I try to not talk about politics in my blogs but this week, it is hard to ignore what is happening in our country and not comment. It is impossible to not feel many emotions about the injustice that happened to George Floyd. It is also impossible to ignore the aftermath of the protesting and riots.
I was reading some headlines yesterday as I logged into the internet. I don’t know who said it and I did not read the article but the title read: “we need to have rage to make change happen.”
I understand that people are experiencing rage. I understand the lashing out and the helplessness and hopelessness that so many of our fellow Americans feel. However, it disturbs me to think that people think we need rage to induce change. I hope the author simply meant that rage is needed as the impetus for change.
The truth is, when we are in a rage, we are operating out of our “animal brain”. This is the part of our brain called the amygdala and it signals to us whether we are safe or not. When we are operating from this part of our brain, we do not feel safe. We launch into the fight, flight, freeze or faint response. This response means that blood flows away from the brain and into our extremities so we can fight or run. It is not a place where we are open to listening to others or making changes. We are simply trying to survive, to protect ourselves and our loved ones (think about a Mamma Bear…)
In order to hear each other, in order to find creative solutions, in order to solve the problems and cure what ails us, we must operate from a place of rest and digest. A place of peace.
I have just become a Certified HeartMath Practitioner and have been studying how the heart and managing the beats of our heart can influence how we feel and how we manage our emotions. If we focus on our heart and how our heart is beating in coherence with our breath, our minds, and our emotions, we can communicate to our brain that we are safe and open to possibilities. It is a physiological response that we must implement in order to start making the changes we all would like to see.
I used this picture from our local paper because it brought me to tears. I love the solidarity of these two men, holding hands and asking people to quietly go home at curfew.
I pray that as the rage dies down that the love begins to grow. Literally opening up our hearts will allow us to reach each other, hear each other, and find our way to a place of justice and peace for all.