Acknowledging the Elephant
If you have followed my blog at all, you know that I tend to borrow from my own experiences in making peace with food, my body – and myself – in the hopes that my story and the lessons I’ve learned will serve as guidance and inspiration for my readers. I’m going to go a different direction today because the world’s current political and social climate has simply become impossible for me to ignore. So today I’m going to acknowledge the elephant in the room – actually a handful of those elephants, of which there are many.
I imagine that just a mere mention of world events is evoking images in your mind, as it does in mine. The travesties and despair in Aleppo, Syria. America’s post-election climate of fear, hatred, prejudice, racism and division. Locally to me, the recent fire in Oakland, CA that took so many young lives. The brave fight for clean water and respect for sacred ground at Standing Rock. The list goes on and on.
And it may leave you feeling a bit lost and confused, as it has done to me. Confusion around how to help. Around feeling helpless. Wondering how we keep trudging along in our lives when it feels like the walls are caving in. When nothing we do feels as important as what’s happening out there, over there. When our lives, our problems, our challenges start to feel so trivial in comparison.
And for my fellow sensitive souls, for the empaths among us, wondering how much more we can take. Feeling the darkness and the sadness and the fear and the hatred and the disregard for humanity and for our Mother Earth envelop us. Wondering where it’s all going and when and how it will end.
How do we live our lives of relative privilege without feeling guilty about it? How do we not trivialize our problems and challenges in comparison to what others are going through? Why do we get to be safe and comfortable and even happy when there is tragedy in the world?
Yes. All of that. Which is why I felt compelled to bring this topic into the light. Because I feel that too.
So what now? What are some ways to cope? I won’t claim to have the most wisdom on this topic but I will share what I’m learning and doing.
Love trumps hate. Love trumps fear. Love always wins. Look for ways to spread love. To feel more love. Love for yourself, for those closest to you, for your community, for humanity, for the planet. Turn up the dial on goodness, on wisdom, on peace, on joy. Allow that glow to spread – to be infectious – far and wide.
Comparison will get us nowhere. Yes, there will always be someone who is hurting more than we are. And that doesn’t mean that our pain, our challenges, should be stuffed down, numbed out, or ignored. Pain is pain is pain. Whether that means acknowledging the pain of the world or allowing yourself to acknowledge your own pain – it’s important to continue to feel. Without allowing the pain and sadness in, there can be no healing, hope, happiness and joy. They are all part of the same continuum.
Help however you can. One way to feel less helpless is to find ways to help. Contribute to charities that support causes that are important to you – supporting refugees, providing medical support, equality, freedom, preserving the planet. Volunteer at your local food bank or women’s shelter or donate blood. Even doing something small or local will help to heal the world – by raising the energetic vibration on this planet.
I’d love to hear from you too – what helps you to keep going – to keep faith and hope alive? Please share so all of us can benefit from the collective wisdom. In peace and love ~ Ann