I’ve been loving the rich conversations happening over in my Facebook Community, Healthy Nervous System Revolution.
And, with the increased reports of violence, hate and harm that have been peppering the airwaves, I wanted to share a long form comment I shared with my Facebook Community when someone asked this timely question:
“Can you please comment about the feeling of uncertainty we are living with?”
Here’s my two cents on this question.
For now, some of my thoughts on this revolve around the importance of actually feeling into the evil in the world, and not ignoring what is going on, WHILE also feeling the good that exists.
Feeling evil at the core level, the cellular world level, is very different from being hateful towards those who are doing such acts of crime.
Folks who commit crime in cold blood lack empathy – plain and simple.
In my opinion, there is no chicken or egg scenario here. Sure, we could account for all the other factors that contribute to a cold blooded crime, but it starts here: With a severe lack of, or complete absence, of empathy. Put another way – it’s important to understand that such people (who are committing acts of crime and hate in cold blood) are the people who need empathy (from us). They need it, because it is possible they never got it when it was most ready to be wired into their nervous system, which is during infancy and childhood.
[Remember, empathy is not hard-wired into us like our digestion, or capacity to modulate our body temperature via sweating or shivering. We need to learn it via a solid and secure caregiver that also has empathy in their systems. When you understand this biological fact, one quickly sees how traits get passed down in the family and generational systems.]
Now, just because a person lacks empathy and can’t connect to another human being (or a group of human beings) does not mean that committing a crime or being hateful and harmful is right. It is not. Far from it.
People always ask, what can they do to help? Do your own work. Send gut felt empathy to EVERYONE in the world.
I, personally, am not a fan of protests and rallies .. at least, not in the way we do them now, because for the most part the protests seem to just fuel more violent energy. They lack skill and they ramp people up into their stress response survival systems … which then creates more of a fight response, and then more violence, more pain, more hurt and even when taken too far, loss of life.
For now, what I talk about in this video still holds true for me. If you haven’t watched it, check it out when you’ve got the time.
I think it is also important to understand that people have been hurting and abusing others for an eternity. What is happening isn’t new. It is just that it is happening on land masses that are “first world” and considered modern.
The atrocities that have happened, and still happen, in a variety of African countries, for example, are horrific beyond human imagination, and yet we rarely see this reality on the news. Or, the masses don’t know about it until a Hollywood movie is made.
So we are seeing more of it now, because of the internet. But, we are also not shown a lot of it.
I’d love to share this experience I had earlier this year when I was visiting Denver. My driver from the airport to my hotel was a young Ethiopian man who had fled his country years before with his family. I never asked him how he got to Colorado, but I asked him what his thoughts were on the new president and how the troubles in the United States feel to him compared to what he lived through and witnessed in Ethiopia. He softly shook his head and said, “It is really bad back home.” I didn’t ask him anymore, but proceeded to ask him about his kids which brought a smile back to his face. (By the way, I kept his business card, so if you ever need a ride in Denver, send me an email and I’ll give you his contact – he and his wife started their own business and they love what they do!)
Trauma is deep within the human species.
I believe that the more people can accept and see this trauma for what it is, and work on their own traumas, the more we heal COLLECTIVELY.
Historically, we have blamed the behaviours.
But just like a child who is acting out and not behaving, this acting out isn’t because they are trying to be difficult and piss the parents off, it is because they are living in their survival physiology (they are highly stressed) and they don’t know how to process it, feel it, integrate it. Mainly, because no one taught them how, and/or, how they were taught to deal is subpar.
Adults who commit crimes are often no different.
You can’t commit a violent, hateful crime when you are living in your higher brain (the part that brings us the ability to love and create and be good to others).
You can’t hurt another when you have the capacity to empathize and put yourself in their shoes.
A person will commit a crime and acts of violence/hate when they are disconnected from self, from others – when they are numb and frozen/shutdown. It is this same disconnection, numbness and inability to soothe and settle oneself that drives a mother to abuse her child, or herself. It comes from the SAME survival physiology.
So, to answer this question of “How do we live with uncertainty?”
Here are my answers.
1 – I believe we first have to swallow the tough reality that this level of hate and evil has always been there – we are just seeing it more and more, and we are shocked by it because we (collectively) “think” we’ve come so far. But, in fact, we haven’t because we’ve never really got to these root biological levels. Feeling into this is tough. But, I think, it is important to come to terms with this.
2 – Do your own work. By doing *OUR* part, what we *CAN* control, and learning how to process and feel the pieces we’ve brushed under the rug (or our parents have, or our family lineage has), we start to loosen up the trauma links that have bound us, and have kept us from evolving as a human species.
3 – I’m optimistic that we can do some serious healing if we look at this deep level. But, in order to look at this deep level in the worldwide view, we have to look at it in ourselves. And this is the scariest part of all. I also think this is why we haven’t fully committed to this level of healing, because it means we can’t blame anyone, AND, it also means we have to feel empathy for, and take care of, those who are now seen as the “bad” guys. Sadly, not everyone has the capacity to do this. Not now at least.
Those are some of my personal thoughts, which are highly influenced from my studies of the nervous system and working with my many mentors who have also battled with these same questions, and for much longer than I. They have seen, heard and worked with way more bad stuff than I have. They still keep working. They still show up and help people heal.
I hope to do the same and I hope you do too.
PS. JOIN the conversations over in my Facebook Community, Healthy Nervous System Revolution, or if you have a personal note for Irene and her team, you can always send it via email from our Contact Page.