During these times, many of us are feeling a bit lost, if not confused. We listen to stories or watch videos of events that stop us cold. As we watch events such as those with George Floyd or the police officers killed at the capitol, we realize how easily events in life can rise up and destroy. How can we feel calm again? How do we get through the day, when so much of life is beyond our control?
What we might try is accepting. Accepting doesn’t mean you have to like or approve of what’s happening. It is more of an exercise of exploring or noticing what is happening. Such an approach includes accepting who we are instead of getting in a dialogue with our own projections. Doing so we notice when anger and confusion rise up. We understand they might carry us in directions we do not want to go. When we find ourselves sitting up at night wondering and replaying our worries and fears, we do have options.
We can use the same mental techniques that left us tired and spent to open our hearts and reclaim peace. The time we used creating a Plan B for bad and horrible outcomes, can also be used to generate a Plan A – for the acceptable and inspirational possibilities. Worst-case scenarios are so powerful because we KNOW what can create the worst case. We then use that ‘what’ to visualize the horrible outcomes. That is why dwelling on such fears can be so powerful. Fears are emotions and often arise from dwelling on thoughts and emotions.
We can use the same approach to visualize a best-case or even a good-case scenario. Of course, we cannot bring those killed back to life. However, we can think thoughts or take actions that put a smile on our face or another’s. We can reach out with calls or volunteer time to support those impacted by the deaths. We can use our time to connect with life instead of dwelling on fears that keep us locked up inside our emotions and thoughts.
You can make this shift by contemplating something positive you KNOW can happen. You might visualize how a colorful card inspires a relative or friend you haven’t been in touch to give you a call. Maybe you make a donation to a relief fund or attend a vigil to warm your heart. The practice is shifting the focus to accepting what is and then working with that.
Although you cannot bring someone back from the dead, you can send a card of sympathy or make a donation to charity in someone’s name.
By accepting and working with what is, we practice noticing and connecting. We make conscious choices about where we direct our thoughts. We choose how to collaborate with events in our lives. When in the midst of what feels like chaos, we can use our thoughts, words, and deeds to engage in ways that add peace, if only for a moment.