Current events that affect us deeplyMay 25, 2022
I was rushing to get my children ready for school when my husband asked if I’d seen the news. By the time I pulled away from the bus stop and drove the short ten-minute ride to my office, I received my first question from a client, trying to process the details coming from the news.
How do we make sense of these difficult moments? When it hits close to home, when it triggers us, when it feels so raw?
I learned long ago that difficult moments are inevitable. Without them, we would have far less motivation to make changes in our lives. Whether we are talking about a relationship, the position we are sitting in, school violence, or even war between countries, difficult moments create a wave of motion that forces us to take a deeper look.
Yeah, but the senseless loss of life? Bear with me. Let’s go deeper.
To begin to process and work through this latest event in the news, let’s talk about two different principles: why things happen and why they affect us.
Why they affect us
Principle 1: Triggering
When we see the news or read an article that triggers our emotions, it is striking something within us. We are emotionally triggered. Think of it as a resonance. The story resonates with something within us (either conscious or subconscious) and brings it to our awareness through our emotional reaction.
That was a lot of words, but let’s say that again because it’s super important: the story resonates with something within us and brings it to our awareness through our emotional reaction.
Our job is to find resonance. Focusing on the emotion is usually a great starting point. What are you feeling? Grief? Sadness? Fear? Worry? Anger?
Our tendency is to look outside of us for the cause but I’m asking you to look within.
In the most recent current event, perhaps you are feeling anger, grief, fear. Recognize any of these triggered emotions that are true for you.
Principle 2: The chord of resonance
The second step is harder. What is causing the resonance? Gently look within yourself. Did you feel unsafe as a child? Or as an adult? Have you had anxiety about not feeling safe? About the world being dangerous? About bad things happening? Just give your mind a little space to explore what thoughts or emotions or beliefs may be triggered for you in this moment (of hearing or seeing or reading the news).
Now realize these chords are frequently not conscious. Gently hold this and allow your mind to share details that may be hidden from plain sight.
Once we realize what is being triggered within us, we can let this energy move. And the result will be less emotional triggering.
Our goal is to have empathy for the suffering of others, to be supportive and compassionate, to make the world a better place. We can do this much more effectively if we clear ourselves of triggering emotions, events and belief systems.
Why difficult things happen
We ask this age-old question when events just don’t seem to make sense from our worldview. Why would anyone forcibly enter a school and take innocent lives? Most of us thankfully cannot comprehend this.
Difficult events happen to help us spiritually grow, either as people or as a society.
Duality exists so we can know both sides of the coin. If we’ve never lost love, we don’t understand its value. If we only are healthy, we may lack compassion for those who struggle with chronic health problems. If everything was smooth sailing and easy, we may struggle to relate to those who face difficulty and hardship.
Why would this event happen? There are many levels to this question but let’s take a stab at just a couple.
Personally: To remind us to appreciate and love those around us. To appreciate our families, our communities. To not take our blessings for granted. To appreciate the gift of life and the impermanence of it. To face and heal our fear of not feeling safe.
Societally: Our society has people who are hurting, who are isolated, who are mentally unwell and don’t get the help they need. How can we help bring awareness to this issue? When we see someone who appears unwell, can we find compassion rather than judgment? Can we offer support in some way?
What action can you take, in your own day-to-day life, to make the world a more loving, compassionate place? And to release triggered emotions your system is carrying? This is the way to leverage these difficult moments for growth.
If you find yourself struggling to process these events, be gentle with yourself. And I’d like to point you to my stress less mini, a free 10 minute session that can help calm your mind and body, and get you back to feeling grounded.
If you are still deeply affected by current events, let’s connect and discuss how to get you feeling better.
And let's all take a moment to send healing energy and blessings of comfort to all those who were touched by this tragedy.
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