So what about the sadness and suffering in the world right now? Am I supposed to ignore it? Am I supposed to just think happy thoughts? I think I should suffer when others are suffering.
I had conversations around all this with some clients this week. They were commenting about the deep sadness they felt and how it was depressing and kind of immobilizing. Shouldn’t we feel and care about the suffering of others? Isn’t that what compassion is about?
It is very important to care about the suffering in the world. It’s also important to do what we can to reduce suffering in the world. Does that mean you should watch the news to keep updated on all the death, dying, and problems? Should you lose sleep over it? Should you be talking about how our leaders should be doing more to fix it all? Should your heart hurt and should you feel depressed and should you have bad dreams?
I would easily say no to those. All the worry, angst, anger, depression do nothing to help the people you care about and they are actively harmful to you!
So, what should I do with all the sadness and suffering I feel for the world right now?
Start by caring about how you feel! Tune into yourself and notice everything you feel and where you feel it in your body. Emotions are not merely thoughts and are not confined to your head. If you’re a highly sensitive person, you are very aware that you feel everything on very deep levels and throughout your body.
Notice the feelings of pain for others. Feel it in your heart and gut or wherever you feel it. Let it all show up on your radar. Then, allow it to flow through like weather. Emotions are like weather. There are conditions that create them, and they move. Weather is constantly moving and changing. Remember laying on your back in the grass as a kid looking up at the morphing clouds. Remember feeling wonder about all you saw?
Now, what can you do with those painful feelings? First, follow some inspiration by creating art, music, writing, food, or whatever comes to you. Emotions are energy that needs to move. Then….
I wish I was a physician and could be at the hospital helping people. I wish I worked for the Gates Foundation and could travel all over the world helping solve problems. However, what I know is that I am right here in Bremerton, Washington fulfilling my purpose. Every action I take that helps enlighten, strengthen, grow, and create myself I then take into my work and all my relationships. I am helping myself which gives me the resources to be present to help others. I aspire to be an up-lifter and to inspire you toward your happiest, healthiest, most aligned self. Then, I bring all that to my work and to everyone else I encounter. You are my sphere of influence. If anything I share resonates with you and you incorporate it in your unique ways, then you’re automatically sharing it in the world. You are an up-lifter too, a healer, a helper. It’s not necessary to do it in recognizable or public ways.
We help the entire planet by being our best selves.
So, once you tune into how you feel – the painful and the joyful – allow the pain to move through and take any inspired action that comes to you. These days, for me, it’s writing these messages; it’s calling my friends and being positive; it’s being available to my clients; it’s getting scheduled to donate blood; it’s donating to the local food bank and the YMCA programs. Those are the things that I’m able to do right now in my current circumstance. I’d love to be able to do more sessions but that wouldn’t be good for my well-being and would consequently reduce my contribution to everyone.
Use the sadness for fertilizer and as a stimulant.
Feel the pain. Cry. Wail. Yell. Throw things. Free it and move on. Don’t live in the sadness because it becomes like breathing secondhand smoke. It just makes you sick. It’s wasted energy.
Staying in the suffering does not help the other, it merely adds more suffering. Send full, pure love to the suffering. It’s love that heals. Suffering is not the proof of your love. Be an up-lifter for those who are suffering.
This global experience is giving us an opportunity to wake up. Our collective human way of life on this planet is not sustainable. Current events are forcing us to slow down which gives us the opportunity to really tune into ourselves, our feelings, our desires, and our relationships to everything.
We’re so out of balance that a microscopic virus is wreaking havoc on our planet right now. It is accentuating the smallness of our planet. It is another messenger from life pointing us toward better stewardship of our environment. It is highlighting the profound connectivity and interdependence of all humanity.
Yes, there are large actions that need to be taken by governments. But, the more profound work and responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of each person. We…I…you, are invited to pause to connect with ourselves at this time. It is possible to tap into pure positive energy in this moment even with the pain in the world. As you lovingly tend to your own state of being by focusing on what feels better, you affect the web for all beings and things. Your vibration ripples out around you lifting or lowering the vibrations around you. Your vibration also attracts matching vibrations. So, put out what you want to get back. Put out what you want to create. Remember the adage, “you reap what you sow”? And, you attract what you vibrate.
Focus on the solutions in your own, immediate sphere. Do what you can to take care of yourself and those around you. If you feel called or inspired toward something, go for it!
What actions can I take to help right now? There are good organizations that are supporting people who need it right now. For instance, our local YMCA is putting memberships on hold and giving people to shift their monthly fee to a donation to Y support programs like child-care for first responders and medical professionals.
Donate to your local food bank. Donations are way down right now and there is increased need. We have a complex economy that is going to get supplies to us but there are some who are much more vulnerable and need much more assistance now. Consider buying some extra non-perishable food when you do go to the grocery store so you can share it. Or, even easier right now is to donate online so the food bank can buy what they know people need including fresh foods.
Donate blood. I heard on the news recently that blood is needed right now. It is safe to give even now. The blood collection organizations are taking appointments to control the flow of people to enhance safety. A long time ago I was told that I could not donate because I’d had cancer and chemotherapy. I have really been wanting to do something helpful right now, so I called to ask. Turns out, it’s been long enough since I had cancer that I am now able to give. So, I’ve made an appointment for April 3rd.
Contribute to a restaurant that’s providing meals for people experiencing homelessness. Sew masks for medical personnel. Share your art, music, writing or other creativity online so others can experience some beauty and feel connected.
Put the good vibes out into the world. We all need more of that!
How about you? How do you feel called to help? It’s a wonderful antidote to your own suffering. I also want to emphasis that taking actions to reduce your own stress, finding pleasure in daily activities, and maximizing your health and safety by staying home is as valuable to everyone as being on the frontlines.
Well-being in the world starts with your own!
Honor all of your feelings. Feel them and let them move.
Then, focus on this moment. Appreciate everything you can in this very moment.