I write this on September 11, 2012. You will read these words days or weeks after September 11 has passed. What does that date stir in you after all these years?
Last year on the tenth anniversary, I purposely did not write about the events of 9/11/01. There was so much hype and I didn’t want to be just one more piece talking about that historic day.
I don’t watch the television news so I don’t know how much air time is devoted to the event this year All I know is what I feel, and what I remember.
I was working from home that day when the phone rang. It was my then-husband telling me to turn on the TV. “We’ve been attacked,” was all he said.
I spent the day dazed and glued to the news. I wept and was grateful to be living in a tiny podunk town that no terrorist would ever bother with. I couldn’t sleep that night as I pondered the fate of my boys who were in grade school then. I wondered if there would be a draft and if they would have to go to war when they were eighteen.
My inability to comprehend it all left me numb. I was deeply saddened. I was confused. I never felt rage and felt odd that I seemed to be the only one who was not mad as hell. I was sad as hell.
My overriding compulsion was to bake bread. I wanted to send fresh homemade bread to everyone in New York. That of course was not possible. The next thing that came to me was to write thank you notes. I wrote thank you cards to people who had touched my life, some of whom I had never met.
If you think back to that day and the days that followed, sure, there were a lot of emotions. Anger was in there for many people but the strongest force of all was compassion. Those attacks on our country shook us to our core, and we discovered that our core was love.
As time has passed, we have gotten away from that. We have returned back to our “safe” desensitized world. We argue over politics. We get blustery over the economy, gas prices, and the weather.
We forgot that on that day, nothing else mattered. That sunny September morning we were raw and exposed. We cried. We rallied. We helped. We supported. We cooperated. We felt the true power.
It is not a president. It is not a terrorist. It is not a country. It is not a religion. The only true power is love and we felt it, pure and simple.
The very core of our existence is love. The only power that held us together was love. Love trumps evil. Love is stronger than hate. Always.
Business as usual does not have to be cold and uncaring. The new normal can be caring and compassionate.
Remember how you felt that morning and the days that followed. Remember how you vowed to live with clear priorities. How are you doing now? Is the guiding principle of your life love? It doesn’t matter your vocation, upbringing, belief system. You can live from love.
Maybe it is a crazy mixed up world. Maybe it is also a world full of beautiful souls who can grow together to make things a little better. No matter when you read this or your political stance, remember your gut feeling that day. What mattered to you then? What matters now?
(Kelly Epperson Simmons is a writer/speaker/listener and happiness coach. Her programs teach people how to live day in and day out with sustainable happiness. Visit www.kellyepperson.com.)