I write this with a heavy heart, for once again, we are dealing with the aftermath of another violent attack. An attack on peace, on love, an attack on humanity.
How many times must we watch a loved one tearfully speak about the victims.
How many times must we explain to our children why bad people do these things.
How many times will my stomach churn as I learn the gory details of the attacks.
It all seems too much to bear, and yet we must.
How do take care of ourselves in times like these?
One of the ways of starting the healing process is to practice self –care.
Here are a few tools that I’ve used to help me cope.
1) Don’t run away from your feelings. Feel your feelings.
I cried when I heard about the attack, tears of sadness, and anger.
How could this be happening again?
I leaned into my pain and sadness and anger; let it wash over me and allowed it to flow through me.
The feelings came over and over again, with each new update, every time I saw a loved one cry, every time I saw the victims’ faces.
I felt their pain. I felt MY pain.
2) Take care of your body, with rest, water and clean eating.
It is very tempting to remain glued to the TV watching the news. Rest your mind and body by getting adequate sleep.
Keep hydrated with adequate amounts of water.
Avoid processed foods, added sugars and salt.
Treat your body as a sacred vessel through which your work in the World will come through.
3) Take care of your mind, with journaling, spending time in silence, and positive affirmations.
Get your thoughts and feelings out of your mind and on to paper. Write a letter describing your feelings.
Spend time in silence, connect with your inner voice and let the answers come.
Write out positive affirmations on pieces of paper or on your phone to remind you to focus on the good in the World, for what we focus on expands.
Let’s all focus on love, kindness, and peace.
4) Take care of your spirit with prayer, and meditation
It is tempting to lose faith, to lose hope.
Connect with a Higher Power, pray for peace, for strength, for guidance, for healing.
I pray for the victims and their families.
For wisdom and guidance for our leaders.
For an end to these senseless acts.
For a World where peace prevails.
5) Practice forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean we condone the act. It means that we are releasing ourselves from the anger and bitterness.
It means we are no longer giving our power over to the perpetrator.
By practicing forgiveness, we are giving ourselves the gift of freedom; freedom from pain and anger and allowing joy and happiness to replace these feelings.
6) Volunteer. Give of your time, and your talents.
It was heartwarming to see the long lines of people so willing to donate blood.
In times like these, we often feel helpless.
Volunteer at a shelter for the homeless, sign a petition for better gun control, do something that you’re passionate about.
We do not have to sit back and feel helpless. We can do something to heal our World.
I believe that we are inherently good and kind. I believe that Love will prevail.
For as Nelson Mandela said:
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”