Anecdote for Feeling Helpless

Anecdote for Feeling Helpless

Do you find yourself feeling helpless when you hear about yet another conflict, natural disaster, abused or missing animal or person?

It seems like you can’t even turn on the news or join in a social media conversation without some distressing information being shared. It can seem like everywhere you look, there’s another horrible—or potentially horrible—situation at hand. What do you do when it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless to create positive change?

We are all infinitely more powerful than we may realize. Humans are not just spiritual beings in physical bodies, the source that flows through each and every one of us is the energy that creates worlds!

I don’t talk about this often, or publicly, for that matter, but for the last decade I have been employing a process that has proven to be an anecdote for feeling helpless. I am sharing this technique here, and if it resonates for you, try it yourself.

First, a little backstory…

It started for me one winter when I heard about a young San Francisco couple with a baby who were missing and believed to be somewhere in the Sierra Nevada mountains. They had last been seen driving up into the mountains before a blizzard had paralyzed the area. Being a highly sensitive person (HSP), I immediately felt a sense of fear and despair for the couple and their young child as the days wore on and the family had not been found.

Really, it felt awful.

The more I thought about the possible hardship this couple might be facing, the more I felt more devastated…and helpless. Until it dawned on me that I could use my natural creative power of imagination to ‘imagine’ that this family was found. With this glimmer of hope, I realized intuitively that I could do more from where I was to help this family (while warm and safe, at home) by imagining a better outcome than by dwelling on all the horrific possibilities.

I began imagining that a search helicopter was able to find them. Using my imagination, I imagined how relieved the family and searchers would feel. I imagined them being found safe and sound.

That was in the afternoon after the family had been missing for several days. I kept imagining they were found all afternoon because it felt better than worrying.

Later, that evening, the news reported that a search helicopter had found the missing car on the final pass of the day.  Ground crews had found the mother and child alive in the car! The father had hiked to find help, and was later found to have fallen to his death.

Admittedly, the outcome was not entirely what I would have liked, but I couldn’t help but feel that somehow I might have helped that mother and child be found alive. That thought alone felt more empowering.

Imagining the best certainly beats feeling helpless and worried!

Since that time, I’ve used this same technique of “imagining the best outcome”, even when I don’t know entirely what that would be. I focus on the positive feeling that everything is resolved whenever I hear of anyone in any kind of distress. I imagine that I can connect directly with the person(s) involved and then I imagine they are guided to the help they need.

I have imagined…

  • ill people finding the medical help they need, and they do.
  • missing animals being found, and they are.
  • missing adults being located, and they are.
  • weather improving, and it has. Hurricanes have downgraded to tropical storms or completely change course. Blizzards have been less troublesome than predicted.
  • missing children being found, and within a day or two, they usually are.
  • victims of natural disasters finding relief and assistance in a timely manner.

One time, I imagined a missing boy being found, and not only was he found but also another boy who had been kidnapped many years prior by the same abductor!

Imagining the best for someone feels a LOT better than imagining the worst. Whether family, friends, or complete strangers, if something positive can come from imagining the best, then it’s really worth the effort!

I’ve trained myself to do this the minute I hear about someone in distress from a disaster or missing, for whatever reason. It’s my go-to response, and it certainly helps me feel like I am a powerful part of a solution versus a helpless bystander.

Sometimes, though, when I begin to connect with the person remotely and imagine them being found, I might get a sense that they are no longer in physical form. Some are quick to let me know that it’s too late, while others just give me a sense that they are no longer ‘here’. If that happens, while still ‘connected’ I tell them telepathically that if they are not in physical form, their family would like closure…please guide the authorities to their body. More often than not, the person’s body is reported found shortly after.

No, I have never contacted the police in these areas around the globe. I am just choosing to use my energy in a positive way, where I am, rather than focusing on all the negative possibilities. I admit it thrills me when a positive outcome results, but the truth is that focusing in this way is what ALSO keeps me sane amidst countless stories of heartache and misery all around.

We ALL have this power, if we choose to activate it!

