Have you ever noticed times in your life when people in your circles are stricken with something? Like maybe they are suffering an illness or troubled with sadness, going through some tough times or even experience death? To make it more confusing, maybe this is all happening with different people you know all around the same time?
How do we respond? What are we supposed to do? What do we make out of it?
It can be hard to understand. It can seem like chaos. Situations can seem helpless and we can feel helpless, too.
Sometimes there isn’t anything we can do. We are left with uncomfortable feelings to sit with and somehow let pass. Sometimes, there’s just one thing we can do. We can turn the mirror onto ourselves and we can draw inwards.
When we’re feeling helpless about what we can do or how we’re supposed to feel in situations that are often hard to understand, these are some 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 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. 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. When we slow down we leave some room to think about what life lessons are being illuminated. Could a certain situation be telling us something we otherwise wouldn’t have thought about? Contemplating what life lesson may be trying to get your attention and what it has to do with your life is something you can do when you don’t understand life’s mysteries.
3. We can act more gratefully towards others and towards all of life. We should give ourselves room in our lives to really pay attention to the gratitude we are expressing right now. You might ask yourself, how can you 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 start doing one thing towards what you really want to do or who you really want to be? Consider that others may no longer have a chance to do this, but you still do.
5. We can try to live our lives being more present to the things that really matter to us. Let these difficult situations that others are going through make a difference in your life. Let them impact you instead of being apathetic or moving quickly to the next thing. Be more present to the situation you feel helpless about. Take time out to take inventory of the things that really matter to you. If you think about the fact that you have this one life to live what do you really care about? Take time to get present … your life is now.
6. We can increase our understanding of the hard to understand situation is. For example, if a family member of a dear friend dies from suicide or a rare disease take time to learn about it. This can lessen our helpless feeling. Instead, we can expand our knowledge, increases our tolerance of the unknown and help us develop compassionate hearts. Resistance or putting up walls to what we don’t understand will 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.
Hopefully, the next time you experience chaos moving through the circle of your friends or peers, you’ll feel safe to let yourself be moved by what they’re going through. You can look to yourself and your life discover new ways you can be in this short life. Consider the 6 things above whenever you feel helpless about the unexplained hard to understand events that someone else is undergoing — someone you know, someone you care about. Someone like you.