Don’t hide…

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… from your life. Be present instead!

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“Look for the helpers”

I’ve just finished reading an article about vicarious trauma by Annie Wright and am actually still feeling this all through as I write…

Vicarious trauma and the subsequent grief for the state of the world we live in; it’s definitely something I’m very sensitive too. It’s for that reason that I keep following news outlets to a minimum and will hide posts in my Facebook feed.

But even when I do that, I can’t really get away from reality, nor should I.

Yesterday my girls and I went to the yearly event Paris Plage. An afternoon out and about on a makeshift beach in the center of town. Unfortunately the state of the world is such that the entrance is guarded and soldiers are on patrol, as you can maybe make out in the picture.

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The soldiers being there doesn’t really give me a sense of security. To me they are more a reminder of what may happen any time we go out anywhere in the world these days.

Of course I can let that get to me and live in fear, or I can go with the words of Mr Rogers – “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

As much as that may sound like I’m keeping myself naive, I’m mostly keeping myself open to meeting good people, the helpers.

After visiting Paris Plage we hopped on the metro back home and met Fran. Fran is most definitely a helper. He sang his heart out, kept cracking jokes at people, reaching out to touch hearts.

DSCF8960AI have a lot of respect for people like Fran and I wanted him to know. Now really, I’m not someone to just walk up to a stranger and say: “I have so much respect for you”, but I did. What followed was a most awesome discussion…

Thanks Fran, you may have just convinced me to do that more often, after all you can’t go wrong with being a helper!

Free hugs II

A gloomy grey Saturday afternoon and a mood that can measure up to that easily. I decide to go out with my camera, because taking pictures is always a good way to pause and get back to the right mind frame. (Did you see what I did there?)

Unfortunately I find no real magic today. Maybe I just need a nap instead…

On my way back home I bump into a group of young men offering free hugs. I decide to hang around and watch them hug for a bit.

It’s interesting to me to observe the different reactions from people. I put away my camera and just sit there…

One of the hugs simply stands out. it’s a hug offered to a tall broad guy. The guy accepts the hug and spontaneously lifts the hugger off the floor.

My heart sings at the sight of this outburst of human kindness… Oh JOY, there you are!!!

Now tell me: What makes you want to dive into a big hug or what makes you refuse?