We Are One
There are always two dimensions to global trauma. The first is what we experience in community with others. We realize that we are not alone in our pain. When we volunteer, donate blood or attend vigil services we participate in this shared experience. This coming together allows us feel connected to one another.
The second dimension is what arises individually. Of course, if the loss hits close to home, the impact is uniquely personal and heart wrenching. But even if this is not the case, the grief of collective trauma brings to the surface our own unhealed wounds and fears. Perhaps there are past losses that have been ignored, or fears about what the future holds. We each have our own experiences and this is the lens through which we perceive the world. Even though this is normal, getting lost in our stories can cause us to feel more isolated from one another.
It’s important to recognize this because after traumatic events, emotions can run high. We may notice feelings of sadness, powerlessness, confusion. Inadvertently, we might find ourselves acting out the very anger that undergirds acts of violence. We risk becoming part of the very problem we are trying to heal.
By becoming aware of this possibility, we can choose to slow down and take better care of ourselves. We can take some quiet time to just breathe and be….to listen to music, sit outside, to journal, or reach out and talk to a friend.
If emotions seem too big to handle, we can consider scheduling an appointment with a counselor. So many generous resources are available right now in the aftermath of these tragedies.
Most important, we can choose to be kind. Not just polite or courteous, but kind. The word “kind” comes from the word “kin,” meaning our clan or family. When we look at others as one of our own, the other feels seen and a connection is made. And it is this connection that heals.
The simple intention each day to treat oneself and others with loving kindness is profound, an antidote to so much of the separation and hate we see. Truly, this one choice has the power to not only heal us, but bless our community and our world.
Until next time