Last week was tough on our nation – bombs in Boston, explosions in Texas, poisoned mail, shootings, lives lost and so many injured. Weeks like this one make me feel a little unsteady – unsure about what our world is becoming. And yet, it is also the time when we see people willing to sacrifice their very lives to save others. A policeman was killed and 15 other law enforcement agents injured in Boston, while 11 emergency responders including 9 firefighters were killed in the Texas explosion. So much tragedy and so much Goodness and sacrifice all came together at once. Times like this leave our hearts tender. Fear can creep in. Anxiety waits to attack. Hopelessness hangs around. It is important to be alert and take stock of where we are and how we are coping.
So today, I just want to check on you. I want to know how you are doing. Are you OK? How is your heart? Do you ever stop to consider it? Has it hardened from the week’s events? Is it open and vulnerable? Has it shut down? Are you letting fear rule you? It is very important to know the answer to these questions and to take time this week to tend your heart and share your feelings.
Sara Paddison, author of The Hidden Power of the Heart says this, “care flowing through your system gradually reconnects you with your spirit and vitality. Care enough about yourself to go to your heart to get peace, clarity, and direction before you act. True self-care has to come first.” This is a pillar of The Society for the Preservation of Goodness as well. We say it this way, “The process of cultivating goodness must begin inside you, and then be passed on to others. (inside > out).” When you care for yourself and your emotions, then you are actually cultivating Goodness. So how do you do you do that – how do you care for yourself?
We recommend these ideas:
1. Sit quietly and let your feelings register with you. How are you doing on the inside?
2. Consider your levels of fear and anxiety. These emotions shut down vulnerability and creativity. They are VERY toxic to the human soul.
3. If you are dealing with them then we recommend that you identify them (I am anxious about_____), tell someone who cares about you that you are feeling anxious or fearful (be specific – getting it out in the light lessens the intensity), then offer these feelings to God, Love, the Universe – your Source of Help.
4. Visualize them being lifted from you and put far away.
5. Now affirm the truth about yourself. I am _______ (strong, safe, a survivor…)
6. Find a verse or quote that helps you. (2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind.”)
7. Seek Beauty, Trueness, Love and Life-giving things every day! These things are the building blocks of a healthy heart.
Taking care of you is Goodness. Live in a way that respects your own heart. The only way to do that is to spend time getting to know yourself and learning what strengthens and empowers you. If something weakens you, then address that. When you care for you – you create Goodness.
There was one quote this week that rose to the top for me – one I want to share because it is the truth about the power of Goodness. Patton Oswalt is a 44-year-old stand-up comedian and California-based actor who took to Facebook to pen a short post about the attack. Within hours, it was shared more than 150,000 times. I think it is worth repeating:
“You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. … This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in a while, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
Help us preserve Goodness ~ it matters more than you might think.
So tell us, are you OK?
Are you OK? It's been a rough week. We just want to check on you.