What Can You Do, When You Cannot Change These Atrocities?

July 23, 2019

By Dr. Manijeh Motaghy – Co-Founder of Perfectly Here and Mindful Business Institute. Member of International Mindfulness Teachers Association.

The heart is full of emotions these days. The mind, filled with anger and rage. The news of human beings being violated, families separated, disgraced, rejected, even killed causes the heart to become dark, cold, fearful and hateful. It is specially difficult when these atrocities are done by those whom we have put our trust in, put into power to care and protect. Instead their given power spent to harm, minimize, take away rights and life.
This was the topic of a quick conversation that spontaneously sprung up in one of the classes this week. Good people, kind people, those who have a conscience and are incapable of harming others are enraged. They are in fear, worry and anxiety about the unknown, the dark and awful days that may yet to emerge. It feels even worse, when one feels there is nothing one can do to change these conditions. You feel compassion, knowing  that the suffering of others is the same as the suffering of your own self and of your loved ones. In the midst of all of this, it is also essential to know that the happiness of others is the same as your own happiness. One cannot exist without the other.

The Dalai Lama

Is constantly emphasizing this, that our happiness depends on the happiness of others. Therefore, practicing in ways and living in ways that produce joy and peace for all including yourself. Of course this can be very difficult, when our minds are filled with justified anger, rage and hate. It’s useful to reflect on the result of such mind states.

Reflective Power

Reflection is an important aspect of our practice; a powerful function of our human mind. A means to learning, growth and the stability of the heart and mind. Using honest reflective questions can help us arrive at the reality of things so that we use practical view points and solutions that lead to increased peace and well-being. Pondering on questions like:
  1. How do I feel about good people, innocent people being violated, frightened, killed?
  2. When the mind is filled with justified anger, rage and hate, how does it feel inside me?
  3. Does this hate, rage and anger violate and frighten other innocent people around me, including myself?
  4. If I keep emphasizing my principals of kindness and goodwill through anger and hate, do I cause harm to my own health and well-being and others’ health and well-being? Who am I killing?
  5. Can this justified rage and hate cause a change in the positive direction?
  6. Can it increase happiness for myself and others (specially in my own inner circles, family and friends) or does it add to the fear, worry, anxiety and suffering of oneself and others?

These are important reflections for us, as Mindfulness practitioners, those of us who claim to be the “good people.” If  answers to the above are not favourable to keeping the anger and hate alive and you sincerely realize that you DO NOT wish to cause harm, then you can move to exploring these practice suggestions:

“What Can I Do, When I Cannot Change These Atrocities?”

  1. I can make the following conscious intentions: 
    • I will NOT cause HARM to others
    • I will NOT to be an agent of those who spread fear and anxiety
    • I will keep my heart and mind clean to help reduce the impact of these atrocities and NOT increase it
  2. I can take responsibility for my own well-being and inner peace:
    • I will tend to the cleaning of my mind through meditation, concentration and awareness of my body, my breath, my thoughts and my feelings
    • I will cultivate compassion and wish happiness for all, omitting none
    • I will not judge myself when I am unable to have compassion and wish happiness for some
  3. I will keep evaluating my effort and practice, it’s results and my own sense of happiness and modify as needed.

For more expert blogs and Dr. Motaghy’s teachings go to: https://perfectlyhere.org/blog/