What to Do When You are Surrounded by Tragedy
Posted November 25, 2013on:
It’s always there on some level, lurking in the shadows or making a full frontal attack. Bad things happen. Tornados, hurricanes, divorce, people close to you get ill or die. It would be easy to become immobile with the sadness of it all, but that doesn’t serve anyone.
Here is what I have learned to do:
Check my perspective: I can see it all as tragic or I can trust that there are blessings too. I give myself permission not to understand and even if it feels yucky know that someone, maybe many, are growing from the experience. People support each other in tragedy, families come together when someone they love is dying, and from the ashes new dreams are born. It is not my place to decide what is good or bad, right or wrong, faith or love.
Do what I can: I read to my friend in hospice, support my clients through their challenges, and listen to a friend who just learned she has a life threatening condition. Volunteering and prayer are ways to help on a larger scale. There is always something I can do.
Focus on gratitude: I am a sensitive person and can easily take on the pain of others, but that does nothing to make things better. Instead, I acknowledge my feelings and let them come forward, but don’t let myself get stuck there. The way I do this is by recognizing the ways my life is blessed. When homes are destroyed by acts of nature I am thankful for the shelter I have and when my friend lost her mobility I was clear that my daily walks were a gift. The tragedies of others can bring into the light how lucky I am.
I am not saying that I have this down perfectly. I am human. What I can say is that this practice supports me and it gets easier each time. I wonder if it could support you, too.