When something pierces your heart with pain, you can channel your fear and sadness by:
Being with what you’re feeling
Sending loving kindness
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.