Ways to Channel Fear and Sadness

When something pierces your heart with pain, you can channel your fear and sadness by:

Being with what you’re feeling

Sending loving kindness

Doing something

It’s tempting when something horrific like the shooting in Denver happens to follow the thought “not me, not mine, not my business” and keep moving with your day – at least it is for me. Maybe you prefer to endlessly click on news reports and torture yourself with what ifs and whys.

Neither one is good and both can lead you to an armoured heart. Protected, walled off. Numb.

I so don’t want to live my life there. Nor do you or you wouldn’t read my blog.

Here is what you and I can do instead:

  • Drop the story and be with what you’re feeling, sensing it in your body, watching it, letting it move through you. Drop the thoughts, the story, the “what happened!!!” and let the feelings move. You are not your feelings. If you let them move, in 90 seconds or so, they will change. Watch, feel, breathe.
  • Avoid judging yourself for any thoughts that arise like “I never go to movies like that so…” or fantasies of how you would have saved your family or feelings of relief. All normal.
  • Send loving kindness to all those involved. The victims, their families, the police, the paramedics, the family of the man who did this. “May you be healed. May you be at peace. May something good come from this. May you feel safe again.”
  • Go do something of service. Take your mom out to lunch. Donate to Charity Water. Read an article about something that scares you and stay awake while you do. Write a thank you note. Make muffins for your lonely neighbor. Tweet someone’s project. Do. Anything. Channel fear and sadness into action.

Repeat when the grief and fear arise again.

We are human and fragile and afraid – together.  Never alone, my friend, never alone.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Ann_mccommas - July 20, 2012

Beautifully written, Jennifer.  Many of us take comfort from your words today.

    jenniferlouden - July 22, 2012

    thanks Ann so much!

Motherwort - July 20, 2012

Just what I needed to read!  Perfect timing & blessings on you~~~ 

Brian Andreas - July 20, 2012

Thank you

Brian Andreas - July 20, 2012

Well said, Jen. Each step you take can be towards love & connection. Just takes remembering & doing…

Callahan McDonough - July 20, 2012

Yes, Jen, so well put. I pray there is more love & connection that sustains from this shocking event and loss. Peace.

Mary Montanye - July 20, 2012

Yes, Dear One, it did.  Thank you.

Anne Corey - July 20, 2012

Thanks for this posting, Jen.  You write so directly and meaningfully about what is really a collective feeling–and so you underline our connections to each other and how those connections can be for the good.

Sandees - July 20, 2012

Thank you for helping me put words to my feelings and focusing on the good I can do (however small) in my part of the world.  Blessings and peace.

    jenniferlouden - July 22, 2012

    i’m so glad it was helpful

Jo - July 20, 2012

Oh Jen! Divine timing. Precise, Concise, Compassionate, Practical and Oh SO needed. Shift Happens if allowed to….thank you for your intuitive wisdom. As always, your words have created in me, a soft space to land ….Blissings. x

    jenniferlouden - July 22, 2012

    you are so weclome

suzie - July 21, 2012

Just right, thanks, Jen!

Leaving Home, Going Home « A Thousand Shades of Gray - July 21, 2012

[…] been that for a long time now. This post from Jennifer Louden helped yesterday, “Ways to Channel Fear and Sadness,” reminded me of what I already know to be true. She ends the post with this: “We are […]

Tandy Belt - July 21, 2012

I also wrote on this today.  THANK YOU for this awesome piece!

June - July 21, 2012

Three things spring to mind upon reading your post, dear Jennifer.
–How good you are at reaching out–thank you.
–I found it interesting that you left out the disturbed young man who perpetrated the madness when you wrote about extending lovingkindness, and was wondering if this was intentional.
–This is what often comforts me in times of distress or anxiety: something I call
“Shakespeare’s stars.” I look up at the night sky, see the stars arrayed in all their splendor, and think to myself, “These are the same stars that shone on Shakespeare, on George Eliot, on Gandhi, on Antoine de Saint Exupery, on Amelia Earhart…” and this helps me gain perspective and remind me that amidst all the strife and worry and madness, there is still the gift of goodness and genius and generosity, and that will abide.
I know something like this will perhaps be of small comfort to those who are, this very day weeping with searing pain, but my great hope is that some good will come of this, somehow.

    jenniferlouden - July 22, 2012

    June thank you for your wonderful “Shakespeare stars” meditation. I love that!
    I did not mention the young man for two reasons: feeling people might not be up to offering him loving kindness yet and I did not know what to call him – murderer?. So I put it in and took it out several times and finally decided it was best to leave him out for now .But I did struggle with that!

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