I wanted to take an opportunity to share something with my readers that I have encountered with several warriors I have recently worked with and Memorial Day seems the perfect vehicle to do that with.
As you all know, Memorial Day (formerly known as Decoration Day) commemorates U.S. Service Members who died while in military service. What has become a day of celebration and cooking outside for so many, still remains an additional day of loss for so many of our warriors that have survived. I say an "additional day" as there are anniversaries of days we remember when we lost those on our left and right. To be so close to brothers and sisters we have lost, for many of us, is a wound that never seems to heal.
These "anniversaries" are sometimes days that we do not consciously recognize, but invariably we will act on these days with behaviors that are destructive and self-defeating. Some of us will do it with booze/drugs. Some of us will mark this day by engaging in an activity that brings us close to the rush of adrenaline that only can be duplicated by the horrors of combat. Some of us will retreat into solitude and many of us will find a reason to vent our anger; no matter who might be on the receiving end of this caustic venom we spew. The point here is this day defines us, and as a coach I'd like to remind you of some great words to keep in perspective.
"Either define the moment or the moment will define you." - Walt Whitman
For many of the warriors I work with, "anniversaries" are particularly challenging days. They are challenging, I would contend, because most of us have no Objective to achieve on this occasion. On a day where we seem to have "no control" over our actions, we also have nothing to accomplish. When I encounter this situation with a client, the question I like to pose is pretty straight forward:
How will you honor those you have lost?
This will take some planning.
This will require forward movement.
Most importantly, it will require definition...and that will slay the beast that rages inside us. Even if for a day, we can hold our heads high, hold close the ones we love, and most importantly, we can honor those that have given all.
Happy Birthday, Richard. I miss you brother.