How do you process tragedy in the world today?
We have all heard about the senseless chemical bombings in Syria with hundreds of people (especially women and children) being horrifically affected. Some choking to death and others terribly injured.
How do we process such tragedy?
Initial feelings might include anger,outrage, horror at the injustice – natural, normal human reactions. Yet think of the ripple of energy created by this event and others like it. Our anger, hatred for the perpetrators, the stress this creates in our bodies, and the negative energy current into which we engage that has a ripple effect on ourselves and others both emotionally and energetically.
However, we shouldn’t expect anyone to deny their natural feelings. It would be foolish and dishonest to say we automatically feel compassion for the emotionally wounded perpetrators; capable of such horrific acts. Nor can we detach from the empathy we feel for the victims – innocent people who have had enough of constant victimization.
So what is the best way to process these incomprehensible events, and come out the other side feeling a sense of healing and optimism? It’s not easy to mentally and emotionally process such events.
Ghandi’s quote comes to mind: “Be the change you want to see in the world“.
According the Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs those who live in safe, secure societies where their basic needs are met are in a better position to explore higher needs such as philosophy, personal growth and improvement and hence self-actualization. If we apply this theory to the situation described then we might look at what these horrors mirror for us in our own lives. Where do we see some form of these horrors within our sphere of influence? What makes you feel angry, outraged, fearful and worried within your family, community and friends? You may have to look beyond the surface here, it may not be obvious and may require some contemplation.
But the answers will be there in some form. Here are some possible examples:
- Perhaps there is a child or family you know who has been victimized or unfairly treated or you know is suffering – how can you help?
- Perhaps you yourself have been the victim of cruel abuse or have had trauma inflicted upon you. What are some first steps that you can take towards recovery?
- Perhaps there are things you have noticed around you that spark your anger..the way you saw a child treated in a school by a teacher, or by a bully, the current government’s rejection of addressing climate change and equal opportunity marriage, the excess packaging and processing of foods, the spraying of chemicals on our fruit and vegetables. What choices can you make to empower yourself and others?
- Perhaps it’s frustration, anger and fear around your own long held dreams that you have not given yourself permission to pursue because you still carry a sense of disempowerment within? What can you do to heal this?
What sort of issues from your own backyard trigger the same or similar feelings as the Syria tragedy for you?
How can you harness the opportunity for change in yourself and your immediate environment?
Change that brings about more empowerment, freedom, love and peace.
As you address what this tragedy mirrors for you in your own life, you raise your level of consciousness, you develop wisdom and wellbeing, you show courage and heroism (even in your relationship with yourself). Your goodwill, open heartedness, love and compassion radiate out into your world through all your relationships and those who know you, creating a positive ripple effect.
You don’t do this simply through your intellect, but through “being”, hence taking action, beginning with ourselves.
For those of you that read the modern philosophers of today such as Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle and others, you know that the more we raise our individual integrity and awareness, the more we are able to affect the world in a positive way. One way to process tragedy on a global level is to take it to a micro level and focus on improving the lives of those near to us.
So don’t ignore your initial reactions to these disturbing news reports, don’t ignore the reports either. Rather take those initial feelings and channel them into your purpose and passion. It’s a positive use of our energy used to make a difference and contribute to spreading empowerment rather than victimhood, here, now and tomorrow as it ripples throughout the world.