Shocking and horrific incidents seem to be headlining the news every day, bombs, gunfire, killer trucks, senseless brutalities and natural disasters. Tragedies from all over the world pop up with urgent immediacy on our mobile devices, computers and in the news. These events assault us, upset our balance and trigger a flood of emotions. It is easy to feel despondent and concerned about our future, all humanity and the earth.
How do we find inner peace and happiness so that we can be of service instead of being helpless and/or frightened bystanders during these times?
“If falling into desperation worked to make things better, then I would say, ‘Let’s all jump into despair.’ But it doesn’t help. The only way to truly find meaning and fulfillment is to look at the disaster, the pain, the difficulty, and know with complete certainty that good can come from this.” Yehuda Berg
Look for the good in the midst of the pain. As the farm boy who saw the huge pile of dung on Christmas morning excitedly exclaimed, there’s got to be a pony somewhere in here! We have the opportunity to seek out the good and to learn and develop the positive from the present agony. This can be a challenge when we are witnessing unspeakable devastation. Below are five ideas to help you claim your equanimity and balance again.
- Recognize you have reasons for feeling sad and for grieving. Allow yourself an appropriate period to process the feelings without judgment of the cause.
- Share time with family and friends, self-help groups, bereavement circles, and spiritual communities to find ways to relieve the sadness and anxiety.
- Exercise, walk, sing, dance, chop wood, paint, do something physical to provide an outlet for the feelings.
- Look for a deeper meaning in the tragedies, how can you use them to learn, grow and help others?
- Take action to improve the wellbeing of people you can reach. Review your life and work, how can you be inspired to make a positive difference when there’s sadness and despair?
When we take our focus off the “us” and “them” to look for the greatest “all of us” then we rise up enough to see that we need each other to survive and thrive. What do “they“ want, love and fear? How can we find common understanding? The issues may be so convoluted that there are no simple answers. Yet we can still do what we can in our individual sphere to bring love, peace and harmony to people we reach. We can only change what we can influence and when we each change what we touch, collectively we can change the world. Indeed that is the only way it can happen.
“All the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart. Peace has been said to be indivisible, so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this one world that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.” Jawaharlal Nehru
Inner peace and Happiness, free of judgment, resentment and anger is a choice. Your Happiness Choice.
Marilyn Tam’s latest book, “The Happiness Choice” shows how you can live a life of happiness, health and success. It’s her way of giving back to the world for all the blessings she’s received. The Happiness Choice tells the stories and insights from Marilyn and many experts, including, Jack Canfield, Joan Borysenko, Harville Hendrix, Arielle Ford and others, on how to live the life of your dreams. The book was ranked #3 top business book, and won the Silver Medal in the Global eBook Awards.
Marilyn Tam is an international selling author, speaker, entrepreneur, humanitarian and former CEO of Aveda, President of Reebok Apparel Products & Retail Group and VP of Nike and the Founder and Executive Director of Us Foundation. www.MarilynTam.com She is a regular blogger on Huffington Post.