The last few weeks have been full of broken hearts in the United States and around the world. Racial, religious and political tensions are high. The world is in pain, and when you deal with your own internal turmoil, it all feels so much heavier.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having my own thoughts of hopelessness for the future in the last several days. Is this the world in which I want to possibly raise children someday? Is this a world capable of recovering from its own self destruction? Are we too far down the rabbit hole to save ourselves?
While we may feel overwhelmed, we always have hope – and that hope has to come from each of us. In fact, I’ve found the most cathartic thing in life is stand up and help when the world hurts.
And we can only help others if we help ourselves.
That sounds self-serving, I’m sure, but you can’t water a garden with an empty watering can. You must first fill it – or, less metaphorically, you must fill yourself. Love for yourself makes it so much easier to share love with those around you who also hurt.
Feeling overwhelmed by the world? Me too. So I work harder to care for myself. I use yoga and running to make my soul feel more at peace. I talk to the people who make my heart feel more whole. I eat foods that nourish me, with room for a treat here and there. I cuddle my dogs and my new pet hedgehog. I savor small moments of peaceful joy with my fiancé. Then I take the love I’ve fostered for myself and share it outward.
It doesn’t have to be huge. You don’t have to donate your life savings to charity. Sometimes offering a kind smile to someone who seems to be lost inside their own pain is enough. It could be rallying your loved ones to volunteer somewhere, or buying flowers for someone who needs a reminder of how beautiful his or her presence makes this world.
Acts of kindness, large and small, can help when the world hurts.
I know times like these can make caring for yourself especially difficult. It can feel like the world is trying to crush you with despair with each new newscast. Maybe you’re actually the person who needs some extra help to see the hope right now, and having the energy to do any of the things listed above just seems overwhelming.
If that’s the case, I see you, I love you, and I want you to know that the world is full of people who want to help when it hurts. And we want you to heal enough to join us, because you can be another beautiful soul that helps when the world hurts.
Kelly Rivard is a regular Body Boop blogger, and a 20-something digital strategist living in Kansas City with her fiancé, two dogs, a bird, a lizard, a hedgehog and several fish. You can follow her on Twitter or on her Facebook page Crazy Fit.
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