Tara May, Ph.D.

What Is Possible After Tragedy?

Tragedy hits, and we feel the tornado of devastation within us. There are no shortage of tragedies, whether its 9/11, Columbine, the Boston Marathon Explosion or perhaps it's even closer to home, divorce, physical disability, the death of a baby, loss of a pregnancy, or end of a dream. These things shake the foundation of our lives, make us question our spiritual views, and wonder what is the purpose. While there is no good explanation for all of this suffering that many endure, such suffering ultimately forces us to make a decision about our life. One that we often take for granted when dealing with day to day annoyances.

Does one stay in bitterness or does one decide to transform? It is a decision. Yes. I believe it is. Transforming our pain into something else is how people thrive. They discover electricity, they write the Declaration of Independence, and they inspire us even when they can't see, hear or talk. We must decide to use the energy that is waiting after the long winter of grief to renew our purpose in life and decide how we will learn from our tragedy and what is now possible. Is it possible to live again, when our world is turned upside down by death, trauma, and tragedy? Yes, it is possible that life can have even more meaning and purpose. Of course. That is the beauty of being human. There is choice. Choice gives us infinite possibilities on how we will transform our pain into something that makes us stronger, more compassionate, loving, alive, generous, caring and grateful.

Our transformation starts with an intention and a desire. This is how we help others and that is how we help ourselves.