A lot of people in this world are highly sensitive.
Maybe you’re one of them.
I know I am.
According to studies, a lot of highly sensitive people are introverted and quite empathetic.
Basically, we have strong reactions to the outside world. This can be wonderful when we see beauty, art, nature, happy things and celebrations.
But when we are exposed to violence, hate, aggression – even in movies or tv shows – it has an intense affect on us, even though it probably wouldn’t be visible from the outside.
Days like yesterday can be tough for us highly sensitives. I’m not saying it’s not tough for everyone, I know it is. We just feel it at a much stronger level, it’s an intensity of sadness that’s hard to shake. I personally felt sick all day, even though I avoided as much news as possible. But when the news, twitter, facebook and every other type of media ambushes you with graphic pictures and violent scenes with virtually no warning, it hurts so much more.
When these horrible things happen, it can be easy to believe that this world is a terrifying, dangerous, evil place where no-one can be trusted and everyone is out to get you. Especially when it affects you so intensely that you walk around under a cloud all day on the verge of tears.
For a moment, I nearly succumbed to the pain, the heartache, the terror. I almost gave up hope that this world can be changed.
But then I saw this:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” ~ Fred Rogers
And then, I read this, by the brilliant Patton Oswalt:
Boston. Fucking horrible.
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
And my hope was restored, my perception shifted.
The hurt and heartache was still there, but rather than making me feel helpless, it empowered me.
So, let yourself cry.
Let your heart ache.
Let it open your eyes to what truly matters in this world.
Don’t let this make you bitter.
Don’t let yourself believe our world is a cruel place.
Don’t let the media fuel your fear.
Don’t let this stop you.
Don’t give up on kindness.
Use it as fuel.
Take your hurt, your anger, your heartache and transform it into positive action.
See this as another reason why your kindness, your love, your understanding and your helping hand is truly needed in this world.
Whenever something like this happens, I see the world differently.
I feel sad, I ache, I hold back tears.
But I also feel more love than usual.
I stop going through the motions when I’m with my loved ones and instead I’m really with them, as though seeing them for the first time.
I hug longer.
I laugh easier.
I love more openly.
There is a silver lining to all this madness.
It creates heroes out of normal human beings, it brings people together, it sparks compassion and kindness.
That right there is proof that the good truly does prevail.
Love always wins.
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