Grief, Love, Impossible Hope – Working and Creating through Crisis
Just when I think my heart can’t break any more… It does.
I just heard about the mass shooting in Nova Scotia. And I broke down in tears. Again.
Since COVID-19 started, I’ve been awash in emotions. Part of being a sensitive person, and filled with empathy, is having a lot of emotions about the state of the world. I feel things very deeply. When I hear about world and local tragedies, it affects me greatly. I get overcome with grief when I hear about people passing in tragic and senseless ways. And this latest bit of news is the further breaking open of my heart.
I don’t know anyone in Nova Scotia. My heart breaks just the same. The deepest condolences to all those families. And to every family of someone who has lost someone dear to them. It’s all so much.
Maybe you’re similar? A big-hearted, feeling kind of person. You FEEL. Big emotions. For yourself and you feel the emotions of others too.
Even though it hurts so much in times like these, I want you to stay open. It’s so important to retain those beautiful, empathetic and energetic gifts. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you how to stay in that high frequency and still be energetically and emotionally safe. How to keep doing your soulful, creative work in the world even though you may be going through a lot personally and managing the energy of the collective.
Being Sensitive is a Gift
Even though it can feel terrible at times, being sensitive is your superpower. And we need you! We need all the world’s super-feelers, super-sensitive, super-energy workers. And we need you working even though you’d like to run away and live in a cave right now.
I know at times I do. I want to run away from all this. Hide under a rock and forget the world. Go meditate on a mountain somewhere.
I stay though.
I stay because I care so much. And I keep working, not despite the pain, but because of it.
Feeling is important! Having empathy is a wonderful thing. It makes me good at my job. Even though being extra sensitive requires more self-care through Reiki and meditation, I still wouldn’t trade it in.
In fact, I believe that empathy and having deep feelings about everything that’s happening now is the way for all of us to create a better world. How else are we going to find a better way? By having all of us compassionate people, us lightworkers, engaged in our work to rebuild the world.
What to do IF you feel like Hiding
Maybe hide for a bit. For a day or two or a week.
I’m a big fan of weighted blankets and cozy hoodies. I cry. I let myself feel it all. I don’t rush through the emotion I feel each day. Because – feeling is important. It’s what makes me strong, even though I feel weak.
Strength is in the ability to bend to the might of the world. ~ Geneva Robins
Bend. Flex. Move. Breathe. Maybe even break for a bit.
Because in the breaking, we get broken open. In the grief, there’s love. And oh… oh what a love that is. A LOVE that is greater. Greater than all the suffering, greater than the greatest pain.
I know this. I feel this even now. When I feel like my poor heart can’t feel anymore, it does. I feel the pain of my personal losses, the greater loss in our world, the loss of hugs and loved ones, the pain that runs so deep through this all. It’s immense.
And then I let it go to the Divine, the Earth, the Infinite Night Sky, I let it go to the mighty arms of the Universe itself – to the deep loving presence in the heart of creation – I let it all go. I let it go because it’s too big for me. I let it go because I have to.
And in that moment of surrender, a grace enters.
I don’t know where it comes from. From everywhere and nowhere. A voice. A knowing. A message in my heart. It said, “Write” a few moments ago. So I write. But that grace fills the broken spaces in my heart too. And healing begins. Peace enters.
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
~ Leonard Cohen, ‘Anthem‘
And the love inside me fills the space. It flows along with my tears, and I get to work. I take a tiny step.
Turning Pain to Purposeful Action
I put the pain to work for me. I use it to do my part to uplift and help the ones I can. I help in the way that I’m able, and I send thoughts of love and gratitude to all those working on the parts I can’t.
I’m reminded of a chapter called ‘Prescription for Heartache‘ from ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ by Norman Vincent Peale. In it he gives this sage advice (the emphasis is mine):
“Whatever the character of your heartache, one of the first steps is to resolve to escape from any defeatist situation which may have been created around yourself, even though it is difficult to do so, and return once again to the normal course of your life. Get back into the main stream of life’s activities. Take up your old associations. Form new ones. Get busy walking, riding, swimming, playing — get the blood to coursing through your system. Lose yourself in some worth-while project. Fill your days with creative activity and emphasize the physical aspect of activity. Employ healthy mind-relieving busy-ness, but be sure that it is of a worth-while and constructive nature. Superficial escapism through feverish activity merely deadens the pain temporarily and does not heal, as for example parties and drinking.”
I use this prescription often. Pretty much daily since this began for us in my part of the world. I feel deeply. I surrender. And I ask for a task to set to work on. I ask my guides and my Divine Team for instructions on what I can do. I ask for a tiny step in my part in this larger web of healing that is happening now. And then I get to work.
And it helps. It really does.
Being engaged in worthwhile work, in helping others, in doing what I’m best at — it has been the best thing for me. It keeps me out of the overwhelm and in positive solution-oriented action.
So I suggest that for you.
Feel. Cry. Breathe. Move. Then work.
Work on something. Anything that you’ve always wanted to do. On a creative dream you’ve been waiting on. On organizing your pantry. On helping a friend. On calling a loved one. On learning something new. On planting a tree. On a memorial. On a way to grieve together, though apart. On a business idea. On a way to make the world just a tiny bit brighter.
You have a gift. Something you’re great at. Something you’re passionate about. Something that you just want to try. Try.
Meditation Can Bring Relief to Grief
The other thing that I do is meditate. It’s always served me in a way that even sleep cannot. When several family members passed away in the span of a year and a half, the only respite for me was in meditation.
Meditation is an anchor. It roots you in the present moment and moves you through feelings, easing them, and beautifully transforming them.
And only a tiny bit of meditation can bring enormous benefits. Even if you think you’re terrible at it, it works. The only way to fail is not to do it. There are several meditations here that can help. Give them a go.
Meditation creates a way for you to breathe when everything is intense. It brings a soothing space of comfort, a calm that is so needed right now.
How do you keep on going?
I keep going because I have to. Because I live. And life is always a precious gift.
I have a responsibility to lead a life full of love and happiness. I honour those who have passed by living fully. I’m grateful for my life and all its blessings in such a profound way.
I dedicate myself to my soul’s purpose, and I do my work as it presents itself each day. Sometimes the ‘work’ is to rest and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Sometimes its to breathe and feel the freedom around me. Sometimes its to text a heart emoji to someone I love. Sometimes my ‘work’ is to tuck my son into bed and listen to his thoughts on why we really need a VR system. Sometimes its to write.
And you can do the work with grief in your heart. You can continue. Just taking each breath, each moment, one at a time. Even when the tears won’t stop, you can do something small.
In the middle of heartbreak, grief, isolation, and loneliness, you can have your suffering have meaning and purpose. And meaning can get you through the darkest moments.
“We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. For what matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human acheivement.”
~ Viktor E. Frankl, psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor, author of ‘Man’s Search for Meaning‘
We rise. Even when we’d rather not. We stand together, even though apart.
And in those slow and gentle movements, in those tiny steps taken forward with the energy of love and compassion, we create a powerful new world together. One where you do your best to help, and I do mine.
We do this in the middle of the pain. We begin exactly where we are – in the mess and grime of existence. On these terrible days when bad news abounds, and hope seems small, we each light a tiny light.
And then hope flourishes.