Part 2: How to turn towards what’s happening
Dear fellow human,
It is with a sad heart that I start to write this email. I have no words for the awfully horrifying events that took place yesterday at an elementary school in Texas. At least 19 children, CHILDREN, dead and two adults from the hands of an 18 year old, male gunman.
It is horrifying to think that school is such a dangerous place, even for the youngest students. It brings much sadness to my heart. School, although a place where trauma occurred, was never like it has been since 1999, when the first major school shooting happened at Columbine. I was a senior in college when I saw the news of this unbelievably horrible event.
I think that Life is asking us all to do something very difficult, for some of us. To stay engaged. To turn towards.
I recently learned the importance of turning towards others, myself and Life, even when tragedies like this occur. It helps me deal with the experience by feeling my feelings, getting help from loved ones or professionals, being of help to others and helps me ultimately process what’s happening or happened so I can let it move through me to a state of accepting the realities of what is and making way for inspired action to move me.
How do we turn towards something, like the school shooting yesterday or the racist fueled shooting two Saturdays ago, when we feel scared, burnt out, overwhelmed, angry, sad, tired?
Gently, consistently and with our adult eyes, hearts, minds and body’s wide open we turn towards what’s happening.
When I can be present, in the moment, and allow things to move through me, instead of fighting them off by trying to resist or push them back and away from me, the traumatic, disturbing, uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and sensations can move through me instead of getting built up around me or stuck in me.
How do I become present? I do this by noticing my body and whether I may be resisting the news of something, a thought in my mind or an emotion I’m feeling. If I feel at all like I am trying to ignore, push away, bypass, shame, blame or resist something, that is a sign that I am not open to allowing it to move through me.
Once I notice I’m resisting something, I bring attention to my breath and start breathing deeply. I do my best to relax my physical body and self talk my way through it. It might sound something like this, “Let it move through, Sarah. Stay open, just stay open. Breathe, breathe. OK, just watch it, you don’t have to control, just allow it to move through. Oh, just be present, yes, just be present Sarah, that’s it.” It helps to self soothe through loving self talk.
I may do this several times a day, if something particularly troubling has come into my space or has been brought to my awareness or attention and I can tell I have not softened enough to allow it to move through me. How can I tell? Because I’m still feeling pissed about it or uncomfortable or feel like it’s stuck on me or in me or hanging around me. I can go by all day without even noticing this energy of something is around me. But, when I get hip to it, because I still don’t feel settled about it at the end of the day or a certain time period, I know that I am still resisting this thing. Then, I can take more time to connect and turn towards myself and allow myself to feel, deal and heal whatever that thing is.
And, it can take time for things to process. It may not happen right away. But, if I continue to turn towards it, how will this support the ultimate processing of something awful to digest. And, once I begin to process it, how do I feel? More safe, grounded, embodied, stable. It’s an amazing process and all it takes is some simple self awareness and the willingness to take time to prioritize feeling, dealing and healing. If not, things get built up and I erupt in anger, rage, despair, depression. It’s not good. Way better to just feel, deal and heal right away then let it go on and on with me resisting it and not feeling empowered in myself, strong, settled and stable.
Acceptance doesn’t mean I condone what happened. It just means that I’ve actually allowed the reality of what’s happened to settle into my bones. I’m no longer fighting it. From here, I can take Divinely Inspired action! Amen, hallelujah!
Also, remember, turning towards relates to turning towards ourselves in addition to events, others, etc.
In turning towards, we’re not abandoning ourselves to be there for others, we’re including ourselves and all our parts (see info about awesome IFS and parts work here) in the attention giving. I am turning towards myself and turning towards others and Life at the same time. It’s all inclusive.
Do we need a break at times, to check out and unwind and let go of everything? Absolutely.
If I really need to just be with myself, I create the space and time to do that, even if it’s just for a few moments between this and that.
And…how will I still stay engaged: with myself, Life and others? Stay connected? Be present?
How is this the actual key to being healed: being present?
I hope you’re doing ok in light of everything that’s happened over the past two weeks. It is horrifying and real. So, how will we continue to turn towards it, face what’s here? How will we continue to turn towards ourselves to heal inside so that we can continue co-creating a world we want to live in and be a part of for ourselves and all of the future generations?
I know we can do this.
We are doing this, together, for the better of all.
Read the first blog in this four-part series about how to turn towards life and challenges in a present and self-caring way. Click here to read the first post in this series.
Peace and Aloha Nui Loa,