When difficult things happen

When I wrote to you last Tuesday afternoon, I had no idea that life would be become incredibly challenging over the next week.

We had two very serious illnesses in my immediate family at the same time. I was bouncing back and forth between two hospitals nearly daily. One case resulted in very difficult news to hear and a drastic lifestyle change.  In the other, the doctors told us to prepare for the worst, losing our family member because her condition was worsening by the day.  We were relieved on Saturday to find out that she turned a corner and began to improve, but it will still be a long road ahead.

And as we are all figuring out how to manage the changes and pulling together to help these two beloved people in my life cope and begin to move on from serious illness, an unspeakable tragedy struck close to home in Boston yesterday afternoon that has shaken us all to the core.

In some moments, I feel numb as I struggle to focus on my daily routine and take care of my responsibilities. In others, I find tears streaming down my face as I process everything that has happened both in my personal life and in my greater community here in Massachusetts.  I feel helpless to do anything except send Reiki and love, and I find myself turning to prayer more and more, asking God / Universe / Angels and whomever else may be listening to be with those who are suffering, to bring peace, alleviate pain and help everyone heal.

It’s hard to know what to do with yourself, your emotions, your urges to help during difficult times, especially when there is very little that you can do to help.  That’s when I think it’s best to just try to show up for your responsibilities, stick to your routine as best as you can, and be gentle and kind with yourself and everyone around you.  And pray.

Most importantly, keep your mind focused on the positive instead of dwelling in the fear and outrage. Find little ways to be grateful in your pain and sadness – like for all the courageous first responders running towards danger yesterday to help those who were injured. And celebrate the lives who were lost, and the people who were saved though their lives and bodies were torn apart, sending your love and attention towards them.  They need a lot of that love right now.

If there’s one thing we can do when difficult, horrific things happen when there isn’t anything practical we can do to help from where we are, it’s to focus our energy and attention on love and healing.  It helps those in our thoughts, and it helps us, too.

Hope your family is safe and sound today.
Warmly,
Joanna

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