This post isn’t meant to get anyone depressed, but have you ever noticed times in your life when a lot people in and around the circle you know are stricken … stricken with something, be it illness, sadness, depression, bad luck, death? All around the same time?
What do we make of it? How do we respond? What are we supposed to do? It’s normal to feel helpless. But since I’m one of those types that doesn’t sit too well with the helplessness, I search for missing puzzle pieces. I seek to make sense out what could be called Chaos. I have to do something, even if only behind the scenes. The funny thing is that I don’t have to search too hard before I understand the profundity of the Chaos that has struck.
When those around us are stricken with misfortune, disease, sorrow or any other of life’s hardest challenges what, if anything, can we do?
Sometimes, there really isn’t anything that we can do. A helpless feeling will try to settle into us, but we shouldn’t let it. Sometimes, there is only one thing we can do. And that is, to turn the mirror onto ourselves. If there’s anything we can do, we can do something with ourselves.
When those around us, in our circle of friends and acquaintances are afflicted and we’re feeling helpless, don’t know what to do or what to feel, here are at least six things that we can do.
1. We can turn to prayer. Prayer helps us to surrender to what is out of our control. The act of praying (to whom/whatever – God, a Higher Power, Guardian Angels, your Higher Self, the Universe, Jesus, whatever works for you) will be empowering if you can believe that your conversations, requests, sorrows are actually being heard and tended to. It can also bring you some peace. If you feel called, you can invite others to pray with you, like a prayer circle with and for others.
2. We can create some time for ourselves where we can stop the merry go round we are usually on and try to think about what life lessons are being illuminated for us and for you in particular. Could a certain situation be telling us to slow our lives down? Or to spend more fun time with the kids? Or whatever. Figuring out what that life lesson may be and how it correlates with your life is what you can do.
3. We can act more gratefully towards others and towards all of life. These are times when we should allow ourselves to really pay attention to the gratitude we are expressing right now in our lives. How can we practice gratitude differently now? Really take the time to think about it. You will feel better about everything when you do.
4. We can take more action in the direction that we really want our lives to go in. What are we not doing that we really want to be doing? Why not do one thing towards what you really want to do or who you really want to be once a week or once a day, even? Others may not have ever had a chance to, but we still do.
5. We can try to live our lives being more present to the things that really matter to us. Let these situations make a difference in your life, for example, by taking time out to take inventory of what really matters to you. If you have just this one life to live, ever, what do you really care about? Get present. Your life is now.
6. We can increase our understanding of whatever the afflicted friend was suffering. This expands our knowledge, increases our tolerance of the unknown and can help us develop compassion in our hearts. Resistance or putting up walls to what we don’t understand does nothing for us but harden us.
As spiritual beings having this human experience together and sharing this time on our planet, we are connected to one another in many intricate ways. What happens to others doesn’t just happen to them; it happens to us, too. So the next time that you experience a flurry of chaos moving through the circle of people you know let yourself be moved by what they are passing through. Look to yourself and your life and ask what can you do differently, rather than getting stuck in the feeling of helplessness. Consider these 6 things that you can do when you feel helpless about the chaos that someone else is undergoing — someone you know, someone you care about, some one like you.