Part of what terrorists try to do (aside from making political statements) is terrorize us. They attempt to make us feel unmitigated fear in living our daily lives. They want to constrict and diminish our lifestyles, and thereby lessen us. We cannot allow that to happen.
It's easy to feel defeated and sorry for yourself when challenges in life arise, however, you can take another approach. While you may not be able to always control what happens in life, you can always choose how to react to it.
Having been on stage for much of my life, and having grown up as I did, I learned very early in life how to flick the switch and be instantly "on." It was great camouflage and it also helped create a diversion from my own reality.
While stress definitely can be contagious, it's also true that how our parents or great-grandparents responded to stressful situations may in part determine how we handle ourselves today. My mother was a perfect example.
If you know you are susceptible to certain pitfalls like drinking, overeating, isolating yourself or ruminating, now is the time for those "prepare or risk despair' interventions that may enable you to preempt those unhealthy habits.
In truth, I'm happy in the face of what I write because I have an outlet for all my feelings. My upbeat attitude has been shaped by creating a new and different conversation about loss, and the relationship I have with my readers.
We need to learn skills for coping with our feelings of sadness, anger and terror evoked by tragedies like those in Fukushima, Katrina and Haiti, so that we rise to these occasions rather than collapse into them.
The reason the Seven Steps to Recovery works is that in essence it reconnects the thinking, feeling and acting parts of your personality. More than that, it enables you to adapt to the reality of what is, as opposed what no longer is.
While it is tempting to perseverate with questions of "why" and "unfairness," this tendency can delay you from saving what still has life. We must not tarry in our heads when there is ground to clear, rescues to handle.
Even when you can't control what happens or happened, you can control how you react. When you are in pain, you don't want to hear this kind of advice because it seems to minimize your distress, but it is simply the truth.