“Coming Home” a CBS 60 Minutes special…click the highlighted text for program video clip… The interviews are a rare opportunity to learn how these soldiers heal from trauma in life after war…
“Scott Pelley revisits men who served in a Marine company that took especially high casualties in Afghanistan; a group he first met five years ago…”
Christian Cabaniss: “What I really hope is, you know, five years from now, they’re still coming together to see each other, to talk to each other. And they’re talking about their kids and the things that are going on in their lives. So they’ve been able to put that experience in perspective and use it as a foundation. Because I’ve said these kids are our next greatest generation, but not necessarily because of what they did on the battlefield. It’s gonna be because of what they did when they got home.”
The power of human connectedness in healing from traumatic experiences, including hard combat, comes through clearly in the interviews of combat veterans by Scott Pelley, CBS 60 Minutes. Survivors from traumatic events in life will be touched by getting to know the veterans in this heartwarming program. Each experience in life after trauma shows the value of connecting with others, including former battle buddies and trauma survivors, and in seeking a new purpose in life by making a difference for others. Finding a new mission is absolutely critical in readjusting to civilian life when coming home. What happens when you get home is what heals minds and bodies after leaving the battlefield. Soldiers do not have to be alone when coming home and are able to create close and trusted relationships that are crucial to long term mental health. The emotional pain never escapes completely from a trauma survivors mind, but is kept at a safe distance once becoming passionate about a new mission in life after war…and staying connected with your battle buddies…”puts you back in the right place.”
Anderson Cooper: I don’t feel I’m very present in each moment. I feel like every moment I’m either thinking about something that’s coming down the road, or something that’s been in the past.
Jon Kabat-Zinn: So ultimately all this preparing is for what? For the next moment, like the last moment, like, and then we’re dead (laugh) so in a certain way…
Our teachers at Neighbors for Kids, Depoe Bay, Oregon, spend a couple of minutes before each new program or class to help kids to be in the present…to be mindful. I have watched the technique many times and notice immediately how important it is to learning for children to transition quietly and breathe deeply as a way to focus on the present. Kids run from one thing to the next, minds full of anticipation and reflection…often not ready to focus in the present. Helping kids get back to being in the moment really works!
It took me many decades and most of my life to appreciate the value of being in the present. Mindfulness is the foundation for my own journey of healing as a trauma survivor. I am practicing being in the present right now while writing this important blog post. Writing is one of my key treatment strategies that changed my life almost 4 years ago while researching and writing my book, along with starting this blog. My mind does drift and being in the present takes some discipline. Self talk resulting from returning to a painful past and thinking too much about the future with anxiety is a habit not easily broken, especially for trauma survivors.
Although my life experience has proven that during those special times that I unknowingly practiced being in the present, it was always relaxing and joyful… I dreamed of being mindful of the present every moment of the day, but did not know how… I haven’t yet achieved perfection at “being,” but the joy of being present most of the time these days is a peace of mind to be treasured… Jon Kabat-Zinn: “a timeless quality of being in the moment…”