• Kerry Leppier

Is what's happening 'out there' a reflection of what's 'in here'?

What's happening right now with Russia and Ukraine should not be. War should always be avoided. But regardless it appears to be happening: People suffering, dying, losing homes and loved ones. And its coverage is coming in thick and fast.

If we consume the news; if we 'stay up to date' with what's happening we can expect feelings of helplessness, victimhood and anger. And that's OK, but it's what we do with those feelings that matter. Most of the time they are wasted but what remains of it......we bring home. We carry them into our relationships and we unconsciously pass them onto our partners and our children ensuring the destructive patterns of war continue.

What can we do instead?

We can:

1) choose what we watch

2) choose what we listen to

3) choose what we invite in

Do not feel ashamed to not consume every detail of what's happening: It is not ignorance to not wish to carry the world's burdens. It is not selfish to strive for your personal happiness and peace.

We do not have a responsibility to know exactly what's happening but we do have a responsibility to raise a generation of people who are not raised with fear, anger and a sense of victimhood - and to teach them how to make good, healthy choices for themselves.

The only way we can ensure this is by not harbouring these feelings ourselves. I personally suffer with fear, and have for as long as I can remember. It's almost impossible for me to completely eradicate this from my life but I can take steps to limit my worries. In my quest for less fear, I have read books, received counselling, kinesiology, taken on challenges, journaled, meditated. I have a husband who reads avidly on psychology, mindfulness, emotions and deep spirituality. He does a great job of listening to me. And though it has lessened it appears I may be stuck with it, or at least strive too improve my relationship with it. The bonus is that I can see it in my children and help them through it in ways I am only learning now at age 40.

I believe what's most important right now is that we do what we can - if there's a need among refugees for example and we can match it then great. If we can send money, prayers and other life saving resources then we should, of course. But let's not ignore the reflection of what's happening 'over there' to what's happening 'in here'.

In our homes we will have mothers and fathers holding onto anger and resentment, guilt, shame and blame. That needs to be held and for us not to expect our kids to hold that for us. We all have children that toy with these same emotions, practising them where they feel safe to do so. As a species, we seem not to be learning a great deal, the answer is....well just look out there.

Perhaps when the we pay full attention to the disputes and divides happening in our own homes can we really make a dent preventing future atrocities, such as war. How we teach them in here, they will take out there.

Talk - Talk to each other about how you're feeling, talk to your kids about their big and small emotions, talk to them about your own (when appropriate), don't try and change their feelings or yours, give them the space to be and get present to them, BE present.

In raising emotionally aware and intelligent children we will raise a group who are compassionate, patient, empathetic and kind. Raising a people that understand how to 'own' and 'hold' their feelings without shoving them down inside or into someone else, what could be more important than that?

How else can our global critical healing really occur?

Dr Martin Luther King Jr said: "“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

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