Healthy Ways To Process

Editor's Note:

This Week in Peace is a weekly column which relates the real life experience of San Jose's own Dancer of Peace, Khalilah Ramirez. The experiences are transformed into entertaining teaching tales with practical suggestions on how to live harmoniously and joyfully in our modern world.

Greetings to All and thanks for reading! Khalilah Ramirez, Dancer of Peace, at your service. I am honored and overjoyed to return to my post as a columnist here at De-bug, yay! In my work as a Peace Dancer, joy, light, love and harmony are the main focus of all that I do. Those values help to fulfill the mission, "Peace in Every Heart."

Ironically, though, the subject matter for This Week In Peace is rooted in sadness. "Sad enough to cry" is a phrase I will use to describe the news in the past three weeks. One day while riding a bus, the latest wave of heartbreak, crime and "accidents" from the newsfeed washed over me. I hid my face in my belongings, crying as quietly as I could so as not to disturb the other passengers. 'How on Earth can we be so insanely cruel to each other?' I wondered. Haven't we learned anything from the extreme levels of misery we've experienced as a species yet? Why do we pay such rapt attention to the worst of the news, thereby perpetuating the tendency to keep reporting just that? 

As these questions circled my mind and tears streamed, it dawned on me that I wasn't alone. Surely millions are having a parallel experience, uncertain of how to process it. This is how unhappiness made its way to the center of This Week In Peace, a column which strives to entertain AND to enrich our life experience. The following are timely suggestions regarding how to cope with it:

"Do not be daunted by the insurmountability of the world's grief. Do justly, now... you are not obligated to complete the work. Neither are you free to abandon it," - The Talmud.

This little quote offers comfort in those difficult moments. No, we can't handle it all. Yes, we do have a responsibility to deal with these issues in a way that allows us to find compassion for ourselves and others. Compassion is worthy of our time and practice. Without it, even more tragedy and chaos ensues.

Second, DO have a good cry sometimes! Abandon preconceived notions of feeling weakness or shame when crying. Research reveals that in addition to being self-soothing, shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins. Additionally, crying has been found to ease pain and dissolve toxins in the eyes and the body. These benefits represent only a small percentage of what was revealed in my research on the subject. Now when someone asks, "How will crying help anything?, we can answer with scientific evidence that it does. Thanks and see you out there!

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