When faced with horror … Look for the Helpers

I am heartbroken when I flick through my newsfeed at the moment and look at the horrific images coming from the Christchurch Massacre. I love the culture of New Zealand and have travelled there a number of times for hiking expeditions and the amazing beauty of the country. It hurts to see a country that seems to inclusive and progressive face such horror. It has touched me deeply.

The most powerful image I have come across today was that of the local Kiwis standing in front of a mosque protecting the local Muslims as they met for prayer. It is this I want my children to see. It is this that speaks of how we need to respond when trauma and tragedy come into our lives.

I wish I could protect my boys from having these horrors in their world, but I remember in my early trauma training, my supervisor encouraged me to direct my clients attention to the helpers. It is here we learn about how to face pain. I never want my children (or my clients) to lose their sensitive hearts, or to be unmoved when they see pain and suffering. This is our greatest strength. This is what makes humanity beautiful. But to cope we need to look beyond the horror. We need to look for the sensitive and kind men, women and children who feel the heartache and stand beside those in pain and hold them gently and powerfully.

We need to teach our children that the world is full of these sensitive warriors who stand up when faced with horror and refuse it to allow it to overcome them. This is where our strength lies when horror touches us. This is where our attention needs to focus.

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