This has been an extremely hard week for humanity. As a non-violent individual, and one who struggles with anxiety, I find myself frozen in fear wondering where we are headed during the next weeks and months. It is clear that things need to change. Things NEED to change! There is deep-seated pain in America. There is anger. There is fear. There are tears. America it is time to heal yourself. The voices of ugliness need to be drowned out. Acts of violence need to stop. The bullying culture needs to go; it NEVER served us. Time to let that go.
Voices of peace and love need to be louder. There are peaceful and kind people in America. There are true patriots who want all residents to prosper and live their best lives. Yet these people are not going to come out with guns blazing, with hate speech, with extremist actions. They are your considerate neighbors, your kind coworkers, your quiet and perhaps also shy friends. People in your communities who serve you with a smile and a kind word. Notice these people. Notice the kind love within these steadfast quiet souls.
Yesterday I felt useless as one of these individuals. I felt fear as violence erupted from demonstrations meant to be peaceful. My anxiety surged. When I closed my eyes to meditate all I could think when I tried to focus on my breath was “#icantbreathe”. The movement is that powerful! This nation witnessed trauma together. Those of us already healing from other traumas are struggling even more. We have definitely reached the breaking point America and it is time to stop.
Sending light and love…
When we sit in meditation is it for our own benefit? Yes. Does this seem selfish? On the surface, it may seem so. However, when we sit in loving kindness for our own self we practice self-love. When we start to care for our own self and acknowledge that we as individuals deserve kindness and respect, we create an outward ripple effect; a positive ripple effect. We are all connected. An injustice to one person also has a ripple effect; a negative ripple effect. Social media and news serve to connect us and let us know when one person is hurting. It also serves to fuel anger, resentment, and hate.
When I woke up this morning I felt anger and sadness – residual effects from yesterday’s abysmal news of yet another death at the hands of law enforcement. Other news stories and the current state of our divided communities here in the United States also affected my mood. This country is a place I currently do not recognize. I feel anger, fear, sadness, and a little hopeless that we are sinking into chaos and disunity.
I’m a new meditation practicer and with my Calm app, I usually do the daily meditation in the morning upon waking up and then another one before I go to bed in the evening. I did not feel in the mood for it at all this morning. And honestly, I wrestled with my mind for most of it. Why am I sitting here trying to do this when there is so much unrest and suffering? I learned a new term – Bodhisattva.
The bodhisattva is someone who vows to share the benefits of their meditation practice with all living beings. The suffering of others is not really separate from our own. We all know how one person’s rude remark can impact us – perhaps for a day – perhaps it triggers a deep-seated hurt. In turn, this can make us cranky towards others and so on it goes – a ripple effect of negativity. So when we choose to sit in meditation and get quiet – take a beat and sit with our emotions we may not feel the peace we desire immediately but it starts to move us there. There is an intention set in us to perhaps go out into the world again and to try and be kinder to those we come into contact with; to try and practice more patience and respect with each other. If we can help make someone else’s day less painful then they, in turn, will not be as likely to snap at the next person.
The term bodhisattva is rooted in Buddhism and describes an individual who has reached enlightenment and serves to help others also reach enlightenment. An individual who cultivates empathy, awareness, and compassion for all living beings.