Whenever I see news of the earthquake in Japan and the nuclear plant emergency that is going on, my stomach tightens and I feel like crying. I tapped on this and said all I can do is send prayers to the area and the people. I cannot imagine what they are going through but each time I think about it I feel it in my body.
I am not watching the earthquake news, although a part of me wants to, but it is all over the internet, and there is nothing I can do to totally get away from it.
I just saw something and again my stomach tightened and the tears came. It is scary and it feels like no area is safe from something like this. So yes there is not only empathy going on but also fear.
I wonder if anyone else is feeling this and what can I say when I tap about this? — Jean
Cathy replies: It is very hard to see people struggling like that. People who are caring and sensitive can find it disturbing and heart wrenching.
It may help to remember that our primitive brain is not geared toward seeing this kind of disaster from so far away. When that part of our brain evolved, we saw things from close up. There was no TV, video feeds, internet, or cable. Gently tapping and letting your brain know you are safe right now, even if you see pictures that are scary, can help.
When you have rough times, and are suffering, does it help you if you know others are feeling your suffering and hurting, too? (I don’t mean this hurtfully at all. Just a different perspective.) I do appreciate compassion and caring. I am grateful for those people who notice I’m hurting and who are willing to listen or assist if they can, but if they end up emotionally hurting with me, it actually feels sad and heavy to me.
If we grew up with parents who don’t have good boundaries, we may not have learned to have compassion without taking on the pain of the other person. It felt safest to FEEL their pain. It helped us connect with them. And in some families, they might have been angry otherwise… and even called us selfish or uncaring. Naturally compassionate people will do almost ANYTHING to avoid being called selfish… even to their own emotional detriment.
There are people in Japan, in Africa, in India, and right next door in your neighborhood… who are hurting terribly. They are afraid, lost, confused… not sure what to do. It can easily be overwhelming. When I started tuning into my intuition, I would be bombarded with pain from people around me. Just driving to work, my heart would be overwhelmed with the pain and suffering of someone waiting at a bus stop.
Rick suggested something that helped me a lot. He had me ask the Universe to draw my attention to those who it was right for me to help, and let the others pass into the arms and hearts of others. We can also give ourselves permission to feel awareness and knowing about their state of being… without having to feel ALL their pain or having to take it on. Does that make sense?
I also know that out of some of my darkest, deepest despair, I found new pathways and insights that changed my life. I found EFT when I wasn’t sure I could go on another day… when life truly felt unbearable. I’m not sure that I would have tried something that sounded so strange otherwise. But it opened up a new life for me and has brought me more joy than I thought existed in the world.
I am not saying that the pain and suffering is “good” for anyone. Or that people deserve it. But perhaps it might help if you allow yourself to notice some of the bright lights and new energy that are coming from the strong asking of the people facing this. There are people who are “shaken” out of their routines. Who are given a new perspective and different view of life. New inventions may come that allow people to live more safely, supply food and energy more reliably, or to predict earthquakes and tsunamis even earlier before they happen.
It is really easy to see how much people are hurting. We can certainly send them good thoughts. It felt right for me to send a donation to the Red Cross. When we have abundance in our own lives, we have more to share with others if and when it feels right.
Karate Chop: Even though I feel overwhelmed and my primitive brain is afraid… what if something like this happens to me?! …I’m open to seeing how safe I am right now and appreciating the blessings I have.
Even though I see suffering all around, and I feel it in my body, I am actually safe now and my hurting will not help them. I choose to calm myself and then send love and good thoughts to those in need.
Even though I am overwhelmed with all the pictures and videos, I let my primitive brain know that this is far away and we are safe. It’s okay to relax. My tension will not help them feel better. I can hold a space of quiet love and ask the Universe to help them.
Top of the Head: I am scared.
Eyebrow: This is big!
Side of the Eye: What if that happened to me?
Under the Eye: What if that happened here?
Under the Nose: My primitive brain doesn’t understand.
Chin: But I let it know that I am safe right now.
Collarbone: Sometimes bad things happen…
Under the Arm: But there isn’t anything to run from or fight right now.
Top of the Head: I want to feel safe and relaxed.
Eyebrow: But I don’t think I should… while anyone anywhere is suffering.
Side of the Eye: A lot of people are hurting.
Under the Eye: They are fighting for their lives.
Under the Nose: Shouldn’t I be upset and stressed?
Chin: Won’t that help them?
Collarbone: Hmmm… How would that help them?
Under the Arm: What if I relaxed and allowed myself to send good thoughts.
Top of the Head: I have more love in my heart when I relax.
Eyebrow: My thoughts are more peaceful… my mind more resourceful.
Side of the Eye: That certainly doesn’t hurt.
Under the Eye: And maybe I can notice the courage…
Under the Nose: Instead of just the despair.
Chin: What if I could sense the rockets of desire…
Collarbone: And the new insights that are coming from the intense contrast people are feeling?
Under the Arm: Yes, people are hurting…
Top of the Head: But I am safe, and I send the Universe a request to bless them and help them find the empowered and helpful answers in all this.
Take a deep breath.
It can help to notice that you’re not alone with your feelings. Isolation is something that terrifies the primitive brain. Connecting to others who are focused on raising their vibration and releasing old pains can help.
Tragedies like this can also bring up old traumas from earlier in our lives. If you’re feeling a lot of intensity, it may help to share with a friend, a therapist or coach.