Terrorism and Depression

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Since the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, November 13, 2015, I’ve spoken with many people whose immediate reaction has been to shut down.  This is understandable.  Unlike the earthquake that rocked Brazil earlier this fall, an event that brought together people from all over the world to help, the terrorist attacks have had a divisive influence on people everywhere.  Depression is often our first response when faced with something we feel we have no control over, and escalating terrorist attacks are at this point beyond the control of most people.  Consciously or unconsciously, we are drawn to think about the human condition and what appears to be a growing impulse to war and annihilation.  “Appears to be” is the key phrase.  While the Paris bombings attract global attention, simultaneously, in communities everywhere, people are doing the work of weaving the world together in lovingly creative ways.  Tapping, especially daily, prayerful tapping, can help us to focus on the ways we can participate in a Culture of Love that unites people in mending our social and environmental fabric and in doing so, lift the depressive energies that plague us.

Tapping for Depression

As in all tapping scripts, we begin with our negative feelings.  For my part, I felt despair regarding the complexities of growing human divisiveness and so I began with that feeling.  Below approximates the emotional journey this initial feeling prompted.

Tapping through the points while emphasizing the negative:  “I’m in despair; what is the matter with us?  Why do we have to kill each other over differences?  I don’t understand.  I’m terrified that people everywhere are taking sides.  I’m in despair; what’s the point of doing my best when this terrible hatred is mushrooming everywhere; I feel like I’m witnessing the end of the world as we know it; the image of armed camps has invaded my consciousness; reason has flown out the window; hatred has replaced love; we are terrified that our loved ones will be the next victims; no one feels safe; the human tragedy of terrorism – refugees, retaliation, increased militarization – all of these things destroy the possibility of a culture that fosters peace and love; all my beliefs are founded on dreams; all my impulses to help are a waste of time; I’m useless in the face of this hatred; this terrorism is too much to come back from; Love can’t get a toe hold; the extremists have won.”

Reflection After this Round

The above tapping script describes the depth of emotion I discovered in my own psyche when I learned of the Paris bombings.  Everything I believe in had been rocked by the tragedy of religious extremism and its hydra-headed causes.  But as I sat in silence after tapping on my fears and despair – the heart of my depression regarding what had happened – I felt a shift in feeling I can best describe as a small ray of light in the vast darkness of my soul.  I heard, “Jane, you are present to this.  You are witness to this tragedy.  You are doing your part by acknowledging the pain of everyone involved.”

This was something hopeful for my focus.  In many personal and professional experiences, I’ve learned the importance of the witness role in the face of great tragedy.  I began to tap on my desire to remain present, to resist the pull of depression that I would be tempted to out run with distractions – foremost among these, denial through busy-ness.

Tapping through the points while emphasizing the Witness Role:  “I am present to this; I will not run away; perhaps I am witness to the birth of something new; perhaps I am witness to the birth of global awareness regarding our interconnectedness; it is easy to react extremely; it feels justified; but the Witness Role speaks of a different response; it whispers ‘See the pain here.  See the pain fueling this conflict; Stay present to all; See the pain and imagine the possibility of healing.'”

I sat with this for a while, remembering Einstein’s “Every failure is a failure of imagination,” and Gandhi’s “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”  My heart echoed with knowledge of the challenge before us.  Something in me said “These challenges of extremism will get bigger and bigger until we each own our part in them.  Once each of us accepts responsibility for our share of miscommunication and vitriol, the world will change.”  Hearing this voice, I felt flooded with peace.  I began another round of tapping, this time focusing on the positive possibilities of our situation.

Tapping through the points while emphasizing the positive:  “We are in this together; together we will forge a different way of being in the world; our species is capable of great generosity and forgiveness;  the war mentality is a relic of the past; the peace mentality is surging forward; we are capable of change; we are capable of moving into inclusiveness; we are capable of learning from one another; we are capable of healing our resentments against one another; we have the will to do this; we have the tools to do this; we have the imagination to come together as a global family; we have the ability to create a Global Culture of Love.”


This last thought was so radical, I stopped my tapping, knowing I needed time to integrate this possibility.  I moved through my day as I always do, attending to my work and making time to reflect as I met my responsibilities.  In spite of everything, my tapping left me with a deep feeling of possible healing.  I sent out my wishes for healing to all the countries of Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East, and as I rounded the globe for home, I imagined the Americas aglow with Love.  During the nineties, my mother discovered Unity Church and soon afterward taught me one of their cherished hymns. Throughout that day of transformation, in the quiet of my home in the woods, I sang, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”  This is the ultimate gift of tapping; it leaves us with the knowledge and the conviction that we are empowered to act.  We are, or can be if we so choose, Agents of Grace, something the world needs now more than ever before.

Until next week



Jane Buchan, MA, AAMET Advanced Practitioner, jane@winterblooms.net, 802-533-9277

Jane is a Learning Coach specializing in neutralizing cultural age, gender, and race constructs to support learners of every age.  To engage her coaching services, please contact Jane by phone (802) 533-9277 or email, jane@winterblooms.net.  Be sure to put Coaching Query in the subject line.