Light Bringer it is time to step into the Light
The world is struggling. Every day the news tells us of another tragic story that slaps us in the face. The pressure cooker of life is compounding and we are left with no relief! According to the CDC 13.2% of adults over 18 took an antidepressant drug over the last 30 days. And ladies 40+ are twice as likely to fall into this statistic. As a nation, it’s easy to look around and feel completely helpless.
We are hurting…
Last Tuesday’s horrific shootings at Robb Elementary School in Avalde TX was the last straw for me. I was listening to NPR when the story broke, and I was broken. The feeling of despair fell over me and I sat down and cried.
We have failed our children.
We have failed each other.
We have failed.
We all know something must be done, yet we all feel helpless to do anything at all. Where do you begin to repair a system completely broken? Who do we look to blame?
- I’m tired of the people defending their guns and calling this a mental health issue.
- I’m tired of our elected officials sending thoughts and prayers and doing nothing when there have been 27 school shootings this year alone!
- I’m tired of having to explain to kids what’s happened at another school.
This is not the children’s fault, yet we put all the burden on them.
Since Columbine in 1999 More than 311,000 students have experienced gun violence while at school.
The Washington Post has a scary visual you can view here.
This is the new normal and I’m tired.
It is time to demand more of ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities, and our elected officials.
Feeling helpless and depressed isn’t doing anyone any good, and it’s time to move from me to we. It’s time to start holding ourselves and each other accountable. It’s time to rise up and shine more love and compassion out to our communities.
You matter and it’s time to start acting like it. Not in an arrogant or entitled way, but for the greatest good for the most amount of people.
You have the power right now to lessen the burden of this world for your family, friends, co-workers, and communities just by shining your love and compassion out and asking others to rise up and do the same.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” -Buddha
Here are 3 ways you can put your feelings of helplessness aside and start making a difference in your world.
- GET INVOLVED
I know you are living at your limit. I understand that it feels impossible to give any more of yourself out. But what are you gaining by having the attitude that “humans suck”? Or blaming a politician or your boss or your city or your neighbor or a gender or race of people?
What are you gaining by continuing with a victim mentality?
When you rage online about the wrongs of the world, do you follow it up by getting involved? Are you placing your rage in a healthy way by contacting your council members or congressperson?
Don’t know what to say? You can look up any Senator here and find their contact information. If you look up a certain issue you’d like to express your opinion about you can google that and find a nice pre-done script to use for or against most major issues in your community.
Sign up to speak at a local council meeting. They always have time for public input and most cities give you 5 minutes. And if that doesn’t work, write them.
The only way to start making change is to quit complaining and start getting involved. Others will see this and it will give them motivation to do the same.
Doing this simple and effective task will turn you from feeling helpless into an instant advocate for change.
- BE A GOOD LISTENER
Study after study will show us that we listen only to respond. What if you got in the practice of listening to understand? What kind of impact do you think that would have on the people around you?
You know when someone is engaged and interested in what you have to say. You also know when someone is just waiting for their turn to talk. We all do it.
Once you get in the practice of listening you will start to notice all kinds of things happen.
- You will learn new things
- You will see from a new perspective
- You will have more patience
- You will feel less judgment
- You will become a more desirable person to be around
When you listen generously you become more compassionate. Allowing people space to talk without constant interruption, or without making judgments you are really giving them space to hear their own truth. You also get to know yourself a little better too.
This simple, but challenging at first, skill will win you the hearts of people because you are giving others space to be seen. When you listen to understand instead of listening to react you see the world from a view other than your own. It’s easy to get stuck in “me” and “I” statements, and listening can help you move beyond your self-referencing statements to find more common ground with those around you.
Becoming a good listener will help you feel less alone because you are giving your judgments a break. You will feel less alone in this world because you’ve opened your mind and heart to hear and think in new ways, connecting you to more people.
Bonus! The more others see you are interested in them, the more they will be interested in you.
- FIND A WAY TO SERVE
The world needs more inspired humans! People who are passionate about their lives and the lives of others. People, just like you, who have found a way to serve.
This might feel counter to what you have been taught. You might be so buried in the rat race that the thought of finding time to serve feels unimportant.
As a life-long volunteer, I have discovered this to be one of my greatest achievements. People in my community know me, and they recommend me for jobs, they elect me to boards, and they respect my opinion. Why? Because they know I care about my community. They see me getting involved and call me when they want to know what’s happening around town.
Not only is getting involved in my local community rewarding, but it helps me see how I’m making a difference in the lives of everyone who lives there. It helps me to step outside of judgment and complaining and helps me focus on a positive change for my community.
Believe Your Voice Matters
Nothing you do will matter if you don’t believe that you matter. This is a huge issue in America today. We are polarized by both an inflated ego and a lack of faith in ourselves and each other. Most of us have a harsh critic inside our head. One that is constantly judging us and telling us that we are not enough. Most people are beating themselves up so badly that they find it difficult to be compassionate with others.
We forget that we are all imperfect and worthy.
Learning to love yourself, forgive yourself, and hold yourself responsible is necessary for you to step into a life worthy of you. YOU! Because you are the only one who can truly decide what your life will be.
Now is the time to reconnect with your inner fire. Allow life to be messy and embrace it anyway. Stand up for what you believe and you will discover an army of like-minded people who live compassionately. You will align yourself with humans on a mission greater than themselves, and you too will find the strength to live bolder and with more purpose. If you can do this, your days of feeling helpless will visit far less frequently because you won’t want to waste any more of this precious life in old self-serving stories.
You have the power, and I cannot wait to see how you use it to shine. As ZIg Ziglar famously said: “You can have everything in life you want – if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
If you are looking for a great breath practice to help you reconnect with your power and open your heart, try 5×5 breathing and check out my blog, When Grief Closes Your Heart, Open it with Slow Mindful Breaths.