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The oil spill in the Gulf: our best response

Inmates from Elayn Hunt Correctional Center learn how to clean wildlife affected by the oil spill.
Inmates from Elayn Hunt Correctional Center learn how to clean wildlife affected by the oil spill.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

It is almost impossible to focus on the immense oil spill in the Gulf and feel good at the same time. As someone who wants to be an uplifter, to contribute positive energy, what is our best response to this event?

The Inner Journey

In order to be of help it is important to keep our emotional balance. Some things to keep in mind:

  • There is a solution to every problem.
  • The Earth has an amazing capacity to heal.
  • This event will inspire people to make drilling safer, to lessen our dependence on oil, to cherish the beauty of the sea and it’s living things.
  • When this event is healed, our world will be wiser and more advanced than it was before.

Whatever we focus on gets amplified. If we focus on the dreadfulness of the current situation (“what is”), then we will remain stuck there. If we focus on the outcomes we desire, we will amplify those.

The Action Journey

For most of us, the event in the Gulf is a media story. At this point, it has no practical impact on our lives. In general, the less we focus on the story the better, because it is so easy to get drawn into the fear surrounding the event. Media outlets know fear gets our attention, so they will go for the most negative impact.

Feeling anxiety when faced with loss, and sadness when it occurs, is natural and valuable. Letting our sadness flow is part of the healing process. However, dwelling there is not. If you are likely to be directly affected or know others who will be, you can help yourself and them begin to see beyond next month to where we all want to end up.

The greatest challenges bring out the best in people. It is amazing how resourceful and skilled in problem-solving people can become when faced with a powerful threat. It is amazing how communities can come together, forgetting petty differences, when responding to a common foe.

Much harm will likely come in the short-term, much good will also come.

If you are inspired to participate in the practical work of dealing with the spill, of course do so.

We create our own realities

It is tempting for many to expend their energies on blaming the government and/or the oil producers. And they are right; any of the parties could have done things differently and faster. If you feel powerless, then blaming them will help. However, the sooner you can feel your power again to move your life in the direction you want, the better.

There are solutions here, and we will hear stories of amazing heroism, and ingenuity. We will make this whole again, and better. We always do. The more we focus on that brilliant future, the better we will feel, and the more energized we will be to find the path to get there.

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