10 WAYS TO HEAL AFTER THE ZIMMERMAN ACQUITTAL
We are all feeling heartbroken over the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman. Here are Author Terri Williams' 10 ways to cope with the verdict via Eurweb.com.
1) Look Away: You may need to take a break from the TV/radio/Internet/newspaper in order to protect yourself. The Zimmerman verdict will undoubtedly dominate the airwaves for the foreseeable future; taking a pause from the 24-hour-news cycle does not mean that you are less vested in justice for Trayvon-but it may be critical for your self-care.
2) Write About It: Start to keep a journal-pour your heart, feelings, emotions into it. Include powerful quotes, clippings from magazines and even pictures that help you express the range of your feelings, including anger. Read a blog post that summed up your feelings about Trayvon better than you can? Print out a copy and include it in your journal.
3) Let Your Feelings Out: Unspoken grief and pain are toxic to our bodies and minds. They keep us from being our best selves. Men, women and children should all feel safe shedding tears when they come-and the senseless murder of a teen is certainly worth crying over.
4) Seek Help: Consider reaching out to a professional counselor or therapist to help you process what you feel. There is no shame in getting help. I find that therapy is the gift that keeps on giving. It helps me to clarify my thoughts and process heartbreaking situations like this. Counseling can be a necessary lifeline. We cannot be or breathe properly if we don't release the unresolved pain, wounds, scars and trauma of our childhoods. We cannot be all that God has called us to be.
- The trauma of racism is accompanied by post-traumatic stress disorder for many and a great, hidden sense of pain for most.
5) Redefine "Strength": We often confuse being "strong" with being silent. True strength lies in knowing when to ask for help, when to let the tears flow, when you are overwhelmed. The death of Trayvon Martin is one that has taken a great toll on our collective psyches... no time for silence. Be strong enough to be proactive in healing your heart as you work to seek justice.
6) Get Moving: Go to the gym or for a run/walk. Exercise releases tension and helps turn frustration into feeling constructive. A friend of mine just walked 10 miles to process her emotions about Trayvon. She left her house feeling angry and returned feeling renewed and resolved.
7) Shake a Hand, Make a Friend: Make eye contact with someone passing by, smile and say "hello"... you may be the first person who made such a gesture towards them today. Many of us are walking around in need of love, support and communion with our fellow man and tragedies make that even more critical.
8) Give Back: Honor Trayvon's memory by committing a few hours a week to volunteer with teens in your neighborhood. Affirm the worth of the young people in your community and let them know that they are valuable, loved and supported.
9) Fight the Power: Channel your rage and anguish over the verdict effectively and get involved with local/national efforts to fight for justice for Trayvon Martin. Participating in rallies/protests will allow you to connect with others who are feeling the same way as you, but don't stop there. If you aren't already, get politically engaged! Hold politicians accountable and help your friends/family do the same.
10) Say "I Love You": Tomorrow is never promised and there are two grieving parents in the spotlight who will never have the chance to put their arms around their beloved son again. In the midst of our anguish over the loss of a child most of us never met, we must remember to show love to the people in our lives right now, while we can.