Read & Watch

Powerlessness

{This is about as personal a post as I’ve written…if you don’t feel like you need to take on anyone else’s sadness this week, perhaps you could check back with me next week…in the meantime, you may want to check out this link for a list of reputable charities vetted by CNN and reportedly respected by NGOs. Thank you for coming by. Peace, love and please hug your people}.

Like most citizens of the globe, I have spent the past couple of days feeling helpless, sad, angry, impotent and frustrated by the catastrophe in quake-ravaged Haiti. Each image we’re shown is more searing than the last and it’s nearly impossible to sustain the viewing for any amount of time.

Also like most citizens of the globe, I’ve texted money and made on-line donations…cash is needed badly.  After the donations are made, I then sit back and wait to feel satiated by this token effort. Nothing happens. No moment of calm, no moment of pride, no moment of relief.

So, I stew in my discomfort. So many lives, so many dreams, so many children. Fear, pain, uncertainty, and panic. What do I know of these? Blessedly little.

Flitting and fretting and drinking herbal tea, I’ve haunted around the house long after the babe and husband have fallen asleep, gentle snores reminders of comfort and full bellies.

I try to put on my pragmatic hat and am unable to bear it for any length of time. The magnitude of loss defies rational explanation. Then I try to don my coach’s hat and look for different perspectives. Also a poor fit in this moment.

So I sip the tea and I wait for the powerlessness to wane.

(On Boxing Day, 2004, the tsunamis in the Indian Ocean killed 230,000 people in 14 countries. My mother was dying in hospital at the time and passed away on the 27th of December. I vaguely recall being saddened to hear the nurse who covered my mother’s face with linen had family in Indonesia but recall little beyond that. That is what happens in grief. We make it about us.)

Here I am, citizen of this world, seeing hundreds of thousands of lives shattered and what am I doing? Waiting to feel better…still making it about me. Normal, I suspect. And weak. So very very weak.

I’ve turned to Twitter for inspiration and have indeed been inspired by how that community has mobilized $$, creatively and compassionately. Beautiful to behold in its grassroots reach.

What I’ve also seen, is people saying “no” to feeling powerless and stepping into their power.

  • Kelly Diels started the inspired Help Haiti Blog Challenge. Her words and her actions are her power. Clearly.
  • Danielle is spreading the word and the love and is donating a firestarter session for cash to Haiti (her firestarter session will knock your socks off)…this is her power.
  • Lisa is hosting a fundraising brunch. Her power is in connectivity.

There are thousands of others stepping into their power…going to ground zero, holding and nurturing. Healing and loving. Moving and digging.

My power lies in my ability to be grateful and capacity to love and be loved. This was a gift from my mother (she used to call me at my “important”  advertising job to tell me, no matter WHAT I was doing at the time of the call – in a client meeting, having/giving a review etc – to tell me that she just saw the most beautiful butterfly and thought of me).

So, in honour of my power of gratitude: I am grateful today. My husband, child and I live under one sturdy roof. I am doing the work in this world that I love and I have a fridge full of food, money in the bank and live in a country rich in resources. I will spread this gratitude around, continue to make donations as I feel so moved and speak to my daughter about empathy and disaster in the language appropriate for a tender-hearted 5 year old. I will be where my clients need me to be and help them to find their power.

I would hug each and every one of you (heart to heart, as my mother taught me) if I thought that would heal in some way the massive amounts of pain that are palpable in this moment. It wouldn’t, but I don’t know what else to give.

Please step into your power, whatever it is…our neighbours need you.

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10 Comments

  1. Tanya,
    This is so lovely, and so right.
    Thank you, thank you.

    Reply
    • What an honour to have you here, Lindsey. Thank YOU for coming by. The beauty of your writing astounds me.

      Reply
  2. Great post, hun. Really great.

    Reply
  3. Thank you Tanya.
    Just beautiful.
    Julie
    xo

    Reply
  4. This is so beautiful Tanya- you are a wonderful writer. I feel your pain and anger… I really miss Mom’s heart-to-heart hugs and chats too. I can’t stop the question “Why?” running through my head…it is hard to feel any relief and comfort while others are suffering.

    Reply
  5. Tanya. This is a beautiful piece that summarizes I’m sure, how many are feeling in the now. Also, I am sorry to hear about your mum. However, I am thankful that you’ve empowered yourself to empower others with your obvious strength and words. I love that she inspired you to hug heart-to-heart…what a wonderful sentiment.

    I look forward to reading more. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  6. Beautiful post Tanya!

    Reply
  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you all for reading, for the loving and the kindness. One more thing to be grateful for…

    Reply
  8. Tanya, the power to love and be loved, and to feel and express gratitude as eloquently as you have here, are mighty powers indeed.

    In the face of death and so much suffering, when anything we do seems utterly inadequate, it’s a gift to remember we have the power to bless any situation.

    Every blessing restores the whole field of blessing. Every bit of love draws on the wholeness of Love to heal and transform the deepest wounds.

    Thank you for this beautiful post.

    Reply

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  1. Gratitude (v. 2) - [...] the anniversary of the quake that devasted the country, she wrote these [...]

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