Amidst the senseless acts of violence our country continues to experience and the fear that is created when our safety is threatened, it can feel like we, as individuals, have no power to make a real change on a larger scale. Yes, there are actions we can take when the timing is right like voting, contacting those who represent us, and standing up for our rights in a peaceful way.
But, on a daily basis, we may experience feelings of powerlessness, which can magnify the grief, trauma, and fear that these senseless acts initiate. However, there are things that we can each do in small ways every day that can make a big difference in our families, communities, country, and the world.
If we want a world full of healthy, happy, and thriving people, it begins within us. One of the most powerful things we can do to create change around us is to take care of ourselves on all levels. When we take the time to attend to our thoughts and emotions, to work on understanding and healing our own pain, and to get curious about what we believe, we can shift how we show up in our relationships and the world. And this will create powerful changes around us.
We can all get swept up in the fast-paced and demanding current of our lives, leaving our minds to go unchecked. We may be living in thinking patterns that are rigid, unhelpful, and unhealthy. If we take some time to really get curious about what we are thinking, we may be surprised at what is going on in our minds on a regular basis. Our thoughts influence what we feel and how we act and left unattended, our thoughts can take us into some really dark and painful places. We receive so many messages of lack so often that they can become a part of our operating system without our even realizing it. And this often leads to isolation, fear, and pain. And then isolation, fear, and pain influence our behaviors.
When we put in the work to notice our own thoughts and to look at the thinking habits we may be stuck in, we can rewrite the stories that are driving our behaviors. Even if it feels like we have no power over our thoughts, we can learn how to shift what is happening in our own minds. We must give ourselves permission to ask for help when we need it to learn the skills of coping and regulation. Then, we can begin to show up in our lives in a totally different way, experience the world from a new perspective, and connect with others from a place of compassion rather than comparison and judgment.
If we have been stuck in unhelpful thinking patterns, we may be creating fearful stories in our minds about feeling specific emotions or about our ability to cope with emotions in general. We are emotional beings and when we attempt to shut down certain emotions, we shut down our humanness. We can step into our own personal power when we work on feeling our emotions rather than denying, avoiding, and numbing out. When we feel our emotions and move through them, we are the ones in charge of how we feel rather than being the victim to what is happening in our lives. When we feel, we can begin to heal.
It can be scary to explore emotions that we have resisted for a long time, but we are not alone in what we are feeling. Somewhere in the world right at this moment, someone else is feeling the same way you are feeling. Emotions are part of the shared human experience. And, yes it takes courage to ask for help in processing and regulating them, but when we do that, we are not only helping ourselves feel better, but we are setting an example for others to be able to ask for help as well. And in that way, we are contributing to the health of our society.
We are wired for connection and we cannot thrive without it. This includes connection to ourselves and connection to others. But, true connection comes when we up from a place of authenticity rather than going along with what others are doing or how it has always been done. True connection is created when we feel and communicate and listen. When we lean into true connection, we will experience the support and momentum of change together.
We must be brave enough to explore our connection with our thoughts, our emotions, and ourselves to discern what we really want and believe rather than simply following along with the expectations of others. This practice is just that- a practice that we will screw up sometimes, but a practice that is key in being human, which we ALL ARE. To heal our world, we must be willing to put in the effort and to give ourselves permission to shift, to change, to fail, to try again, and to leave our comfort zone.
If we are not healing on an individual level, we will not heal on a global one. This practice is not selfish, it is the most selfless thing we can do. Healing ourselves will heal the world.
I will be practicing right along with you.