Living from the Heart in a Time of Crisis

Living from the Heart in a Time of Crisis

Our hearts go out in love to each one of you in this time of world crisis and change. As we sit to write this, three weeks have passed since the attacks on our country. You will be receiving this much later, and perhaps many more changes might have occurred.

However, one thing remains the same, this crisis has stirred up feelings within us all. If we have ever had issues in our lives, such as feeling unsafe, anger towards others, feeling unjustly treated, grief, helplessness, hopelessness or fear, these may be coming to the surface of your consciousness now. So we have the opportunity to see more clearly these emotions and work with them. This is a time to become clearer and more conscious. Even major news anchors are urging people to ask for help and deal with their feelings. As we feel and work through our emotions around these events, we have the gift to become more whole within ourselves.

Our connection to our spiritual self is more important than ever before. Praying, meditating and being in silence is always important, but now more so than ever. Each one of us needs the spiritual recharging of our batteries to face and cope with the changes ahead.

We hope all of us can become ever stronger through these challenges and become renewed spiritually and emotionally, and through this renewal we can help and serve others.

It is critical that we take responsibility for our projections. The Islamic concept of “jihad” is often misunderstood. Most people think it refers to the holy war of the Muslims against the West.

Rather, jihad’s deepest meaning is “holy struggle,” the battle against our own ego, our inner demons. Individuals as well as cultures and nations have tended to project onto others what we do not like about ourselves.

Members of the Taliban, through projection, have made us the enemy. Many of us, likewise, have made the Taliban the enemy. Please, please remember that the real enemy lies inside as our own feelings of unworthiness, anger, and fear. Rather than projecting this enemy onto our loved ones, our family, our community, our nation, or other nations and cultures, let’s make peace with our own souls and learn about our worthiness to give and receive divine love. It is from this higher consciousness, this knowing that we are all one, that the best decisions are made in terms of action in the world.

We are dedicated to being available to people who are in need of help, through our counseling, both in person and on the phone, and through our workshops. In this coming year we will devote ourselves to helping people focus on the spiritual and emotional renewal that is so important in these changing times.

Two hours after we heard the news of the attack on September 11, our first counseling client of the day came to our door. She had not heard the news. We were grateful that we could be there for her in her process of learning what had just happened to our country, and
then her ensuing denial, shock and grief. She, in turn, kept expressing how comforted she felt that she could be with the two of us at such a horrendous time. After she left, we felt so grateful for all the years of training and experience that we have had that enables us to reach out and be there for others in crisis. We have always felt a deep gratitude and dedication to our work, and these recent events have only increased this feeling within us. We stand with open hearts ready to serve.

Here are some important things to remember and practice in this time of crisis, and what we will be focusing on in our workshops.
1. Personal healing. As we said before, many different feelings are now coming to the surface of our awareness. We now have the opportunity to heal the roots of these emotions. Through taking the time to more deeply understand our own feelings and projections, we can be stronger instruments of the Divine.

2. Connection. Right now is the time to connect with our own heart and with others. The inner, spiritual work has perhaps never before been as important, but it is not enough. We need each other more than ever. We need our family, but we also need spiritual extended family, a trusted support network where we can give and receive our love. This is one of the most important things we create in every workshop—deeply grounded heart connections.

3. Refocus on our life's purpose. In this time of crisis, our priorities in life come sharply into focus. Making more money or achieving the most comfortable life-style may not be what you most want out of life. Now is the time to ask yourself the really important questions, “What was I born to do?” “What gift(s) have I come to give to life?” “What is my purpose here?”

4. Take action. The responsible citizen and spiritual person takes clear and powerful action in the world. Perhaps most powerful of all is giving your love to all with whom you come into contact, being a calming influence in a disturbing time. Show loved ones that you care about them, not just with actions but with words as well. Speak kind words of appreciation to as many people as possible. Help wherever you are able. Remember the words of Mother Teresa, “Little things done with love become great things.” And, please, don’t procrastinate. There will never be a more important time to help than now.
Please join us in the prayer we sent out to all of you on our email list shortly after the terrorist attack on our country: (if you want to be on this list to stay more closely connected with us, please email us at vissell@sharedheart.org.)
Beloved God, Omnipresent Power and Love, May your soothing Presence comfort all of us right now, but especially those who died in this tragedy and their loved ones left behind.

Help us to not get trapped by fear, anger or the need for revenge. Help us instead to open our hearts wider in love and dedication to truly helping on this planet.

As Saint Francis prayed, "Lord make me an instrument of your peace." Help us, Beloved God, to bring peace to the disturbed, to bring love to those caught in fear, to speak comforting words to those who feel hopeless, and to offer to hold in loving arms anyone who needs love at this critical time in our history. Help us also to remember to receive the love that others offer to us.

Thank you, God, for allowing us to be of service, for guiding us to the right places at the right times, for helping us to be instruments of your peace.

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