I originally posted a different version of this in August, 2017 following the tragic events that occurred in Charlottsville, Virginia. As I look back over the last 14 months, I shudder at the astounding number of violent and tragic events our country has endured.
The shootings in Las Vegas, Parkland and Pittsburgh are particularly notable. The staggering statistic is that in 2018 alone there have been 297 mass shootings in the U.S.
According to Gun Violence Archive, a mass shooting is a single incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, are “shot and/or killed” at “the same general time and location.”
The recent bomb threats are another example of the atrocities that seem to be multiplying at an alarming rate.
So, what does all of this have to do with Your Key to Healing?
Everything happening in our country impacts our health. Our physical, emotional and spiritual health are directly connected to our environment.
It is essential for us to STOP and pay attention to ourselves right now! We all naturally tend to avoid discomfort and disturbance. This post addresses how avoidance actually interferes with our body’s innate ability to repair and restore. Thanks for reading.
The distressing events of the last week are creating a wave of gripping visual images that float in and out of my conscious awareness:
My great-grandmother embracing her son, my grandfather, for the last time as she helped him escape the pogroms in his native Poland. He was hidden in a laundry cart so he could go unnoticed on his way to board a ship to America, the land of the free. (Pogroms: a series of organized massacres targeting Jewish communities)
My children’s paternal great-grandparents who perished in concentration camps.
And finally…the image of a grotesque, gaping wound flooding my awareness – the wound of racism, bigotry, violence and hatred that I struggled to hide for much of my adult life – the heartbreak which was just too much to bear.
The despicable events of the last couple of years and the last week may have numbed us to the crushing pain that surrounds us. I know I feel an impulse to hide in order to protect myself from these atrocities. BUT…
All of us MUST see hear and feel this wound.
My recovery from chronic emotional and physical pain occurred when I moved toward my discomfort and allowed it.
I now know that the only way to transform pain is to allow it, hear it, and honor its message.
Our society trains us to bypass emotional pain and to apply the “band-aide method” to much of our lives. How often are we encouraged to “just get over it,” or “smile when our hearts are breaking”?
We may be experiencing confusion with surges of emotional energy we have never learned to navigate. Whether we want to lash out or hide, we owe it to ourselves to practice self-kindness and compassionate self-reflection throughout this voyage.
It is challenging to honor the anguish we feel in response to these despicable events, but our pain will eventually guide us to the actions that will lead to individual and collective healing.
Again and again, in spite of my natural desire to avoid and ignore discomfort, I find myself plunging back into its depths. Only then can the healing begin.
When we expose the throbbing heart of this wound, our truth will rise up to guide us.
It is time for all of us to break out of our comfort zones. Let face the truth together and compassionately Let It Hurt.