As a therapist, I am constantly witnessing people’s pain, progress, traumatic experiences, growth, despair, and hope.
These days, I am also witnessing the stories and performances of Olympic athletes, who spend so much of their lives in the pain and promise of preparing for the games. In addition, yesterday I spent several hours witnessing the agony and bravery of the four Capitol Police Officers who were part of the very thin blue line between a violent mob and the members of the U.S. Congress on January 6.
While witnessing pain can cause second hand trauma, I cannot turn away, nor do I want to.
I think our best chance for survival is to commit to witnessing each other’s pain, as well as the pain of other species throughout this planet.
Yesterday, during a heavy day of witnessing, I was witnessed on Twitter posting this:
I appreciate, more than I can say, your witnessing that and all my other images for today.
After witnessing that shrine of candles on my walk for several days, I am now witnessing the loss of Carlos Soto-Mendez, age 23.
When I search YouTube for “witnessing,” I find this …
I haven’t looked at the news yet, but I’m predicting that much of it involves people predicting the future.
We humans specialize in predicting the future, especially when the present is uncomfortable and confusing.
When I’m predicting the future, I’m usually catastrophizing — assuming the worst case scenario. I do that to prepare myself, but that prevents me from being in the moment — which actually helps me to prepare better for what’s coming.
Two of my tweets yesterday were about predicting the future.
I was predicting that those tweets would be much more popular than they were. I couldn’t predict that this tweet would be MUCH more popular:
As always, I’m terrible at predicting the future. However, I predict that I’ll keep trying to do it.
Certain things are easy to predict, like my sharing images every day in this blog.
I wouldn’t have predicted that the Daily Bitch would be so non-bitchy today! Maybe that’s because it’s “National Love is Kind” Day.
Last week in one of my Coping and Healing groups, the older people told the younger people that growing old was not as scary as they feared. The older people talked about the benefits of growing old, which seemed to surprise the younger members of the group.
There are so many negative messages out there about growing old. Let’s see if we can balance those, here and now, with some quotes and images.
Speaking of ending the conversation, let’s see what the Daily Bitch has to say about growing old today.
Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “growing old.”
What are your thoughts and feelings about growing old?
I am grateful to be growing old and I’m grateful for those who are growing older with me, including YOU.
A year ago today, we said goodbye to our amazing kitty Oscar, who was a wonderful presence in our lives and in this daily blog.
Oscar — who was chosen by my son Aaron from a shelter after a long search — was a loving and chill creature who was always RIGHT there, and we miss him very much.
Unlike Aaron, I usually choose shelter cats who are shy and scared, because I think they are less likely to get adopted. Case in point: our kitty Harley.
Now that my year of mourning Oscar is over, I’d like to get another shelter animal that won’t make Harley’s life a complete misery. We’ll see how that goes.
In the meantime, here are my images for July 22, 2021.
While I don’t love the way my voice sounds in this 2014 video where I’m singing along to Pat Metheny’s “Third Wind” (in the bathroom for the acoustics!), this shows how loyal and present Oscar always was, so I’m sharing this today.
And here’s a much older video that Aaron made — “Graduation Cat” — which again demonstrates Oscar’s sweet and patient nature.
I’m grateful for all the years we had with Oscar, and thanks to all who are here with me on this precious day, including YOU.