By Victoria Lynn Hall
How will you know the difficulties of being human, if you are always flying off to blue perfection? Where will you plant your grief seeds? Workers need ground to scrape and hoe, not the sky of unspecified desire.Rumi
When you’re experiencing trauma all you can think about is how to survive and return to normal. Unfortunately, when the immediate trauma is over, you realize there is no normal to return to; normal was just a comfortable illusion that you can no longer afford to have. The world is a dangerous place but our path to healing doesn’t lie in forgetting or denying that but in developing the inner strength to accept it, to navigate it and to make efforts to possibly change it.
I don’t find that witnessing other people’s trauma sets me back in my healing. My empathy is not just for their suffering but also for their strength; not just for their grief but also for the seeds of hope that may grow from it. Yet I also know, from experience, that they can not and should not be expected to endure their trauma or their grief alone.
When we seek to hide from or deny the cruelty and suffering that exists in this world because of personal trauma, we are denying our own strength as well as the connection, community and sense of purpose we need to heal and to live.
Of course we need to balance our own needs with our concern for others; to be aware without being hypervigilant. We have to learn to take breaks so we don’t quit, to ask for help so we won’t burn out, and to rest so that we are not tempted to go back to the deep sleep of denial.
For we must stay awake to this not normal world where too many innocent people experience trauma at the hands of those who are clinging to their comfortable illusions. We must bear witness to both the suffering and the strength of people everywhere and act in solidarity with them whenever possible.
We must plant our grief seeds and tend them together, so that hope may continue to grow.
In this episode, Jesse mentions points made by Benjamin Studebaker in this video from before the 2020 General Election: Should You Vote For Biden?: An Argument With Benjamin Studebaker
I mentioned this interview that Rania Khalek did with Dr. Medhat Abbas of the Gaza Ministry of Health for Breakthrough News: URGENT: “Death is around us everywhere” – Palestinian doctor in Gaza under Israeli bombardment
Learn more about Rep. Betty McCollum’s bill to promote and protect the human rights of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation here.
Use ResistBot to contact your representatives to support this bill or find other ways to contact them here: house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
Find other ways to help Palestinians on our Action Items page.
Learn more about Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and donate to help at SaveTheChildren.org
Read more about America’s support for Saudi Arabia’s genocide in Yemen in Jesse’s article: Yemen & The Truth
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A Los Angeles native, Jesse Crall graduated from UCLA’s English Department before working as a copywriter, script reader and project manager for an engineering firm.
A self taught artist and creative entrepreneur, Victoria Lynn Hall lives in the Kansas City area with 4 spoiled cats. She believes in art and the magic of kindness.