1. I thought I might start listing things that are absolutely incontrovertibly horrible yet for some reason my mind is not lighting up in full red alert terror that they might happen to me.

2. Also things that don’t cause me to feel empathy so disregulated that it’s as if they were happening to me.

3. And just to be clear, empathy, concern, and opprobrium are good responses. Abject terror, despair, and a sense that the world is ending, well, they don’t help anyone.

4. And now I feel ashamed to list them so they’ll stay forever in my mind.

5. But here’s an exercise: find the things that do not terrify you, then wonder if the things that do terrify you are not so dissimilar. And if they are not, why do similar things fall on different sides of the terror spectrum? What else is going on?

6. And maybe just maybe that other thing that is going on? Maybe that can heal.

Painting by Sanders Stein

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