“Luminous beings are we. Not this crude matter.”
– Master Yoda
With all the emotional turmoil our nation and communities have enrolled in, I can’t help but consider the famous Yoda quote, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Oh and how palpable that fear and anger are. I’ve been trying to muster up the clarity and energy to tap into my inner Yoda to discuss the current climate, to do my part in healing the fear, anger, and suffering…because that’s what I do – I educate, I spread love, and I help people recognize their soul’s needs and guide them towards healing themselves. Yet it’s difficult to find the words when one’s emotions and thoughts are scattered around in the hurricane’s aftermath. So what would Yoda do in times like these?
As I’ve been sweeping up the debris, I realized that my particular purpose has merely been reinforced and renewed in all of this. So today…
I Will Educate
Let’s start with empathy. Why is empathy essential in difficult times? Consider this scenario: You’re arguing with your parents and they begin yelling at and calling you names. How do you react? How do their tactics make you feel? Personally it would make me so hurt and angry that I’d immediately shut down, keeping me from acknowledging anything anyone is yelling at me. After moods have calmed and the discussion can be revisited peacefully, something amazing tends happens – communication, understanding, resolutions, and possibly change might even peek its tiny little head out of the dark.
People argue and debate usually because they are trying to change the other person’s mind, yes? Virtually everyone desires the same things: a voice, respect, equal opportunity, and to be seen as a human being. We can give that experience to people and create trust by keeping at bay judgement, emotions, and personal attacks.
I love this study that demonstrates how a calm, curious, and self-reflective conversation with someone can promote long lasting empathy that can change people’s perspectives in one sitting! For most scenarios we can draw from our own experiences to acknowledge and understand how someone else may feel…yet we are all guilty of forgetting about our well of empathy, sometimes alienating loved ones in the process. It is time to go find that well.
I get it, we are emotional beings with a healthy appetite for self-preservation. It’s difficult to admit our mistakes or that we might *gasp* be wrong. However, if we could learn to breathe through our initial discomfort and offense at being accused (in this example scenario), perhaps we can see through the fog and remember a time when we felt the way our accuser is feeling. Acknowledge their feelings, because whether you agree with or understand why they’re hurting, they are hurting and their feelings do exist.
Empathy is essential, especially now, because it helps us look beyond ourselves and forge connections in the face of adversity. Getting to know and understand a perspective other than our own is a HUGE step in healing the divide and our country (and world). It is essential because, like the Force, life creates empathy and makes it flow, surrounding and binding us together.
What would your inner Yoda do?
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Courtney Ginn is a certified Reiki Practitioner in Sacramento, CA. She combines her Usui and Practical (Kundalini) Reiki training with various modalities to create personalized sessions for her human and animal clients alike.
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