We’re living in a world where people who previously breezed by in the shadows, and at other times boldly marched the red carpet, are being revealed for who they truly are: morally bankrupt individuals.
Whether drugging women, molesting children, or otherwise harming others from their pedestal of power and prestige, they’re now being outed by more and more accusers who bravely step forward to reveal their truths. These predatory conditions have always been a part of our society, but the instant nature of the information age has thrown the matter onto the hot seat of public display.
In spite of the number of accusers who have come forward, I suspect that some of those engaging in the behavior, who haven’t been caught yet, will arrogantly continue to take their chances, which is horrible and distressing.
As they come to the surface, all of these breaches of trust—known and unknown—harm us in one way or another. This is why we must be extremely careful about how we respond. Rather than ricochet from headline to headline, we need to navigate the process in a way that we learn from it, and yet avoid becoming totally consumed by it.
I am by no means denying the disgust that we naturally feel, but suggest that after we honestly acknowledge the ugliness, that we take the steps to fight against it in the future, and continue to embrace joy.
Remember what Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” King was correct, and his wisdom also applies to tending to our individual pilot lights, which we can never allow to burn out, even as those who come forward to report these crimes, and those protest against them, whether massing in the street, or taking to social media to express their feelings, also face no shortness of criticism.
As I write about this, I feel deep stirrings of its affects on me, too. This year has been, without question, the most painful and challenging of my life. Surviving it, and learning to adjust my wings and sails to the enormous ever-changing winds, is a testament to my own ability to keep my little boat afloat, even when the wind of moral bankruptcy has tossed me around like a tiny boat upon the ocean.
I have faced anger and feelings of mistrust to the point that even my belief in a higher power has gotten shaken up from time to time. However, by acknowledging my own experience, I can make peace with the reality of it, and find some calm in the storm each morning by breathing and making conscious choices to love life and move forward.
We all do this in different ways. Sometimes I see messages on social media like: “The worst feeling in the world is being used and lied to” or “Such a disappointment when you defend someone for so long, thinking they are different, and they turn out to be just like everyone said.”
People share these feelings publically for many reasons. Sometimes they seek to create empathy for our pain, cathartic healing, or even to communicate to the actual person they perceive as causing the pain. These posts are usually followed by: Agree and share.
While I do support their self-expression, I rarely share these posts because they put the painful energy on display. I do usually acknowledge them, though, by sending a virtual hug or love, as a way to remind the person and myself that—if no laws were broken—it’s best to forgive and let go, otherwise we get so caught up in our rage that it becomes our “fuel to exist” rather than our “light to live.” The effect of that is to give the person in the situation the power to continue to snuff out our spiritual pilot lights.
Sometimes there’s a fine line between the two energy fields of giving a voice to our pain, and soldiering on. We must stay aware of how we feel to keep ourselves balanced as we ease through the chaos and continue on our journey.
The best defense against those who would do us harm is to love and respect ourselves, to be there when others need us, and to consciously make choices that support the highest good of all with a sense of gratitude for life.
If we can embrace our blessings daily, especially during the most challenging times, we will prevail and show others what is possible, which can have a ripple effect of global proportions.
by Geri Jewell