Dr. James Gordon recently touched on the tendency of hurricanes to “shake things up.” Katrina shook things up but it also had a way of sorting things out and exposing the edges of our community—the ugly and corrupt as well as the beauty, the heroic, and the resilient. Lines between the have and have not, black and white, those who would reach out and those who would withdraw, the outspoken and the silent, the exploited and the exploiters. All was revealed—out in the open for us to see. And from this came and opportunity to grow, to heal, and to begin a monumental dialogue about the issues which had been beneath the surface.
For me, Katrina forced me out of a safe and comfortable lifestyle and into the unknown. The world became larger the day I walked into the Louis Armstrong airport and realized the magnitude of the devastation. Something was forever changed. The facade was gone. Being a witness changes you that way. And while it’s scary to stretch yourself, to take those risks, it is here where we are most alive.
So today, I’m grateful for the chance to fully live and for the healing out of destruction and the despair of a painful time. I’m glad I stayed home here in Louisiana when I wasn’t sure that I could. And I honor all of those we lost, those who continue to struggle, and those who transformed from trauma. And most of all, I am grateful for neighbors here at home, across the country, and around the world who came to our aid, especially The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, which gave us a gift that would sustain us through tough times and beyond.