When things like the terrorist attacks in Paris, or the attacks in Beirut, Nairobi or New York, happen in the world, a lot of us become overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, fear, anger, helplessness and despair.
We don't necessarily have a choice about the things that occur in the world. We do have a choice in how we respond.
Sometimes out of the greatest tragedy comes the greatest possibility.
It can be during moments like these that we awaken ourselves from the slumber of apathy.
What I know is that sadness, fear, loss of hope, and anger are not our only choices. We do not have to be emotional victims to the hate and fear that a group of people choose to inflict on the world. What else is possible? What else could you choose?
In the movie Tomorrowland, Disney's recent blockbuster, the majority of people on Earth lose hope about the future. And, their point of view creates a reality where the world actually ends.
In the movie, the remedy is the seekers and the dreamers; the ones that know something different is possible; the ones that still have ... HOPE.
Are you a dreamer? Or, did you used to be? Are you sometimes wondering where that person went... that person that had dreams of a greater, more beautiful future?
I would say, now is the time to reclaim the dreamer and seeker in you. Now is the time to keep dreaming and seeking something greater and believing in what you envision for the future of our world.
What if your difference, your dreams and your knowing of possibilities, is exactly what our world requires right now? What if it's people like you who are actually going to create it? To be that which shifts the world from feeding darkness and despair into feeding possibilities, lightness and hope?
So, where do you start? How do you choose hope in moments of despair?
Getting clear on what your sadness, your anger and your fear truly are and where they come from can lighten them up immensely, and eventually eradicate them from your world.
Here are four tools that can assist:
1. The Sadness
Would you be willing to recognize that with major catastrophes, the entire world goes into mourning? And you, my friend, will be aware of it -- you will be aware of everyone!
When that happens, we stick ourselves in a loop of re-living the drama, in conversations on TV and in social media. When we're stuck in sadness or stuck in the emotional tragedy of the situation, we can't be a voice or a source for something greater or different.
To change that, to open up for the space of lightness and possibilities, ask, "Who does this belong to?" and "Is this mine?" If it lightens up at all, it's because you're picking this up from somebody... or everybody else.
What do I mean by lightness? Well, it may just feel like you can breathe again, or you start to feel happy again for no reason.
The majority of what you "feel" isn't actually yours. Realizing this creates lightness because you're identifying the actual cause which lifts the burden off your shoulders.
Right now, especially if you get upset reading this, please ask, "Who does this belong to?" again and again and again... as many times as needed to create lightness. This is a gift for EVERYONE, because once you lift the burden off of your shoulders it shows other people that they can lift it off of theirs.
And when the burden of drama is not there, the sky of doom clears and the possibilities never before considered can actually show up.
2. The Anger
To get clarity, please look from this perspective: Is it anger, or is it the awareness that what occurred is an affront against humanity? And, is the "anger" actually a demand that this no longer happen in our world?
You can also ask yourself, "Who or what am I angry at?" You may find, when you do that, you're actually angry that we live in a world that allows things like this to occur. And please, don't stop there. Ask, "What can be done (and what can I do) to change this in our world?"
Use that question to galvanize you.
3. The Fear
You can either live in fear and allow it to distract and destroy your life -- or you can create your life in spite of it, and it will never ever stop you again.
If you let fear run your life, every day after this one will become less than the day before. Don't let that happen. Don't let it stop you. Don't let fear win.
If you're truly afraid, ask, "If I go here, or do this, will anything bad happen?" You'll know. You always know. Follow your awareness -- not your fear. Creation and taking action always neutralize fear.
You know so much more than you've ever been willing to acknowledge.
Now...do you know what would happen if you acknowledged that you have no fear? You would be unstoppable! And, you would always have HOPE.
I've heard people say they are afraid of traveling now. That's exactly what the people who perpetrated the bombing want. Are you going to stop your life because of an act of senseless violence? If you do, they win.
Is that what you would like to create as your world? As our world? If not, DO NOT LET FEAR WIN.
4. The Hope
We looked at what the sadness, anger and fear really are. Now, let's look at HOPE.
How can we move forward after yet another attack like this? How can we hope to create a kinder planet? Start by asking this question, "What kind of world would I like to see?" And, "How can I contribute to creating that world?"
What one small thing can you do each day that creates the world as you would like it to be?
Small things add up to huge changes over time. More importantly it's a way for you to take action, which lifts you above the sadness, fear, loss of hope and anger.
I know it may sound insignificant, irrelevant, tiny and next-to-silly in the big scheme of explosions and falling towers. And yet, please remember Tomorrowland ... remember that your point of view, your energy and what you are willing to be is what shapes tomorrow.
Let me say that again... What you are willing to be is what shapes tomorrow.
The world is a collective of all of us. What happens to one of us happens to all of us. What you choose has an impact on the future that we together create.
East and West are irrelevant. The polarity of good and evil, them and us, and right and wrong, is what actually keeps the endless cycle of violence in place. What would occur if you took your energy out of either side of the conflict? What if you instead could choose to embody the energy of a different world you know is possible?
We ALL live on this planet together. If you knew that, in your core, would you believe that you have no say in what occurs as our future? Or would you realize that every choice you make contributes to creating it?
What if you, right now, reading this, demanded: NOT ON MY WATCH! I live on this planet too, and I will be part of creating a kinder, greater, less judgmental, more-inclusive world.
Now is the time for the voices of possibility and awareness to speak up.
Now is the time for us to stop being silent.
Now is the time for us to dream and to know that something greater is possible and actualizable.
If you would like to see something different as your world, BE the energy of that showing up in the world.
Know that it can exist.
Don't deny it.
Don't negate it.
Stop believing that it has no value.
Your awareness of something different and something possible, is what has the greatest value at a time like this.
What do you know that will change the face of our planet's future that you haven't been choosing? If we would recognize this planet as our home, what would we all choose that we are not yet choosing? And if we did choose it, what might occur that hasn't yet been able to?
Let's stop letting the future of our planet be in the hands of those that scream the loudest and hate the most. Let's take back our future and recognize we have the capacity to create a kinder, gentler, more inclusive, less judgmental, less vitriolic world.
It is within our grasp.
WE, together, can create it.
If not us, who? If not now, when?