These are a few of the emotions I feel when I think of the senseless violence in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and I am sure many of us feel the same.
I’ve also shaken my head in disgust, thinking, “Isn’t the world going through enough already??”
I’ve been praying to no end for miraculous resolutions, compassion, peace, unity, hope, kindness, fairness and peaceful negotiations.
In conversations with my good friends, we’ve expressed the anxiety, pain, and helplessness we feel watching the devastating and catastrophic impact and consequences of this conflict on many people’s lives. Yet, I know that these very same emotions, along with the ability to empathize with others’ suffering, hope, our love for, and focus on common humanity, and the goodness within, can mobilize us to fierce, compassionate action.
Compassionate action can mean different things for different people. Some actions include: attending solidarity rallies, prayers, speaking to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters to find out what support they need, reaching out to professional associations, banks, cultural institutions, etc., to terminate or severely restrict business operations in Russia, and offering donations. I humbly ask that you join me in standing with Ukraine and consider taking compassionate action.
For my Canadians, below are some resources on how you can help support the people of Ukraine, with tips and suggestions on discerning the appropriate charitable organizations through whom to donate.
As we may be finding ourselves struggling and overwhelmed with feelings much like the ones I shared above, I am encouraging you to be kind and compassionate to yourselves and others. Notice suffering without judgment, allow yourself and others the space and permission to feel the full intensity of the feelings and be attentive to how it shows up. Let’s ask ourselves what we need to take care of ourselves at that moment and act on it.
I would also like to offer two audio mindfulness exercises- one focuses on alleviating the pressure of emotions, and the other focuses on providing compassion for ourselves and compassion for others. Feel free to listen to them as often as you need, any time you feel burdened with difficult emotions, or when you need to practice kindness to yourself and others, especially during difficult times like these.
My heart and prayers go out to the people of Ukraine and all those lives affected by this war. I want to extend my deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones.
I continue to pray for resilience, strength, safety, aid, peace, and an end to aggression.
Take good care of yourselves and others.