How Can I Be Grateful When There Is Violence All Around?
Unimaginable tragedy came into our lives this week … Again. Tragedies like these can make everyday gratitude seem very unimportant. My gratitude is often in the present moment and can be very inconsequential little things like the glow of the moon, efficient meetings and leftovers so I didn’t have to cook. How dare I be grateful for something so small during a time like this?
The same could be said nearly every day of our lives … with wars, genocide, murder, slavery, racism, hunger, rape, and so much more injustice happening all over the world and in our backyards. Why is daily gratitude important? Isn’t it selfish? Isn’t it flaunting our own privilege? No. It is practicing love and peace. It is seeing the world with eyes wide open and still finding the good in it. It is also self-care.
Here are some recommendations for self-care during times of tragedy.
- Take care of yourself. Treat yourself gently and with respect, like you would treat a friend who was grieving.
- Don’t repeatedly check the news and social media.
- Acknowledge your feelings. Name them but you don’t need to explain them to yourself or anyone else.
- Talk to your friends and family or anyone who supports you. Cuddle with your pet.
- If you are a parent, utilize this great resource for supporting and talking to your children: Here for Each Other
- Envision the ideal future that you wish for the world.
- Find peace in your own soul today (and every day) by counting your blessings/gratitude. Why is this important?
In the words of Martin Luther King: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
In order to make a positive contribution to the world, whether globally or in our own families, it is vital to take care of ourselves. Self-care makes us healthy, well, confident, resilient and focused enough to make a positive impact. A daily gratitude practice has been shown to improve sleep, well-being, attitude, physical symptoms of illness, optimism, and more. The icing on the gratitude cake is that people with a daily gratitude practice are more likely to make progress on their goals. All of these things are vital ingredients for making positive changes in the world. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now, what we need to do is take care of ourselves. And take all the time we need.
And then when we are ready our love and peace will make a positive change in the world … Even if the change is only brightening the day of one old lady by smiling and saying, “good day” … Even during a time like this.
I believe that the future is extremely bright. I believe that the future is hopeful. And I think that this generation is absolutely committed to making the world a better place. We have the will, we have the drive, we have the knowledge of the world at our fingertips. I think the resources available to us are unparalleled and light the way to a great future. ~Mohammed Fairouz
Thank you for being on this journey with me. Today especially I’m glad I’m not alone.
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