Some might say it’s a *coincidence* that I imagine these people being found or helped, and then they are. If you are among those who believe in coincidences, I really don’t know what to say to you as I have learned there is no such thing as a coincidence.

Don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself: the next time you hear a news story that plummets your heart into despair, consider using your immense natural power to ‘imagine the best’ for all involved, then notice what happens in the news.

Have you already tried this before, or are you willing to give it a try?

I’d love to know what you this post has stirred in you. Please share your comments below…

Image Credit: rolffimages / 123RF Stock Photo

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4 thoughts on “Anecdote for Feeling Helpless

  1. Thanks for this Nancy, it really spoke to me because I have been wondering about the best way to handle my energy regarding some of the events in the world right now. I am especially focused on the events in Ferguson Missouri and the experiences of many young black men in this country and their encounters with police. I do not want to be an activist and a voice for this issue which is what most people want to do. However, I do want to put my energy towards solutions and not the problem.

    My question has to do with the role of empathy. As you know I am in seminary and one of the things that we are taught to focus on is empathy. I have come to place where I believe that the best way I can help another is to hear their story, their narrative of agony and pain and remind them of the role of hope. (This is not necessarily Abraham’s process.) A person’s pain and agony is very important but what is not important is staying there in the agony and pain. I cannot determine for another when it is time for them to move forward but I want to 1) Be a witness to the agony and pain and 2) point them towards Hope. I cannot do either or this without empathy. So I continue to cultivate healthy empathy and visualize and imagine healthy outcomes. I have found this powerful and effective.

    So back to Ferguson. I am having a hard time imagining what healthy outcomes would look like. I feel like just not thinking about it. Race relations are such a hot button issue when I think of it, I feel overwhelmed. What can individuals do, especially with something so touchy like race relations, that can bring genuine healing to communities?

    • Iyabo, so nice to see you here on the blog comments! Congratulations on starting your second year at seminary!

      Indeed, the events in Ferguson, MO USA are among the many overwhelming situations/stories at this moment and I hear what you are saying. I could easily write several more blog posts in response to your question, but I will try to make my response here both brief and helpful.

      When you say…

      A person’s pain and agony is very important but what is not important is staying there in the agony and pain. I cannot determine for another when it is time for them to move forward but I want to 1) Be a witness to the agony and pain and 2) point them towards Hope. I cannot do either or this without empathy. So I continue to cultivate healthy empathy and visualize and imagine healthy outcomes. I have found this powerful and effective.

      …since this is both powerful and effective for you, it sounds like you have found the process that works best for you!

      You also have an advantage as a former coach, to know that people really want to be heard and validated. Having true empathy, really listening, mirroring back what you’ve heard to make sure you are fully understanding, is very powerful and healing all by itself. The relief of being heard can open the door to hope.

      When it comes to Ferguson, MO, are you willing to listen to all sides as a witness to the agony and pain, then point them toward hope? Are you willing to believe, trust, and know in your heart that Infinite Intelligence/Divine Source/God has the answer even if/when you don’t?

      The good news is that you don’t have to know the best outcome in detail, but you CAN choose to listen with empathy and open YOUR heart to hope.

      You CAN invite Divine Love to intervene on your behalf. Unity Minister Catherine Ponder’s quote comes to mind: “Let Divine Love be at work in this situation and in all concerned.” (there are days I have to say that one repeatedly while deep breathing!)

      You CAN know what feels better for you to think about: all sides feeling heard; peaceful interactions for all; everyday-angels coming forward to lead the community; solutions being discovered; greater awareness and consciousness emerging locally, regionally, and nationally; laws changing to accommodate the new awareness; and Divine Love prevailing (which is inevitable).

      You CAN choose to feel peace in your own heart when you think about Ferguson, MO and/or all the black men in prison even if you don’t know HOW that is possible. The amazing documentaries, The Dhamma Brothers amd Doing Time, Doing Vipassana give a few examples of how positive transformation can and does occur in jails.

      These are just the ways that I can think of at this moment. Let me know if this helps you.

      Many blessings,

  2. Pingback: Thinking About Others | AffirmingSpiritAffirmingSpirit

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