It’s only noon, and I’ve already been happy and sad about a dozen things. On the happy list are my yoga class and a friend’s visit. A bad hair day and my dog throwing up made the sad list. In the big scheme of things, these trivial personal events are not memorable. On the contrary, events that are not personal can fracture the very core of my physical, emotional and spiritual foundations for long periods of time. From Columbine to 9/11 these egregious acts of hatred affect the collective consciousness of all humanity. There’s no ignoring, no going back and no getting over them.
If terrorism is not enough to get you down, violent acts and injustices in the world continue to bubble up to the surface in the overflowing caldron of hatred and greed. Yet, life goes on as usual. Every day, the sun rises and sets. People go to work. Kids go to school. Given what is happening in the world, how can we continue to live without imploding in anger, depression, hostility and hate ourselves?
Here are a few ways to help heal your heart and restore your hope in humankind.
Take a Media Break
Being too attached to the news can be emotionally taxing and toxic because most of what’s reported is bad news. Take a day or two a week away from the news. Instead, go outside and appreciate nature and the beauty that surrounds you.
Pray or Meditate
Prayer and meditation have been practiced since the beginning of time and often bring people together to create good in the world. They give us comfort and hope by allowing us to believe in a higher power while turning over our problems and worries.
There are too many problems for any one human being, community or nation to solve. Instead of trying to tackle all of them, pick one that you have a passion for solving. Sign petitions. Join grassroots efforts. Write letters to your government representatives.
When you determine where to focus your efforts, be sure to learn everything you can about it —not just one side, but all the viewpoints. Education is always the best offense in advancing positive change.
Live with Love
The best way to create more love and peace in the world is to create more love and peace in your own heart. At the beginning of each day, set an intention to think and act from a place of love. Be kind and giving to others. Like attracts like.
There are plenty of people, animals, and causes that could use your time, money, products or expertise. Sometimes you don’t have to look any farther than your own family and community. If you can help one person live a better life, you are changing the world!
Live in Gratitude
Chances are you live in a country where violence is not the norm, where water is safe to drink, freedom of speech is allowed, children are afforded an education, people of different faiths and religions coexist, and marriage is a personal choice. For all of that and so much more, be thankful.
Focus on the Good
Don’t let the heinous acts of others overshadow all the good in the world. Spend time each day focusing on all that’s right and good in your family, community or the world. People have triumphed over wars, plagues and other tragedies. They have forgiven each other for hateful acts. They have not only survived, but also thrived in the face of adversity, sometimes for the better.
By Debbie Gisonni