Sunday, November 22, 2015

Violence, Extremism and Self-care

Recently there has been significantly more violence in our own country and throughout the world.  Each event evokes a new wave of feelings…  helplessness, anger, bitterness, frustration and fear.

It is displayed on television and heard on the radio over and over again in vivid detail, causing us more anguish and creating more fear.  It has been shocking to see human beings devolve into hate and bigotry.  Somewhere along the way we seem to have forgotten that we are all part of the human race.

Recovery demands that we continually ask the question when challenges occur, "How did I contribute to this mess?".  Shouldn’t we ask that question in the face of the violent acts we witness today?  We are so eager to take three steps backward and point the finger at others to assign blame.  Why?  Why do we default to blame, bowing to fear, instead of confronting our own issues when difficulties arise?  Is our recovery so fragile that we cannot look ourselves in the mirror and have enough courage to see the truth?

In allowing ourselves to take the easy path of blame and fear we create more problems than we solve.  By not taking the route we know to be the road of recovery…  self evaluation…  we add more obstacles and create more barriers.

The answer is deceptively simple.  Each of us needs to be self responsible.  Instead of trying to control outcomes and others we need to take the more difficult step of self-control.  Although it is simple, it is not easy to practice self-control and effective boundaries.  For many of us our default position is to try to “fix it”.  Although we know this is not the correct path.  When we are frightened and overwhelmed it is easy to backslide.

We must, as part of the human race, realize that our actions and words have consequences.  We cannot blame innocents for the actions of others simply because they may share either the same race, religion or sexual preference.  We must begin to view our actions as others see them…  not just through the myopic lens of bigotry.  It is imperative that we embrace the values we know in our beings to be valid and not succumb to fear and blame.

All human beings are valuable.  All human beings are fallible… including us.  When we come to realize that we are part of the problem we are ready to find a solution.  So long as we believe we are without fault we can continue to play the role of victim.

By practicing self-care and using our tools we can avoid becoming stuck in the victim role and can experience the warmth and love we each have to offer the world and the human race.

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