Navigating through these dark times and not losing our light.

Navigating through these dark times and not losing our light.

4 tips for helping you move through Collective Trauma and Social Despair back to an active engagement with life.

Collective trauma and social despair, like personal trauma and despair, can easily disconnect us from what is meaningful in our life and diminish our hope for the future. Now that the reality of the Republicans taking over the country and dismantling so many of the structures of human rights and environmental protections, we have to care for ourselves, in ways most of us have never had to, so we stay active for the long haul in the fight for justice.

Here are four actions we can take to help mitigate the impact of the collective trauma and despair and keep us resilient.
1. A daily meaningful connection with another is the primary treatment. And by meaningful connection I don’t mean sharing our thoughts or opinions about the issues in a way that only makes us feel worse. I mean a deep meaningful personal and intimate connection that opens up our hearts and our emotions.

2. And speaking of emotions, find the personal nerves that are left raw from the collective trauma and despair. What rouses us the most socially and politically is also always personal. For instance, if you find yourself enraged at these white guys bullying everyone, why does their bullying touch you so personally and deeply? Or why does their attacking minorities and people who already have no power and are disenfranchised and vulnerable bring you so much grief? What personal experience do you have that connects you to this? You will find much relief when you can find your personal nerve and move through the emotions. And our personal experiences are how we can connect to the collective.

3. Call on whatever big connection to Love you call on, be it a group of people, a God, or just the Source. The force of darkness we are fighting against is no joke and it cannot be met with darkness. Our hatred of their hate feeds it. We need a collective response of fierce love of justice and connection. Light is the only way to dispel darkness.

4. Frequent forays into beauty, art and creativity can be so healing. Beauty is a salve for those raw nerves, can help open our constricted hearts to help us move through our emotions, and helps restore hope.

All of these steps will help us move through the emotional impact of the trauma and despair, help build resilience in us, and helps us to become fierce and open-hearted in our response to the world around us. And the world sorely needs us to respond collectively with passionate and loving actions.

Blessings, Patrick

Facebook post, Jan. 24, 2017