How to be a light: The aftermath of tragedy
I originally wrote this post in May following the terrorist attack in Manchester and felt a need to re-post it following the news of the recent shooting in Las Vegas. I can't stress how important it is to look after yourself during tragic times. No one is invincible, we never know what day will be our last, and so if you do anything in response to the events, I hope it's that you choose to love. A new post coming later this week. x
Terrorist attacks have always been one of the most challenging things for my heart. They rip me to pieces and though I understand the complexity behind them - hurt people, hurt people - I have a really hard time understanding how someone can feel entitled to take the lives of innocent people. Innocent people on trains and buses. Innocent, unsuspecting people at dinner and concerts. It makes my heart cry for our world and how we could be so wrong that people have developed this sort of thinking.
I felt the Manchester attack early last week. I was getting ready to meet a friend at the library and saw a snapshot in mind's eye. I texted my friend about the vision and tried to move on, but when I got to the library the vision came back and I felt it through my entire body. I didn't have any context. I didn't have a location or a date.
I just knew something horrible was on its way.
When I saw news about Manchester late Monday night, I was devastated. Devastated that I knew about a tragedy and couldn't stop it. Devastated that I couldn't do anything in its wake. I was devastated that someone decided to target the lives of young, happy kids, and that 22 people wouldn't get to grow up and experience this world. I was devastated that parents were waiting outside the venue with no idea of the terror happening inside. I was devastated that this has all become norm.
<<If you have premonitions about terrorist attacks you aren't alone. I wrote about my experiences with premonitions here and my inbox is open if you need to chat. I know how uncomfortable it can be, especially when you don't have a safe space to talk about it.>>
Most people who resonate with my work also resonate with the term light worker, someone who knows they are here to bring light to this world. Though I usually lean away from the word 'lightworker' - when terrorist attacks and other world tragedies happen, being a lightworker becomes my reason to get out of bed. As someone with awareness of energy and the awareness for my body and mind's ability to transmute pain into hope, negativity into positivity, I have a duty to get conscious about my mindset and actions when tragedy hits. As someone drawn to this site, you do too.
Being a lightworker means being a light despite the pain; it's easy to be positive and mindful when things are going well, it's a lot harder when your heart, mind, body and soul are grieving. It's a lot harder when you are angry.
And that's what I want to talk about today.
It's much easier to lay in bed, be overwhelmed, avoid, and lose hope when the world feels heavy. But we can't do that because becoming a light when the world wants to go dark is how we will change the world. Becoming a light when the world wants to go dark is why we are here.
1. Energy cannot be created or destroyed:
It can be changed though, and one of the most important things to remember when it comes to be a light is that you have the capacity to bring light.
How to do it:
- When there is pain in the world and you feel helpless, remember you aren't helpless at all. Take a deep breath and visualize the energy you are breathing in being transformed and put back out into the world as an energy that is uplifting and positive. For me it's usually an energy of pure white light. Sometimes though, it's also a beautiful emerald colour or something like a magenta. Empaths are unconsciously transmuting energy from negative to positive all the time, it's just what we do, but we can also be intentional about it and make our purpose that much brighter.
* One of the reasons empaths are drawn to nature is because of this tendency to take on negative energy to transmute it. We don't realize we are taking on so much and when our bodies take on too much they crave nature because nature's ability to transmute energy too! Nature takes what the empath can't handle.
2. Everything in the physical word starts in the energetic world:
After Trump was voted in as President I wrote an article about why it wasn't the end of the world and why we needed to stay positive. Trump was the physical result of an energy of change that has been swirling around the non-physical world for years. We collectively manifested him because of the energy we put out (consciously and unconsciously) leading up to the election. Everything in our physical world starts out in our energetic world. Without fail this is true. Something cannot become physical without first being energetic. The negative energy that is now manifesting as terrorist attacks was seeded a long time ago. When terrorist attacks happen we have to be responsive (rather than reactive) to ensure we do not give into fear because an energy of fear will attract more things to be fearful of.
How to do it:
- When a thought of fear enters your mind, call in your angels (or ancestors, guides) to protect you. Then mentally plant positive thoughts all around the negative thought you just had. I do this a lot with buses: I have a fear of being in a bus attack and instead of entertaining the thought, when the thought pops in I ask to be kept safe and then use my mind to change my fear-based-image into one of positivity. Instead of seeing myself a victim of an attack I bring my awareness to the bus filled with happy people who are talking, laughing and loving their lives.
- Instead of seeing terrorists as horrible people, I instead choose to see them as misguided/unsupported human beings who are hurting at a level most of us will never understand. Thinking about terrorists this way does not excuse or justify their ideology or actions, instead it humanizes them and from a human level I am better able to disengage from the negativity I naturally want to feel. When I humanize someone I am able to meet them with compassion as I am a human being too.
3. People need ALL of their energy to heal:
Before I realized I was an empath I was working with a naturopath and one of the first things she asked me was how I handled seeing someone in pain. I thought the question was strange but now realize she too was intuitive and knew I was highly empathic. I told her I've always felt a need to take pain away from people by feeling bad for them and sometimes (most times) envisioning their pain leaving their body and coming to mine. What she said next has always stayed with me:
"Robin, do you think people need all of their energy to heal or only just some of it?" AH. They need ALL of it. Taking energy is more about easing my own heart than about healing theirs. I don't know about you, but at my lowest moments I needed every last bit of my energy to pull through. The same is true for the people grieving tragedies. As empaths we need to be extremely self-aware because the way we naturally want to save someone with our energy isn't saving them at all.
