The Human Tragedy
Human existence is filled with various situations and circumstances that rise up to challenge, hurt, disempower or even destroy us physically, spiritually and emotionally. When anyone commits an act of atrocious hatred, on any scale, it can leave us in a place of debilitating shock and grief. Often we feel deeply angry.
Our psyche desperately tries to make sense of the tremendous confusion and overwhelm that arise when humanity’s darker nature rears its ugly head. Our anger is justified. All the parts of ourselves that seek destruction, or revenge are also justified. But, beneath this incredible rage is a deep well of tremendous pain and grief. The Destroyer within each of us tries to defend and protect what it believes to be most precious.
There are no words to describe the magnitude of pain we feel when loss of life occurs. During these moments, we might feel powerless. When we experience danger, oppression or violence, our right to exist and sense of safety in the world are deeply threatened.
Rising Tensions in Global Consciousness
We exist in a time where atrocity and suffering are all too common. As a witness to the war stricken country of Syria and the Middle East, the extensive political and racial unrest abounding worldwide, and the countless acts of violence and overt abuse of our earth, it can be challenging to find the light within the insurmountable darkness. Syria is but one country of many that is experiencing devastation. With the constant threat of nuclear warfare from world powers like Russia, the United States, and North Korea, having hope for our future and in Mankind can at times feel like a fool’s dream.
So, in the darkest of times, why do our hope and faith prevail? During times of great tragedy and unrest, why is it that we instinctively rush to the aid of our fellow people? What drives us to defend our land and protest the Dakota Access Pipeline? Or, stand up and fight for justice and peace for our brothers and sisters of color, refugees, immigrants and LGBTQ communities? What ignites our patriotism when our way of life and sense of freedom is threatened by governmental machinations?
Is it Morality or Basic Goodness?
I believe that all human beings are basically good. Our basic goodness is what enables us to feel deep pain and sorrow when we experience or witness something horrible. When we see someone else in pain, our basic goodness is what inspires us to have empathy and share in a connected sense of suffering. In fact, when we see another person in pain it is scientifically and biologically impossible to not have a mirrored reaction in our own body.
Our ability to be vulnerable and tender is also a sign of our basic goodness. Every individual is born with the intrinsic desire and understanding to “do good” and “be good.” Yet, many people become drastically misdirected as a result of their own life experience, circumstance, or trauma. These individuals might not have the ability to access their own pain, let alone have compassion for others. Their existence is fueled by unprocessed anger, fear, pain, and deep distrust.
We have witnessed countless people throughout history who have caused incredible devastation as a result of their own misdirection and disconnection from their basic nature. Adolf Hitler is an infamous example of the evil and destruction that proliferates when one becomes severed from their basic goodness.
As a United States citizen and citizen of the world, we exist in an extraordinarily turbulent time. I woke up the morning after the U.S. 2016 election greeted by deep somberness, confusion, and fear. As a nation, I believe we are grieving our collective shadow and the extreme division between our people. The grave injustice, inequality, and overt hatred and judgment of fellow humans have reached an all time boiling point.
“Loving Those Who Can’t Love Themselves.”
Lately, I’ve been asking myself this question: “How can I begin to love the people that cannot love themselves?”
When devastation occurs, is it possible, not only to sit with pain, rage and grief, but also with sadness, compassion, and heartbreak that arise for both victim and perpetrator?
I believe that learning to love those that can’t love themselves is one of the most incredible acts of human compassion, courage and love. Acts of love, not acts of hate, will catalyze a more peaceful world. We can learn to fight the great injustices in the world through leading with our hearts.
When we make a practice of self-love and directing our focus and attention towards our own nourishment, we are able to work with challenging and painful situations with greater finesse and skillfulness.
This doesn’t mean we stop fighting or bow down in the face of someone trying to harm us. When we allow ourselves to connect to the depth of our heart and compassion, we ignite a fierce wisdom that can masterfully cut away and obliterate what is no longer in the highest service to life. When our attunement to our own self-care and love fills us, we then have the resources to give back to the world from a space of being deeply connected to ourselves.
Heart Wisdom and the Modern Warrior
Our heart wisdom has the ability to bring that which is out of balance into greater equilibrium. Heart wisdom can allow us to contact the raw power of our anger, ferocity, and warriorship in a way that will preserve life.
We can utilize our warriorship to overthrow systems that are no longer in service to the providence of life. We can create a world in which working together, inclusivity, communication, right action, love, and respect become the foundations for a new world.
When we lead with our hearts, we no longer engage in impulsivity. We are able to contact the spaciousness of our presence and unlock our innate intuitive understanding of the situation at hand. We are no longer a slave to our emotions or feelings. We learn to wield the power of our emotion, speech and action with finesse.
What if we had the power to diffuse horrific situations through cultivating our own love, compassion and self-understanding? Would we still seek to destroy or obliterate the misdirected? Or, would we stand in our truth and work together to find solutions?
I believe each and every one of us has the power to create lasting positive change for the good of all humankind. I have tremendous confidence in our ability to learn to have compassion for the people who abuse power and cause great pain. I know that we possess the ability to use our pain and grief as fuel and inspiration for our growth and global transformation. It will take such an act of extraordinary selflessness to catalyze the healing needed to unite the world in love.
In my heart of hearts, I know we have the strength, wisdom, and resilience to commit one of the highest acts of love possible, “Loving those that can’t love themselves.”
Tools for Coming Together and Self-Regulation in Times of Great Unrest
- Seek out the support of friends and family.
- Connect with your larger community.
- Seek out the support of a trusted mentor, teacher, elder, or healer.
- Find vehicles and creative outlets to vocalize and express your feelings
- Remember to connect with your breath.
- Welcome the full spectrum of all your emotions. There is no shame in feeling what you feel.
- Move your body in whatever ways feels good for you. Whether you move, shake, dance, practice yoga, hike, bike, run, climb, or lift weights, moving helps us release pent up energy, stress, and trauma in the body.
- Connect with your meditation practice or any mindfulness practice that helps to anchor you in the present moment.
- Nourish yourself with good food, clean water, and anything that helps you feel healthy and nourished.
- Make enough space to rest and sleep deeply. We need all the energy and rejuvenation time we can get!
- Love on yourself and each other as much as possible. We really need each other right now more than ever.