September 11th

Remembering 9/11- Teri

***This post was originally written in 2011, however we feel best to remember these lessons all the time! It is amazing that 9/11 happened 10 years ago. Our world is a different place now. War is a normal reality. Awareness of terrorism is heightened. The world still grieves the tragedy of it all.

This week each of us at Imagine Hope will share about experiences, life perspectives, and changes we have had since that day.

Teri’s Thoughts

I never realized how much I took advantage of the feeling of “safety”. Growing up I felt the freedom and safety to ride bikes unchaperoned with my friends, to roam the neighborhood, and to trust most people around me.  After 9/11, I have been more aware that safety is something that is fought for. I realize the extent that our military and law enforcement agencies go to that most are typically oblivious to. My appreciation and admiration for what others sacrifice can never be measured.

I encourage all of us to look around and seek out opportunities to provide others with safety and to thank those around us that do. Next time you are at the airport and are waiting in long lines, take time to thank the workers who are carefully seeking to keep you and your family safe. Instead of being frustrated at having to pull off for safety vehicles running lights and sirens, say thank you and say a prayer for them to remain safe wherever they are headed. Next time you see an aging person pushing a cart of groceries at the store, offer to help them or put their cart away in the parking lot for them.

It’s time for us to be grateful for our experiences of safety in our communities and to help those around us to stay safe. Reach out to those around you and pay it forward, rather than living in your own little world. We are a community. Let’s keep it a safe one!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.

Remembering 9/11- Natalie

There is nothing that makes evil more angry than to make beauty from ashes. I absolutely LOVE that September 11th is now the National Day of Service. Although I know there will be a lot of grief, some so deep it will feel overwhelming. But what better way to honor those who died and gave their lives than to serve others. Originally, I had thought I would be glued to the TV on this day, reliving and crying. But now I actually feel hope for the day. My family is excited to be a part of the KLOVE Million Lives. I encourage you to join us! Natalie's Thoughts-

I was walking my dog. It was a BEAUTIFUL day- I remember looking at the sky and noticing how blue it was. However, on the inside I was having a pity party for myself. I had just come home from a long weekend at a friend's wedding. I was feeling sorry for myself that the weekend was over and I was heading into a job that I didn't enjoy or get much fulfillment from. I was trying to talk myself into it but landing in the pit of my own negative thinking. Until that moment.. My neighbor asked me if I knew what was happening and filled me in.

I remember thinking about how at the moment I was feeling bad for myself, people were trapped in a building that was starting to crumble. People were on a plane that they knew was going to crash. That morning, they probably woke up, took their kids to daycare or walked their dog- just like I had been doing, got a cup of coffee, maybe even mumbled to the man at the elevator. They had no idea what was going to happen to them. It hit me that everything- EVERYTHING can change in an instant.

Because of that day, when I start my grumbling in my head, I always remember there is someone who would do anything to have my problems. They may have it so much worse. I also remember that each day truly is a gift and we must leave our loved ones with the thought of "If this is the last time I see them, would I be at peace with how I left?" I know we can't linger on and on in the morning with long good-byes, but do you actually kiss your spouse and say you love them or mumble a good bye while you have your head in the refrigerator, looking for the OJ? Do you love on your kids or do you just walk out the door? I'm sure many people who lost their family members would do anything to change how they left that morning. Make every kiss, hug, or love you count. This is what I have learned and changed from 9/11.

Written by Natalie Chandler

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling.  We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.