Run This World

195 – Dr Margaret Rutherford Helps us Move Through Grief

This is a special release in response to the Boulder mass shooting which occurred on March 22, 2021. Every shooting has hit close to home for me, but this one was literally three blocks from my old house in Boulder, at the grocery store we visited multiple times a week.

I found myself processing many emotions including deep sadness, anger, frustration, guilt and helplessness. I’ve been up at night, unable to shut down the fear-driven thought cycle spiraling through my mind.

So I did what I need to do to heal. I reached out. I sent out an emotional email to my community. I posted on social media. And I asked one of my upcoming guests, a widely-known psychologist, to change her plans and talk to me with only a moment’s notice about how to process the aftermath of this shooting and all the emotions I’ve been feeling.

I’m so grateful for Dr Margaret Rutherford. I actually lied above. I didn’t reach out to her. She saw that I was hurting and she sent me a note that said, “What can I do? Can I come on and talk to you about this?” That’s the kind of person she is.

So in the middle of a Sunday, I found myself having a personal therapy session with Margaret that I believe will be helpful to you too.

Important points from today’s discussion:

Grieving is unique to all of us. The important part is to continue moving through the emotions. To not get stuck on any particular emotion in the process.

Trauma exhaustion is a real thing: like a car pile-up that never ends

Trauma builds Resilience: “The tree that bends will survive the storm” [Margaret’s version of a Chinese proverb]

You can get PTSD even if the event didn’t happen to you

“Take it in small batches.” -Margaret

Create a Worry Journal or a Grief Journal. Get the thoughts out of your mind and onto paper.

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