How Do I Deal With Tragedy and What Can I Do?

Lately it seems like I’m surrounded with sadness, tragedy, drama, and heavy, heavy emotions.  Most of the time this is coming from people around me, as I am usually the one my friends and family go to when something is troubling them.  Right now it’s more than usual, and with the tragedies happening in the world lately I’m not quite sure how to handle any of it, I feel so overwhelmed by how bad things really seem to be right now.  How do I handle the heaviness of it all and help make a difference?!

Juan, Pennsylvania

Hi Juan,

I hear you, and I agree with you, there seems to be a lot more upheaval right now than usual, or at least many of us are more aware of it that usual.  And with Monday’s explosions in Boston a lot of people are at a loss as to what to do.  I encourage you to read Neale’s headline article of this newspaper, which you can access here.  It offers great insight, hope and solutions as to what we as a whole can do, how we can help shift the way humanity has been living.  In terms of dealing with the emotions of it all, read on.

When problems arise, or tragedy strikes, we are often left with shocked and outraged reactions, as well as with a lot of desperate questions (“who would do such thing”, “why doesn’t somebody do something about this”, “what else could go wrong?” etc.).  This is our way of recognizing that we are not okay with what happened, we are not in alignment with this, and it’s a perfectly normal response.  Those emotions and reactions can be really difficult to deal with, and if they’re not processed or dealt with properly, can turn into depression, despair, extreme fear and hopelessness, among other things.  When not dealt with or processed, they also contribute to the problem, not the solution.

So the trick to dealing with these emotions, then, is to first acknowledge what you’re feeling and let whatever that is be okay – meet yourself where you’re at, talk to someone, journal about it.  But don’t stay there.  Instead, ask yourself, “Who am I in light of this?  Who do I want to be here?”  Then find ways to express and demonstrate that.  This is when our normal initial “reactions” turn into conscious creation.

Furthermore, make it your business to focus on nothing but love, gratitude, kindness and compassion, and express that, too.  Energetically speaking, this is the most powerful thing we can do in such situations, whether it’s in response to a worldwide tragedy or some trouble in your personal life.  Focusing on the negative aspects simply magnifies them, draws more negativity, and as I said above, contributes to the problem.  Shifting your attention to the good consistently raises your vibration, and the vibration of the world, contributing to the solution.

Let’s be clear about something, though, this is not what some refer to as a “spiritual bypass”, an increasingly popular term some people in New Age and New Thought arenas like to use to describe using positivity as avoiding and ignoring the problem, invalidating the emotions that come up.  That’s not what this is at all.  Remember, my very first suggested step here was to acknowledge how you feel and let it be okay.  What we’re doing here is transforming those emotions, or energy (emotions = energy in motion), into something more useful.  Instead of wallowing in despair, hopelessness, and frustration, we are choosing to raise our vibration and get into alignment with Who We Really Are, and it is from this place that we gain clarity and access to the actions we can take, from a place of love instead of fear. 

I believe this is how we transform the fear, hate, violence and separation in the world (both on a large, worldwide scale and smaller, personal scale) into love, peace, compassion and unity.  It starts with each of us, the individual, doing our part, taking responsibility for our role in this Universe.  So I challenge you, Juan, and anyone else who may be reading this, to take the steps above.  And when you reach that place of clarity, love and alignment, see what you’re inspired to do from there.  Perhaps it’s joining a cause or organization that is taking specific steps towards a solution, perhaps it’s coming up with a brand new one no one has ever thought of.  Or perhaps it’s a deep shift within you where kindness, love, and compassion towards all becomes your first language from now on.

Thanks for being willing to do your part, Juan.

(Nova Wightman is a CWG Life Coach, as well as the owner and operator of Go Within Life Coaching,, specializing in helping individuals blend their spirituality with their humanity in a way that makes life more enjoyable, easy, and fulfilling.  She can be reached at )

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