Today I want to talk about what happens when we get devastating news.
That can come from different sources. You can get devastating news in YOUR life. Relationships end, jobs are lost, we get a terrible diagnosis or have an injury. These are things that happen to us personally.
Some things happen outside of us that are not necessarily directly affecting us, but they do affect us. There are natural disasters. There are election results. There are tragic events.
What’s really natural because we are human is that emotions arise. We feel heartbreak, sadness, concern, worry, fear, and all kinds of things. And feel them. Let them come up. Let them arise. Feel them. Do whatever you need to do. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to yell, yell. Not at somebody. Feel your feelings.
But I want to talk about what happens next, because an opening happens. After you’ve felt the emotions, an opening will happen. It can be very subtle and you’re going to be the only person who knows what that opening feels like for you. And you’ve got to train yourself to feel it.
Once the natural emotions subside, you’re going to be faced with a choice. Maybe you don’t even realize this choice is there, because you habitually act a certain way. But the choice does exist to either wallow or act. I’m sure there are other choices, but I want to talk about those two because those are the two options in my life usually.
What is wallow? Natural emotions have subsided and now I’m going to go back and I am going to just get INTO it. I’m just going to feel those emotions, but now I’m chasing them. I’m feeding them. I’m going over all of the details of the situation. I’m going to obsessively watch the media about this tragedy. I’m going to dig up old memories and just sit in it. Feed it, just be there, and add to these emotions.
Or I can act. And I will tell you that acting feels awesome. Acting feels so much better. This is why when you have a tragedy you’ve got so many people that rise to the occasion to be heroes and help. It’s because action feels empowering. Action feels like you can change the situation, you can fix the situation. You can do SOMETHING. And you are going to feel better 100% of the time when you act.
I’m not telling you to act when you are feeling those emotions naturally. But after that opening when you’ve got the choice, choose action. Instead of going back to the TV, your cell phone, your bed, and immersing yourself in that place again, figure out a way that you can contribute.
How can you act in your own life so that you can affect that situation that has happened to you? How can you act on a big scale? Can you fly to Florida? If you can’t do that, can you help somebody in your community? I promise there are people everywhere who need your help. What can you do? What action can you take now, now that you have this devastating news?
I promise 100% of the time…after you allow your emotions to arise and they’ve subsided and you’re faced with that choice, action will always feel better.