Yesterday afternoon when I heard on the radio that the Chauvin trial verdict was in and would be announced within the hour, I stopped breathing. And then I remembered. And then I stopped breathing again. It's a natural response to scary or dramatic or upsetting or even good news. We hold our breath.
For the next two hours, with CourtTV on in the background, I scrolled social media and news blogs. I found myself leaving one single word as a comment on dozens of posts.
George Floyd said it best in his last moments, "I can't breathe." That's how we all have felt since the pandemic started, and even long before that. But if I really think about it, for the better part of the last year, we have been stopping our breath. A LOT. In many ways, with all the broken systems in our society, holding breath has become a norm.
And, for the better part of two hours, I cried. (now some of you know that I lost my physical tears about five years ago...that's a topic for another blog...but this doesn't mean I don't cry. I cry as much as I always did, but I feel the tears spill down the inside of my cheeks instead of the outside...and let me tell you, that burns).
I cried for George Floyd and his family. I cried for the protestors on the streets. I cried for my Twin Cities and all the businesses that were impacted. I cried for all the stories of all the people who have been harmed by Minneapolis police. I cried for the Minneapolis police. I cried for the National Guard members doing their jobs. I cried for the jurors who held the burden of the responsibility of saying the words "guilty." I cried for the lawyers. I cried for the witnesses. I cried for the judge. I cried for all our broken systems in our society. And yes, I even cried for Derek Chauvin who is learning firsthand how much of a bitch karma can be as he will now enter the broken prison system.
As empaths, we feel ALL THE FEELS. Our hormones don't discriminate between the "good guys" and the "bad guys." We feel pain and fear and anxiety as just that, pain and fear and anxiety. I felt George Floyd's fear as I saw the video of his dying moments. I felt the confusion and fear in Chauvin as he heard the words "guilty" pronounced three times. I felt both the conviction and the clarity but also the exhaustion and the overwhelm of each and every juror as they one at a time agreed with the conviction. I feel it all. And I feel my own feelings too.
So I cry.
And I write BREATHE. over and over and over again. on post after post.
I believe that we empaths serve a high spiritual purpose here on this planet. Our purpose is to absorb all the feels of the living creatures on the planet, and to process them, to churn them, to compost them, and to put them back out into the atmosphere as LOVE. We are healers. Our job is to take in the pains and turn them into LOVE.
Sometimes it hurts too much to do so, and we get caught up in the anger and rage and we have our own little temper tantrums. And then we feel guilty ourselves.
But other times, when we keep our wits about us while we feel all the feels, we do our deep work and we scatter kindness and love and perhaps even little bubbles of joy when we can.
My way of processing the pain yesterday was to breathe. Every time I wrote breathe, I took a deep breath myself, and I hoped with all my intention that every soul who read my comment would do the same, breathe. Breath is healing. Because breath is life. Breath is love.
I believe that the world is gradually and slowly changing. Hope is happening. And if we all take the time to just breathe a bit deeper breath and set an intention that we can and will do the work to change the broken systems, our breath can heal all.
We breathe for ourselves, because we have been holding our breath.
We breathe for George Floyd, because he couldn't.
We breathe for the ancestors who died of covid, because they can't.
We breathe for those surviving in the broken system, because they shouldn't have to.
We breathe for the clarity and direction to change the systems, because they need it.
Breathe for Life.
Breathe for Love.
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