Conflicted Response

As I heard the reaction of people to the demise of Osama Bin Laden, my response was conflicted. I was challenged! Information indicates that this man was the brains behind the despicable acts on 9/11 that killed 3,000 and forever changed so many lives. Yet, even accepting that as truth, I was appalled by how human beings can rejoice and celebrate the killing of another person. I rummaged through my images seeking clarity.

This image of a tunnel helped … dark and light together. It spoke to me of feeling trapped and while also seeing light and hope. The darkness shows up in many ways … my own shadows that self sabotage, our tendency to move easily to negativity (think weather … how many of us celebrate the rain or the snow.. and then think bigger issues), horrendous acts against each other and the list goes on. I notice more and more how so many of us tend to start with negativity before we can get to the positive side.

Back to the tunnel … is also spoke to me of light and hope. The opening beckons one to the other side, it speaks to me of brightness, hope and freedom. Freedom from the dark side, hope that we can shift from beginning with negativity before moving to the positive side of an issue and brightness that at some point the peoples of the world will be more inclined to it than the darkness.

This dichotomy of dark and light in the very same small image led me to an acceptance of a variety of responses which initially took me to a very judgmental place… both about despicable acts and responses to murder. The question associated with this image “What are your expectations?” was particularly powerful in this process for me … WOW! AS I examined mine, I realized they are just that … MY EXPECTATIONS … what do you learn from examining yours?



  1. Ann  June 28, 2011

    Kristen, I love the clarity an image offered you as you as you sorted through your emotions about the killing of Bin Laden. Like you, I found it distressing, yet understandable, that there was celebration following this event. How can we help anyone see that killing is wrong by killing? Your sharing an image helps to acknowledge the conflicting feelings and give space for both.



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