So can we all just agree that the world has been crazy for the past few months? It’s been nuts! It seems like there have been non-stop tragedies all around. From hurricanes to wildfires- people having to evacuate their homes, lose their families and their own lives. If that wasn’t enough, a crazy guy opens fire in a senseless act of violence at a music concert in Vegas killing 58 people. Then there is the occasional celebrity news of some narcissistic wealthy man who has been abusing and hurting women for a long time, hiding behind status and power, who just got caught. Then the heartbreaking news of an adopted 3 year old with special needs who has gone missing for days and the story the parents have given the police is ludicrous. There is more sad stuff, but I will stop there…I think you get my point.
I hate the news, I hate it. I know I need to be aware of current events, but at some point, all of this horrible stuff that keeps happening around me, lurks inside and breaks me down. At some point even though I don’t have any personal connections with any of these stories, I begin to make them part of my life. At some point I feel so numb by it all.
Sometimes this is what happens within me when bad things happen around me:
I feel guilty. I feel guilty that I can’t be there to reach out and help. I feel guilty that I am ok. I feel like I can’t enjoy my life knowing there are people who just had their lives torn apart, yesterday.
I feel heartbroken. I get emotionally attached to the victims and my heart breaks for them. I cry. I get mad. I worry. I talk about it with my family and friends. It’s a deep sadness that keeps me stuck in the images I saw on T.V. or the things I read on social media.
I feel hopeless. Especially when it seems like one right after the other, bad news can feel suffocating. You try to rise above and then some other tragedy happens. You are forced to ask yourself deep philosophical questions.Then you begin to think negatively about life. The world seems to be just a broken place,filled with a bunch of broken people who keep breaking each other’s lives. You feel hopeless, like you have no control over any of it.
Here is the truth, you don’t have to fight those feelings. All of it is normal. In fact if those stories don’t mess you up, something is wrong with your heart. But it is vital that we don’t sit and marinate in those feelings too long. Because the feelings alone will cause you to grow hate and bitterness. (We can all agree, we have enough of that already!) So let’s take control of these feelings and redirect them.
Guilt pushes you to go! To go rebuild houses that were destroyed by hurricanes and wild fires. To show kindness even in little ways to those who are hurting near and far. To give generously to those who need an extra hand or a meal. At least for a moment, guilt helps you take your eyes off yourself and look at another human being who is in need.
Heart break reveals your heart cry. It is usually the things that we are most passionate about that break our hearts the most. So whatever injustice or hurt breaks your heart, let it ignite a passion within you. Find your voice, become an activist, a catalyst for change for that specific thing. Whether it is organizing an event to rally your community to bring awareness, fundraise or gather to pray, follow your heart cry!
Home is where the hope is. What we need most is hope and that starts with you and me. If we become hopeless people, our families and generations will reflect that and all the people they touch. So let’s be intentional in bringing hope into our homes. Here are 2 practical things that have helped me, and I encourage you to make it a daily practice: in the morning, list 2-3 things that you are grateful for and in the evening, talk about one good thing that happened that day. Let’s train our eyes to look for the good around us, even when things seem hopeless, because there will always be more bad news.