Bystanders Guilt

 With the tragic event in Japan, and loss of so many lives, I can't help feeling guilty over all my indulgences. I see the painful expressions on the faces of the Japanese, my heart feels their pain.
Recently, I've heard friends voice their same reaction to this terribly sad event.
One said, she decided that whatever she bought that day shopping, she was going to donate the same amount, to her choice of charity support for Japan.  She said, it made her feel a little better.

So, being a psych nurse, I had to do a little research  on survivor's guilt.  None of the articles I read really gave me the answer I was searching for.  I want to know "Why" do I feel this guilt and internalize their sadness? 

This has been a problem for me for many years......I always want to understand "Why" 
Not, Why do these things happen, But, Why do I feel this way.

Now don't worry, I'm not going off the deep end, these thoughts are not consuming me. I continue enjoying all my daily life activities, work, friends, fun, art, etc.   But it's always in the back of my mind.  \
I did find one article stating, people who have a deep concern for others, easily empathize with the pain and suffering of others.

In my search, I did find these re energizing, uplifting, and positive statements

Know that there is no offense in surviving
it is good to survive

It is okay to delight in being alive
  • Feel free to reassess your life
    • reassess what is valuable to you
    • make the best of your life
  • Making the best of your life can be a tribute to your survival and to those who died
  • Take the opportunity to reevaluate the meaning of your life
  • Is your life all it can be?
  • What is or can be your purpose? your talent? 
  • Put guilt to good use
  • Cherish life
    • treasure being alive
  • Whether you survived due to fate, a purpose, luck, chance, or "just did," long life and kindness are not guaranteed to any of us
  • Each day and each act of kindness can be treasured as gifts
    • treasure the best of each day
    • be aware of your physical mortality in good and positive way

    I hope you find some comfort in these thoughts
    and pray for all the devastated survivors in Japan

    Cherish Life

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