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You may be trying to heal and move on from trauma right now and might feel as if your own world has been crashing down. For example, daily life can seem especially difficult if you are going through a divorce. Add on events happening in the world, including in our own backyards, and it is easy to slip into the negativity and become a victim.
You may never have been one to suffer from anxiety, paralyzing fear or the inability to function in the world. You may be positive and have immense hope for humanity. You may be kind and accepting, may have always felt that we are all one and that the only way we will live together on this planet is to accept differences and make peace.
Yet lately, events have escalated to intense divisiveness and fear. The human ability to rationalize and process these incidents is beyond challenging for many of us, having never lived through such a crisis. How does one continue to progress in the healing journey during such exigent times? Here are some things you can do to make it a little easier.
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1. Turn off the news and electronic devices
The concept “out of sight, out of mind” has advantages. While it is important to keep up with what is happening in the world, it is better to make a specific time each day to review headline news, check social media…and then turn it off. The more we subject ourselves to listening to negativity (like despair, horrific event synopses, frustration, anger), the harder it is to focus on the positive and the harder it is to heal ourselves from our own challenges.
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2. Express gratitude despite hatred and fear
I know this sounds impossible to do when outside events dominate our senses, but it is possible. Start your day with an expression of gratitude and by acknowledging all the things for which you are grateful. Here are a few in case you’re finding it difficult: breath, life, love of family/loved ones/friends, nature, people who act from love, choice and the beauty that surrounds us.
Even in war, there is beauty in a sunrise or sunset, in the way the ocean crashes onto the shore and gently rolls back out again, the glimmer off a lake as the sun sparkles upon it, birds taking flight…the list goes on. If you cannot physically see such things, you can close your eyes and picture them. But make gratitude a habit.
3. Make changes within to love more each day
Fear tends to make us feel helpless, which can turn us into victims. When we become victims, we are afraid to go out into the world and shine our own light, and we get pulled down into a well of negativity. We stop trying to make changes within and figure we cannot do anything to make them outside ourselves. But we can always make changes — both within and without.
Changes within come from a trifecta of desire, belief and expectation. You must desire the change, believe you can accomplish it, and expect it to happen. The first one is easy – wanting peace and joy within your life is something almost all want. Believing it will happen can be a challenge, especially when terrible things are happening outside your little bubble, and many of us need to work on this prong of the trifecta. The last one – expectation – means that you expect this thing you desire and believe WILL happen, period. This is another challenge for many humans, especially those who have fallen into victimhood. You may need help with this trifecta, and healing will not be possible until you accomplish all three.
Start a journal and write about what changes you wish to see within, then work toward them. Catch yourself each time you go down the victim rabbit hole and replace your thoughts with statements of love. Be easy on yourself – Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will you heal in a day or a week, maybe not for months or more. But every step up the ladder brings you closer to it – thus the reason it is called a journey. Celebrate each one.
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4. Take your self-love and spread it
Once you have made changes within to call in your best and highest self and work toward your healing, you need to focus on what actions you can take to spread the love you have discovered within yourself. This must be done and will create a domino effect – however small – that will take root and spread. It can be as simple as recognizing a store clerk who looks unhappy and asking if all is ok…this goes a long way in making a change for the positive, as the clerk will likely feel heard and validated when you tell them you hope things get better and not to give up. Try this and see what happens.
Every time you tweak your perspective and respond instead of reacting, you can make a change in the world. It may be microscopic but celebrate the change nonetheless. This is how love is spread. Imagine the store clerk above who then goes home and feels slightly better because you took a moment to care – what might that person do to spread the good feeling?
Once you feel up to increasing your ability to make change, you can do more – volunteer to help those less fortunate, champion positive changes in your community, listen better, visualize and manifest peace and love. You can spread this feeling in many ways when you realize your actions’ power. A beautiful tree starts as a tiny seed. If we all do small things to change the narrative, what we can accomplish is unbelievable.