It is the 15th of March. One year ago today the Christchurch mosque attack happened. One year ago Cyclone Idai devastated the coast of Mozambique. I am sure many other tragic events eventuated that day. However, I am pausing to reflect on the two events that impacted my world then. But like I wrote in my blog post at that time, the impact on me was minimal and only caused some inconveniences to my plans.
In the year that has been, countless other traumas and tragedies have occurred across the world – personal ones, community ones and now global ones. How do we cope with the sorts of emotions that surface at times like these – fear, anxiety, hopelessness, dread, anger, denial, grief, loss? These feelings are uncomfortable to say the very least and it would be so much easier just not to feel them at all. Right?
But here’s the thing, life never promised us a positive-only ride. If we tell ourselves that the difficult emotions that come with difficult circumstances are unfair, bad and to be suppressed or avoided at all costs, it really only makes things worse.
A year later and things are certainly not very rosy in the world at present. What we are experiencing now requires all the tools we have as human beings to lean into the discomfort we are all facing.
And so, I am reminded of what I have learned from two incredible women.
Brené Brown PhD in her book Rising Strong shares the wisdom her social science research has revealed about the benefits of showing up and leaning into discomfort.
“We run from grief because loss scares us, yet our hearts reach toward grief because the broken parts want to mend…We can’t rise strong when we’re on the run.”Brené Brown
Susan David PhD has been an absolute revelation to me. I guess I relate to her because of the similar background and accent! 😊
Her TED talk is definitely worth a watch.
“Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility”Susan David
What a sentence! Another quote that stands out for me is –
“Research now shows that the radical acceptance of all of our emotions — even the messy, difficult ones — is the cornerstone to resilience.”Susan David
“Emotional agility is the ability to be with your emotions with curiosity, compassion, and especially the courage to take values-connected steps.”Susan David
So, at this time of great turmoil and uncertainty I am trying to practice emotional agility…. And find the space for hope and gratitude.
Today I am wishing humanity emotional agility…. Let’s be agile!
Finishing off this post with a favourite quote from Brené Brown, this time from Braving the Wilderness…