Lessons on Lessening Suffering in the Gulf
Pelicans and turtles frozen in oil, businesses lost, lives changed forever. The gulf oil spill defies comprehension — emotions too much to bear and horrifying images burned in our memories. How in the world do we lift ourselves up from this one?
Perhaps the answer is to not try just yet, but to stay stuck in the emotional oil for a bit. What we resist persists, and we humans must face and feel this tragedy if we are truly going to overcome it and prevent the next one.
It’s easier to go into action with earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters. We don’t have to feel the pain of responsibility because we believe it’s Mother Nature’s fault. But this crisis is human-made, making it far more difficult to digest. And for so many of us, knowing that wildlife are affected makes it unbearable.
Why does animal suffering elicit such strong gut reactions for us? Could it be that animals represent the highest state of innocence, just as newborn humans do? All animals, domestic and wild, are here to help humanity. They give of themselves completely and unconditionally. It is their true essence.
Most of us feel helpless as we follow the daily frustrating oil spill drama. We wish we could do more than donate money and monitor the situation. We admire the amazing volunteers, some already at work cleaning beaches and washing birds, with many more assistants waiting in the wings. Yet it just doesn’t feel like enough. The comfort doesn’t come.
There is an energetic and spiritual way that we can help. All of us can influence this disaster in a significant, positive way from our own homes — even if we are a thousand miles away. We can use our emotions and energy field to aid the people and animals in need. By having the courage to share in their suffering, we actually lessen it.
This may seem foreign and difficult for most of you, but you can do it. Everyone has the instinctive ability to assist in the healing of others; it is one of our greatest human traits. Every hug you’ve ever given had positive reverberations. Those who meditate or practice energy medicine will have an easier time, but all of us can participate.
1. Sit quietly and think about the oil spill. Let all difficult emotions surface. Breathe deeply into your abdomen, and allow the uncomfortable feelings to build. Picture them as a haze in front of you.
2. While the negative energy haze is still present, shift your attention to the area over your heart. This is your heart energy center (chakra). Connect to the peaceful feeling in that center by continuing to focus on it. If you are not able to feel the positive nature of this energy center, all you have to do is decide to connect with it. It’s just fine if you aren’t processing it as a feeling.
3. Once you are connected to your heart center, see yourself walking right into the hazy cloud of negativity. In essence, you are sharing in the suffering, and bringing a positive energy to it. Those of you who can feel the energy will sense an immediate shift in the cloud. It will dissipate into a peaceful calm.
For those of you who have tried this — congratulations — you have just become an energy practitioner. Doing this exercise once to twice a day will help! Oh, by the way, this technique works well for all difficulties in our lives. Face them, open your heart, and walk right into their midst. As always, when coming to the aid of those who are suffering, we learn to help ourselves.
Can you comment on what you felt with this exercise? Sharing will give us all hope.