How to do it:
- Instead of taking on people's pain, hold space. Hold space for people to hurt, grieve and be incredible pain. Holding space does not mean going through their pain with them, it means being so strong in yourself (more on this below) so they can just be. This isn't a case of ignorance is bliss, this is a productive use of healing ability. We are all interconnected and energy knows no boundaries (I have a friend in Europe who picks up on my thoughts and feelings all the time!) and being grounded, balanced and strong holds energetic space for those in this world who can't.
- Another way to support someone or a group of people through a painful time is to write a letter to their angels/guides sharing your best wishes. This information will be filtered and the energy passed on to them when the timing is right.
- You can also call in archangel Raphael (the green healing energy that is available to us all) and imagine that light shining on the person/people you are wanting to support. We all have freewill and if the person/people is/are in a space of wanting to heal, the energy WILL be absorbed. It is law.
Being a light when the world goes dark is so much more than sending light and love. Of course that can be part of it, but an even bigger part is taking control of your own energy, ego and fear so you can show up in a grounded and balanced way to support the energy of the world as a whole.
Those who know me in real life know news about terrorist attacks used to debilitate me. I would be so overwhelmed with pain and be down for weeks fearing the world and feeling depressed that things weren't different. But then I realized energy doesn't discriminate. Positive energy is positive energy. Negative energy is negative energy. And taking ownership of my own energy and being mindful of doing what I need to do to ensure I send out as much positive energy as possible is how I've reclaimed my power and learned to keep my own light through some of the darkest moments.
The personal is political, especially when it comes to energy. What we choose to do in our own lives has a major affect on the world and what happens.
Here are six ways I apply this concept to my own life:
Struggle with self-care?
I send a weekly self-care reminder every Wednesday with real-life tips for putting you (and your energy) first.
1. I listen to my body:
My body is smart and when the world gets heavy on my head and heart it steps in to ground me. It asks to be exercised, fed nutritious foods and physically loved. I used to ignore these desires because I felt guilty for looking after myself (and being happy!) when people were dead and grieving, but now I lean into them. I need to be grounded to think critically and be intentional about putting love out into the world instead of sadness and hate.
What is your body asking you to do? And are you listening?
2. I challenge myself to not talk about the attack with friends, strangers or myself:
If a thought about the attack comes up I meet it with love and thank it for acting as a reminder for the type of world I don't want to be responsible for creating. I don't intentionally talk about it because I know that is a dark hole for me to go down. I also try not to share any attack-related images on social media. Panicked attention is what terrorists want and I am intentional about keeping any thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families within the privacy of my own space.
Do you have a way of knowing when you are entering a conversation that is negative? How do you get yourself out?
3. I write and burn:
If meeting a thought with love isn't enough I allow myself to write out my thoughts and when I'm ready burn the paper. Putting letters into written and verbal intentions is called spelling for a reason. I'm a powerful manifestor and I don't want to chance bringing more negativity to the world.
Where do you put your negative thoughts? Is there some place better they can go?
4. I don't go where I am triggered:
There are spaces where I've had premonitions that have later come true. These spaces trigger me into a fear-based mindset so I make it a point to avoid them. A lot of people have told me that I am either being irrational or allowing terrorists to win but I don't think that at all. I'm being proactive about my energy and how I choose to spend it.
Do you have places/people/things that cause you to feel overwhelmed, fearful or angry? If you you are able to intentionally avoid them, how would that make you feel? If energy doesn't discriminate, what affect would that feeling have on the world?
5. I remember the good people:
There are so many good people in this world, they just don't often make it to the media because good work doesn't sell. The same is true for attacks. They are going on all the time in our world, every day people lose their lives. We only learn about the ones here in the West though because colonization and hundreds of years of oppression has convinced Westerners that their lives are more important. I try to be intentional every single day about noticing and thanking the helpers and the good work they are making happen.
Where are the helpers in your life? And when is the last time you acknowledged and thanked them?
6. I personalize things:
Wishing we didn't have terrorism and then turning around to pass judgement on a sister, friend, partner or coworker is contradictory. It's easy to act out on the people closest to us but taking control of our energy and consequently our world means getting real about where we contribute to negativity in our day to day lives. I've been struggling with someone for a few months and in the process have passed a lot of judgement. Some might feel *warranted* but that doesn't matter because judgement is judgement and if I am able to see a terrorist as a human being I need to be able to see someone close to me as a human being as well. I can't control another's actions but I can certainly control my own. It's a process but I'm working on it every single day.
Who are you struggling with and how can you change the energy of your interactions? If there is a power dynamic or the relationship is toxic this might disengaging and setting up strong physical boundaries. If there isn't, maybe it's a caring text, a hug or a really deep breath before your next interaction.
It seems we are covering heavy topic after heavy topic on here, but that's okay because like tragedies, heavy topics are what we were made for.
Hope this helped in some way!
I also wrote this article about Syria and why it's important to not to dim your light or hide your sensitivity during challenging times. There is a reason we struggle to disconnect from pain and if any part of this article resonated, the article on Syria will probably resonate too.