In a week where we saw a literal humanitarian crisis in what is called the “first world,” caused by historic and devastating hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands and U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the worst mass shooting in modern American history, escalating tensions with North Korea and 7 people murdered in Richmond in just 5 days, one might ask has all hell actually broken loose? It has been an enormously emotional week for most Americans. There is a depth of despair on so many sides and it has indeed been overwhelming. What is going on? We are living through a valley so deep right now it feels like a canyon. In these times of extreme natural disasters, virulent political divides and unprecedented human tragedy when hundreds of innocent people are violently gunned down in public spaces in a matter of a few minutes, we all need to take a moment to remember who we are and what we value in our lives. What are the things that are the most important to us? Where do we place our trust and our hope? What can we do to calm the fears and bring some balance back into our lives, and restore our hope in the future? It is important that you not only ask yourself these questions, but that you take the time to answer them.
If you are a spiritual person you need to unplug from media matters and plug into your spiritual practices. In these times of intense uncertainty and stress, “self-care” becomes extremely important. Family, friends and loved ones are also important to reconnect with and to restate in both word and deed how important they are to you. Never assume that people “know” how you feel about them. Tell them again and again. Show them with acts of kindness just how much they mean to you. Take time to enjoy the simple things around you: a beautiful sunrise or sunset, the wonderful smell of a good meal cooking, or a bouquet of flowers, listening to good music or taking a walk in a park with a friend. Take a moment to meditate on the good things in your life, all the things you have been blessed with including the ability to count those blessings. There is so much injustice and inhumanity in the world and it is so easy to dwell on it, that we sometimes enter a cloud of disillusionment and discontent that consumes us. You must NOT grow weary. Take time for yourself when you need to and remember that you are not alone. Find your community and connect. When all hell breaks loose, we must remember…this too shall pass.