Here’s #11 in my ‘Blog a Day’ commitment. I’m writing a new post each weekday for a month.
I took my first sweet sip of tea. I’d just completed my morning ritual of stretching, meditation, Angel Cards, and journaling.
As I savored my breakfast, the message arrived. My sister reporting in on a horrific tragedy that had befallen her partner’s best friend and his family. You know one of those stories you see in the news and it’s so disturbing you can’t even read the whole thing.
And here it was coming in so close to home. Not to my home so much, I’m 2500 miles away now, and I’d only met these people a couple of times. But right there into my dear sister’s mind, heart and home.
I could practically see the tears coming through my phone.
What do we do when tragedy comes in so close?
I’ve never been one to crane my neck and slow down when I see an accident on the highway. As long as I can tell that help has arrived I’m content to speed on my way and put this out of my mind as quickly as possible. I do send love and blessing to all those involved, but my heart feels too tender to dwell on misfortune and horror.
As an empath I’ve taken taken on the pain of another far too often in my life.
I do this unconsciously, but there’s a part of me that believed that by taking in the pain to my own self I could somehow relieve them of their own suffering. (Although there’s actually a big difference between pain and suffering — but that’s another blog.)
The sad reality is that not a one of us can relieve another’s suffering through our own suffering. Or maybe that’s not such a sad truth…. but it seems so, because it still leaves us at such a loss.
We care. We want to help. In my case my grief through association, and my concern for all those involved weighed heavy on me. I couldn’t imagine continuing with my day, tackling my list, certainly not in the same ‘la la la’ perspective I’d been in before that message!
Yet, I knew that moping around, replaying the scene in my mind, and wringing my hands at the unfairness of it all would do precisely nothing for my traumatized loved ones
Every situation is different. Sometimes it IS appropriate to drop anything and hold space for your people when the big shit happens. Be there with them, listen without judgment, cry with them, hold them.
This wasn’t that sort of time. After calling my sister to offer love and consolation I was left here … all these miles away …. wondering how to handle the turmoil in my mind. I tried sitting as peacefully as possible, sending healing light and blessing to all those involved.
That was OK, but I still didn’t feel that peaceful.
My M.O. for most of my life has been to quickly distract myself from uncomfortable feelings like this. Get busy, grab a drink, alter my consciousness in some way. This wasn’t always a conscious decision, it was just automatic.
The problem, of course, is this is just a temporary fix. The sadness, the fear, the anger, whatever that nasty old feeling was—it would come back to haunt me at the most inappropriate of times.
There’s really no way out but through.
So, I stopped for a while. (And believe me, that wasn’t easy for this little workaholic who was all set to tackle that To-Do list.)
I sat down, I did some EFT on myself, I allowed the tears to flow freely. I railed at God and the Universe for allowing these sorts of things to happen. I just let it OUT. I breathed.
It took longer than the 90 seconds that some experts say is enough to experience emotion. But it did subside, quicker than I might have thought.
Afterward, it felt much more real to channel love and healing. Fully present I could connect with Divine Light and send it. And, it felt natural to widen that healing energy light sending it out to ALL beings in pain and suffering.
And, unlike the old ‘take in the pain’ way, this was in no way depleting to my own energy.
The sadness and grief is not gone for good of course. My heart still aches for this family and all those close to them. This life on Earth includes inevitable loss, inevitable pain, and we never know what’s coming next in our own personal worlds. At least not on a conscious level.
That’s why these tragedies are always reminders to appreciate and celebrate every little piece of our “one wild and precious”‘ lives.
I am so grateful for the gift of each moment, the sublime, the indifferent, and the challenging.
Yes, Every. Day. Precious.