Thursday, September 21, 2017

“Easy For Me To Say.”; Walking the Delicate Line Between Empathic Pain and Empowering Perspective

Is it really a line? Only figuratively.
Even so, I say not fine, but delicate.
We can find ourselves on both sides at the same time.
At stake are raw emotions, precious human connections, and moral evolution

Never before have so many catastrophic events, happening in such a short span of time, affected the lives of people I love alongside those of countless strangers. Over these past weeks, we have had Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, the earthquake in Mexico, and now Hurricane Maria. In places where I know no one, there are other situations like the tremendous flooding in Bangledesh. It has been unreal to see these events unfold one after the other.

Of course, in any given year certain events rock the world with rapid and wide-spread devastation, while every single day millions of individuals endure personal tragedies of their own. The size of an event or the number impacted does not necessarily mean more, or less, suffering to each individual soul impacted. These major events, however, catch widespread attention due to their magnitude and exposure. As news spreads, those of us on the outside become collectively glued to the TV or internet, watching the shocking events and/or their aftermath unfold. Our hearts ache, even to witness it all from afar and to see and hear the desperation.

As Spiritists, we have the wherewithal, at least in terms of conceptual knowledge, to grasp the purpose of these events. And yet, each time I personally thought about sharing those ideas over the last several days to help both myself and others think through them without despair, I would hear a voice in my head answering, “So easy for me to say.”  The voice of that delicate line.

I would picture myself or a loved one enduring one of those experiences and suffering tremendous pain in the process, and I could understand how someone would think, “Sure, it makes sense until it happens to you”. Most of all, part of me feared unwillingly seeming to minimize the hurt of so many.

Then along came a handful of acquaintances - Spiritist or not  - who put their thoughts out there reminding everyone of the higher perspective, attempting to help foster calm. I then realized that even though I shared in that same understanding, the public expression of such ideas helped not only others; it helped me too. And it’s important.

These natural calamities cannot be blamed on terrorists, political groups, or people of any particular kind or background; instead of dividing us they bring us together. They serve a higher purpose, as mother nature engages her defenses of self-renewal and natural law employs mechanisms for our (spiritual) renewal. Large numbers of compassionate people are moved to help strangers. Expressions of concern, care, and support are all around. We become kinder and more giving. We stop to reflect on what is truly important in life. And the immensely painful experiences of those most directly affected will, with time, prove to be transformational in the evolution of their immortal spirits.  Only the understanding of immortality and spiritual evolution can help us to understand how, through the worst of times, nature and natural law bring forth not only the best of us but also the best for us.  
Now, let me rephrase that last sentence. For some, but not all, they will indeed bring out the best. For all, however, they will offer numerous opportunities to let our best shine. As Spiritists, now is the time to walk the talk of compassion, of charity, of solidarity and love, as well as of hope and faith. And sharing the enlightenment of Spiritist teachings is not the most pressing need among the general population. At a time like this especially, it is - above all else – about action.

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If you can be one of the awesome and inspiring souls who take the time and opportunity to help in-person and contribute somehow that way, God bless you.

If you personally know people either directly or indirectly affected, be there to listen. Do not impose spiritual principles on the distressed. Instead, lovingly allow them to express their emotions, tell their stories, and grieve in their own ways. Support with your presence and vibrations.

If you can give financially or donate needed materials, give. Give what you can, maybe even sacrifice. You already gave with “the last one”? Give again. Entire towns and communities, in same cases even countries full of people are now in dire need.

If you can pray (who can’t pray?), do it. If you are on social media claiming “prayers”, do it. Take the time to get quiet and lift your thoughts to implore assistance from the spirit realm. Ask for comfort, care and outreach for those directly impacted - both incarnate and discarnate if such be the case.  If you are able to give in other ways in addition to prayer, then ask also for guidance and inspiration to you in your desire and willingness to be of service.

It is healthy to shed tears and feel pain for our brothers and sisters.
It is also healthy to reflect on the bigger picture from a spiritual perspective.
It is our duty to help.

Let’s be there for each other. Even as our hearts hurt, let’s use our knowledge, prayers, and compassion to find perspective and strength so that we can give our solidarity and love to others in their time of great need.

This is how we walk the “delicate line” between empathic pain and empowering perspective.

Thank you for reading.
Blessings to all, today and always