In these past weeks, it has felt like darkness has flooded into our lives with the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried on the property of a residential school. On the back of that trauma, another evil – a Muslim family out for an evening stroll, run down and four out of five killed. Such blatant disregard for human life is exceedingly difficult to comprehend. I’ve been having a hard time processing it. There is grief, yes, and great sorrow – especially when thinking about the lives needlessly snatched away and the friends, families and communities impacted. There is also something underneath all that – a kind of hollow despair in the face of such callous hatred. It made me feel like there is more darkness than light in this world. I’ve even wondered what good could come of me blogging about it. After all, I don’t have the answers. How do we even begin to fix and change a problem that runs so deep?
What came to mind as a starting point is something a friend of mine shared with me a few weeks ago. It is a version of the Serenity Prayer used by the organization Adult Children of Alcoholics. It goes like this:
I know that there are systemic changes that need to occur, but for this blog, I’m going to focus on somewhere closer to home to begin. We start with ourselves.
How do we start? We examine ourselves and look for racism, islamophobia, homophobia and anything else that creates a filter where we see others as something less than we are, something less than human. We find it and we replace it with love.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.Martin Luther King Jr.
We all need to find a way to increase our capacity for love – loving ourselves, loving others, loving this planet we live on. Love is sometimes patient, kind and compassionate. Sometimes it is fierce, challenging and protective. Always, love is courageous. Perhaps your version of increasing love is learning to be more self compassionate so that you can increase your capacity to love others. Perhaps it’s being more courageous about calling people out when they are being racist. Maybe it is finding a way to change the systems that promote discrimination. Find a way to replace fear and hatred with love.
I hope that the ripples of these tragic events will reach far and wide, so that something good can eventually come of these awful, heart-breaking things. I hope that we can allow the trauma to inspire us and call us to action to create a society that is safe for all, accepting of all the people who call Canada home.
This Week’s Photos
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Here are some light pictures I took this past week. May each one of us find a way to bring light to the darkness.
I’m a firm believer that we can not love others more than we love ourselves. If we are going to increase our capacity to accept and love others, we need to start with ourselves. I’m grateful to this client for sharing this beautiful testimonial about developing more self-acceptance and love. Thank you, Mary.
Thank you, Sue, for so ably facilitating the Positive Intelligence course in mental fitness that I recently had the privilege of participating in. Your invitation came right at a time when I was at a significant low in my personal mental state; feeling hollow, joyless and unloved; filled with low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and overwhelm. Among other things, the six-week course slowly but steadily helped me address my struggles around low self-esteem and how it impacts my relationships with others. I thank you, Sue, and my fellow class members, for guiding my way to a better self-understanding and a much more positive perspective on life. I’m truly grateful for the intervention, and highly recommend the course and the personal support you provided.Mary, Mental Fitness course paticipant
If you are interested in doing the mental fitness training Mary refers to, I’ll be starting the next course in August. Be sure to let me know if you are interested so that I can put you on the waitlist.