As I meditated on my weekly intention this morning I had a lot of feelings (as ever!) but also some personal realisations about the way I've been feeling recently.
As someone who spent 12 years working for an INGO, when a terrifying humanitarianism situation unfolds, it can now be very hard to feel like I know enough, am doing enough and am contributing enough. In a way it was easier to at least appear like I was part of the solution through my work, to be in the know and share that knowledge with others.
But then I remember that one of the reasons I'm not there anymore is because of how easily overwhelmed I became by the sights and stories I was constantly surrounded with. That crippling feeling of not being able to breathe deeply enough, of not being able to concentrate on the task in hand, of feeling frozen and unable to be useful enough. And of the frustration of nothing happening fast enough, of differing opinions when it came to the solutions. It goes on.
And then of course, the guilt that comes with these feelings. These are not my stories, it's not my life, my family being directly affected. What right do I have to be so deeply affected? But I am. I'm feeling it all again right now. So many of us are. What's happening in Ukraine and so many countries around the world right now topped with the pandemic, climate change, racism, attacks on women's rights, it's huge. And it's ok to feel. It's ok to cry and grieve and feel.
If you can't be on the front line of support that's OK. Do what you can from where you are. And that's where I am now, not working for an INGO but holding a safe space where I'm teaching people how to breathe deeply and care for their minds, to be compassionate, mindful and purposeful. And I'm empowering children and young people with techniques to cope with their anxieties and the challenges of this world of 24 hour news.
And I know I don't have to justify any of this but maybe I did, to myself. And maybe others are feeling a bit like me. There's no right or wrong way to feel or act about the state of the world right now. We are all different and cope and react in our own way. Just do whatever you can and that's enough.