they are to make the world a better place, Csikszentmihalyi says.

    "One should not be oblivious -- that is the real danger, to assume that nothing happened or that things will return to as they were before," he says. "The danger is denial that can set in."

    Csikszentmihalyi is worried about the consequences of seeking revenge rather than change.

    "We are focusing on retribution and not understanding, and that worries me," he says. "If we focus on where hatred comes from and how to make it go away, we wouldn't be talking about retribution only. I hope this will end in the fact that the wonderful sense of togetherness America has shown will include other countries in the world. The best outcome is not only global policing but also global responsibility. Unless we find this type of balance, we are going to always have people who want to destroy us."

    It's been said that America has lost its innocence. Peterson disagrees.

    "I've heard this phrase 'loss of innocence,'" he says. "All you have to do is watch MTV to know we aren't an innocent people. What we have lost is the sense of safety -- and that might be a permanent loss."

    If this is true -- and it certainly seems to be -- what will a return to normal look like?

    "What we had before -- in the sense that people felt like, basically, nothing could go wrong -- was not normal. It was really unusual," Csikszentmihalyi says. "In human history, we have never been in a position for long where we could feel secure. The plagues that used to devastate the world would often come one or two a generation and decimate the population. Despite that, people were able to create new, important advances. We will need to be creative and make progress in spite of the fact that we now know life is fragile -- in spite of the fact that we now know civilization is fragile. That is a much more mature way of living than expecting that everything will be fine."

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  3. #2
    Silver Phenster
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    Jul 2001
    Northport, New York USA
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    The terrorist mission was to instill terror and fear into all Americans. There mission wasn't to wipe out a city. If we stop being who we are then they have accomplished their mission. Please let's find joy in what we have right now....the love of our country, the love of our children and family. My neighbor's husband perished on 9/11/01...her husband was an incredible human being who coached all the children in this area in Basketball...including my son. She found the strength and courage to comfort my son at the wake....I have seen her smile....she is my role model of courage. We must continue to be the homeof the brave. Margo NY

  4. #3
    Gold Phenster
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    Nov 2000
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    Moonwatcher...thank you! You always find the right things to post here to comfort us when we need it.

    I have been struggling with my inner feelings of trying to move on and yet still grieve for what has happened to our nation. I have openly discussed this with others that feel the same way. It is very hard to be happy and very upset at the same time.

    For me, it is about my children. They do make me happy and that's exactly how I feel watching them play, practice and even sleep. I am not going to give this up for terrorists. I am still very worried, angry and sad about what has happened to our country, but I am going to live my life the way GOD intended for us too.

  5. #4
    Wonder Phenster Nitra's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Houston TX
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    I know many bad things came for all this but if you look around you will see lots of good things too. The increased solidarity of a country, an act of kindness in places unexpected, a little more love, a little more caring, an outpouring of support from around the world. I received an email from a friend in Canada..they are passing it around the world for signatures then sending it to President Bush. It is a small gesture, and Canada lost people too but they have erased the borders that divide our countries to reach out with love and sympathy. Following is a copy, if you wish you can cut and paste it in a new email and send it on to others..

    Our Sympathy E-Mail

    Its the least we can do .....

    The following is a message to be sent to the President of the
    United States of America. Although we may not be able to do a great deal from where we are, but for the people of America just knowing we care and feel their sadness will help. Please put your name on the following list and send it to all you know and who care. If you are the 100th name and every 100th thereon could you please also forward this e-mail back to myself (Natalie) on the below address, so "Our Sympathy E-mail" can be sent. If you do not wish to sign please send this e-mail back to the originator. Thank you for caring.

