10 Jun The one reason healing should be a personal and global priority
“We can’t breathe”.
The one who can’t breathe is hurt.
The one who is causing inability to breathe is also hurt.
Signs are always there, of hurt. It’s up to us if we want to see them.
To reduce violence within ourselves, we must heal.
The times we live in, the violence we are experiencing in the world may leave you wondering: what can we do? Are we indeed that powerless? How can we help?
We may look to systems to change. We may expect change coming from above. But, truly, there are things we can do from our own starting point. That is, to look, address and contain the violence within ourselves. In a pivotal moment in my life, I founded a social business that would help people access means to reduce violence in themselves. That mission is reinstated in this time.
Why did I found this social business?
Two years ago, I was in Portugal enjoying the end of my three week solo trip. After I became a freelancer, I was working remotely every chance that I got. One morning, two days before I was headed back to Romania, my mom sent me a message:
“Please call me when you can. Your uncle has died.”
I was obviously distressed and I called immediately. I was feeling sorry for him, for my dad and my two cousins.
“I’m so sorry, mom. That’s terrible. How did he pass?” My voice was calm.
“He was killed.” (That’s when tears started flooding my face)
Dying by no choice of his.
No disease. No heart attack. No simple call of nature.
Dying by someone else’s choice.
The perpetrator was a neighbor. While my dad and my whole family was (naturally) in an attempt to put him in jail, I realized that justice would not be made even by that. Suffering would not be reduced by that. The person who did this was the result of a mental construct that problems are solved by violence. That anger is diffused by violence.
That person was carrying a hurt he was unaware of. A hurt carried around for so many by an educational paradigm that does not promote empathy, compassion. Of a system that encourages power struggle, one tooth for another, revenge. I realized that if people were to respond instead of react, they need access to tools that can help them go through that.
Between life and death there is indeed just one breath.
One breath can change everything. But for one to learn to take that breath there’s a need for education. For access. For one (or many) to learn there’s a need for someone to show that there’s something else possible besides our immediate reaction. Our violent responses.
That’s why I founded Bright Living and I am in a constant mission to promote and increase access to mental health.
In that moment, I made it my mission to reduce violence.
In Sanskrit, the first principle of Yoga is non-violence. Ahimsa.
To me, that’s interesting. It’s not presented as peace. It’s non-violence. That means acknowledging the potential for violence.
We are born as violent.
The question is: how will we exercise non-violence? To exercise non-violence, we need to become aware of our own violence. Only then can we keep it in place. Let’s contemplate this. How did we exercise our violence today? We may eat violent food. Say violent things. Think violent thoughts. For violence, we pay with suffering. Our own and others’. From suffering, we create more violence. Hurt people, hurt people.
The difference between violence and non-violence can be a breath. Between one breath and another there is time. A constricted nervous system will not take a breath – but will let out the worst. A breath will both calm the nervous system and will give time for you to respond.