When bad stuff happens there are ripples. Ripples beyond the specific circumstances to even those hardly involved. Who can not have been moved by the Grenfell Tower tragedy?
When bad stuff happens we look for explanations. We want to understand how it happened, why it happened, why to me, why now, what could have stopped it, what were the signs, what should I have done differently?
When bad stuff happens we want answers, we want to blame others, we want to judge, we want to establish cause and effect, we want to move on, get over it, get on with it, get away from it, not think about it, not believe it.
When bad stuff happens we can feel like the victim; why me, just my luck, all my fault. Or we push it outwards or downwards: denial, projection and repression are called defense mechanisms for a reason; they protect us from what our psyche is not currently able to bear.
Very often there are no coherent answers, just a multitude of factors colliding in such a way that bad stuff happened. How can we bear it? This randomness, this chaos, the inexplicably of it?
We have to surrender to what is. To feel the pain, the anguish, the guilt, remorse, anger, despair, loneliness and terror when it is present and yet to also let it pass. To appreciate the moments of laughter, or contact, the bird song, the flower buds when we notice them. All we can do when bad stuff happens is to live one day at a time, one moment at a time, and sometimes one breathe at a time. It is all we can do.
When bad stuff happens those ripples can invitations to become waves of support, the outer circles supporting the inner circles so the inner circles can support the core. The ripples of pain from the core send out messages: ‘I need help, something bad has happened’ and we feel it when the bad stuff enters our awareness, it touches us too. It invites us to connect with the feelings it illicits in us and reach out to form a net.
Because when bad stuff happens we need a safety net to catch us. We need people to reach out and take the weight of what they can bear to carry so the people at the core can be held as their world quakes.
So when bad stuff happens we caught in the ripples and we get to make a choice. We can decide to walk away, it is none of my business, there is nothing I can do, it’s nothing to do with me, I can’t fix it, I can’t bear it, I can’t help. Or we can step in. When we step in, we become part of the healing web which will not only support and enable the healing of the core, but will be part of our own healing too.
Because we have all had bad stuff happen and we can either armour our-self from our awareness of it’s ripples, or we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to reach out, to see pain and to connect to it and allow it to be present.
Because when bad stuff happens and we form a human safety web to support and hold the core, reach out and hold each other’s hands. We say ‘me too, me too’, I am human too, I am frail too, I am vulnerable too and yet I will stand here and hold the hands that hold the hands that hold the hands.
And it when we stand together and hold each other’s hands that the light is passed from the ripples to those at the core. It is then that hope can whisper itself down the web, that compassion can seep through the flesh of the hands touching hands. When we stand in circles supporting circles, supporting circles we are saying, we surrender to what has happened. We know bad stuff has happened. And yet here we are. And here we will stay. And here we will be until you can see the light again.
For we are all part of the same net, the same web, the same ripple and when bad stuff happens it affects us all. So healing and hope and light come from us all.
Step in. Hold hands.
(Photo by Milada Vigerova)