My husband John woke me up this morning on his way out the door to work and said, "I'm sorry to start your day like this, but you know that movie theater we used to go to in Aurora, Colorado? Well, I think it is the same theater where twelve people died in a gun shooting last night."
Shocked, I had a hard time taking in the news and went about my day. After lunch, I stopped to read an article online and felt grief and fear all throughout my body.
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Typically, I avoid reading about such tragedies as I often feel deeply affected. This time, it was too close to home to ignore. Plus, I received an e-mail from a friend who lives in Colorado who was deeply saddened. I wanted to understand her experience. How To Talk To Your Kids About The Colorado Massacre
I found myself feeling paralyzed by the news and wondered, How could this have happened? If it could happen there, couldn't it happen anywhere? Will I be safe going to the movies from now on?
This type of tragedy can make us question our safety and can cause us to feel vulnerable, as did 9/11. We wonder how we can continue to trust life when such events happen in our own backyards.
Then, I read a post on Facebook from another friend in Colorado. She suggested we send prayers of love and support to the families and victims. I appreciated her invitation because it gave me something positive and empowering to do, rather than wallowing in my own feelings of grief and helplessness. As I prayed, I found myself feeling lighter, better.
I prayed for healing and transformation on a large scale, and that something positive would emerge from this awful tragedy. Perhaps it will cause people to question their purposes in life and to awaken to their spiritual nature. Perhaps an outpouring of love will bring people closer together in their communities. I don't know the higher purpose, but by praying, I was able to rise above my fear and envision the possibility for one.
If you find yourself feeling paralyzed by a local tragedy or something you watched or read in the news, take proactive action to move through your feelings. The following five tips are here to assist you:
1. Reach out for support. Often times, we may not even realize how something we've read or witnessed on the news has affected us. We get busy with the rest of our day and suppress our feelings. But, they haven't vanished. They reside in our bodies, in our organs and cells, so it is important to feel our feelings, process them and release them. Most likely, your friend is feeling the same way and needs support too.
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2. Write about your feelings. What does this tragedy evoke in you? Do you feel sad or afraid? Journal about your experience.
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