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Have you ever had the "peace that surpasses understanding?"

What is the peace that surpasses understanding?  Is it even possible to have peace when everything seems so upside down and topsy turvy?  I read a lot of mainstream news and non-mainstream news, and to be honest with you there is a great deal of suffering in the world on a daily basis.  My heart hurts to see it.  I sometimes cry when I read the stories.  I listen to the stories told in my office and know that life can be full of heart wrenching pain.  Yet, there is a promise that we can have peace within our hearts that wouldn't otherwise be attained.  

Hold onto the promise that... 

by Gretchen Flores

Trauma at the Dark Knight Theatre Premier

Trauma at the Dark Knight Theatre Premier

In light of the movie theater shooting I thought I would write about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  Initially we have our response to the deaths and visible injuries of the people who went to the opening night of The Dark Knight Rises.  I have been brought to tears several times thinking about what the victims went through and what their families are going through now.  It is just heartbreaking and so difficult to grasp why this would happen.  

Then there are the invisible wounds.  The wounds that are under the surface.  The scars that trauma leaves behind and that alter the lives of the people who were there.  Many people may have an acute stress reaction that will last only a few weeks or months.  Others may develop PTSD symptoms.  

I, myself, have PTSD.  I wish I didn’t, but I do.  I could describe to you several of my various traumatic experiences.  I have had, at least, a handful.  I could describe each one but then this blog post would be way too long.  Let’s see, I’ll choose the time I was held up at gun point. 

It’s an interesting story but I am not writing to talk about myself but to talk about how PTSD can affect you for a lifetime.  Those who were at the theater in Aurora, and survived, are forever changed.  They are deeply affected by trauma and it will be something that doesn’t just go away, but it may be something that they can learn to live with.  

For me it started on

by Gretchen Flores

What is this feeling?

Sometimes life is hard, discouraging, even sad.  Grief is an important process we go through in life.  Often we may be in a grieving process and not even realize it because we equate it with a death.  No one has to die for you to be going through grief.  Sometimes we lose a dream, a hope, or a relationship begins to fail.  Suddenly a direction in our life takes a turn and we feel a range of strong emotions that we cannot place.  Often we might hold onto something that we know we need to let go of and don’t even realize we cannot let go because we are avoiding the strong emotions of grief.  

The 5 classic stages of grief are:

1.  Denial- This isn’t really happening.

2.  Bargaining- If only...  or Why did God let this happen?

3.  Anger- This shouldn’t have happened, it is somebody’s fault.

4.  Sadness- Weeping and feeling the pain of loss

5.  Acceptance-  Coming to terms with the pain of loss.

Going through these stages does not need to be sequential and there is no specific time limit for each stage.  However, if you do not allow yourself to

by Gretchen Flores