    Kind Regards
    Natalie Sonenko JP
    Secretary to Director Financial Services
    Phone 61 8 8946 6216 Fax 61 8 8946 7070
    E-mail natalie.sonenko@ntu.edu.au

    **We, the undersigned wish to express our most heart felt and
    sincerest condolences to the people of America. Our prayers, thoughts and hearts are with you in this time of sadness and devastation. Time will mend but the memories will last a life time.**

    1. Natalie Sonenko, Northern Territory University, Darwin, AUSTRALIA
    2. Natalie Peters, Northern Territory University, Darwin, Australia
    3. Joanne Lanning, Perth, Western Australia
    4. Marlene Tiney, Perth, Western Australia
    5. Lara East, Perth, Western Australia
    6. Fiona Edgerton, Perth, Western Australia
    7. Maria Legudi, Melbourne, Australia *God Bless*
    8. Rachele Di Maio, Melbourne, Australia
    9. Liz Ronzio, Melbourne, Australia
    10. Fiona Tyson, Melbourne Australia
    11. Emma Kane, Melbourne Australia
    12. Lee Walter, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    13. Melisa Doran, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    14. Bill Bache, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    15. Mike Nunn, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    16. Peter Bourke, Melbourne, Australia
    17. Valerie Parkis, Sydney, Australia
    18. Sarah Edwards, Sydney, Australia
    19. Debbie McCubben, Sydney, Australia
    20. Kelli & Dale Blackburn, Brisbane, Australia
    21. Lianca Dawe, Brisbane, Australia
    22. Jodi Trood, Brisbane, Australia
    23. Joanne Murphy, Brisbane, Australia
    24. Anthony Essex, Brisbane, Australia
    25. Heidi Evans, Brisbane, Australia
    26. Toni Murphy, Sydney, Australia
    27. Jodi Paton, Sydney, Australia
    28. Darcie O'Connor, Gold Coast, Australia...Living in Canada
    29. Tammy O'Connor, Richmond, B.C. Canada
    30. Audrey C. Hutchinson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    31. Dolores Sakauye, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    32. Terry Zelinsky, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    33. Patti Hoy, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    34. Val Hogan, Leduc, Ablerta, Canada * may god be with you*
    35. Terri Fodchuk, Alberta, Canada
    36. Paul Bechard, Edmonton, ALberta, Canada
    37. Julie Imeson, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    38. Kathy Gailey, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
    39. Catherine Hufnagel, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    40. Rochelle Michalycia, Sherwood Park, Canada
    41. Laurie Sadoway, Lamont, Alberta, Canada>
    42. Darlene Edmondson, St.Albert, Alberta, Canada
    43. Mary Jane McCaffrey, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    44. Sandra Maisonneuve, Edmonton, Alberta Canada
    45. Laura Fobes, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    46. Katherine Rondesvedt, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    47. Nancy Callio, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    48. Doris and Roland Kallechy, Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada
    49. Linda&Jay Watson, Sherwood Park,Alberta, Canada
    50. Tom Cawson Sherwood Park, Alberta
    51. Eden, Kristie, and Zander Tourangeau, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: "Our thoughts and prayers are with you."
    52. Ron Becker Kelowna BC Canada
    53. Wendy Venables, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
    54. Carri Heidrick, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

  6. #5
    Diamond Phenster Moonwatcher's Avatar
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    Nitra....we need to try and get together sometime....maybe we could "do lunch" !!

  7. #6
    Silver Phenster
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    Jul 2001
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    You/We, will be happy again when we are ready. We need not to understand (that is impossible) why this happened. Each and every one of us have go through this at our own pace. We will cry about this horrible act on the U.S.A. And we will catch ourselves not thinking about "this". Then we will feel guilty. I know I find myself complaining about the most mundane things, then I thank God for having these problems...My problems are nothing compared to what others are going through at this very moment.
    I met you all because I wanted to lose some weight. And some time ago I posted How depressed I was that my kids were growing up too fast. Well thank God Im here to ***** about my weight. And thank God I have Eric and Tara. Thank God for my new friends.
    WE all have to realize how so very lucky we are. Please keep praying for everyone else that has suffered in this time of tragedy. Sorry for going on and on...But thats me...Peace, Donna

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