There’s one heartbreaking tragedy after another in the news lately. It leaves us wondering how to cope with tragedy in the world.

It’s painful to watch and I often find myself in tears. It’s hard to believe the things people are capable of and it’s hard to wrap your head around all of the suffering.

It’s easy to completely lose ourselves in despair. To feel paralyzed and helpless. To drown in fear. Particularly if you’re sensitive by nature, as I am.

But there are things we should never forget, to help empower ourselves and the world around us.

We are in this together

You are not alone in the shock and confusion you’re experiencing. We all feel it. We’re all in awe that there could be so much hatred in the world. And we all hope things will change.

As one horrific world event after another unfolds, all our hearts are breaking for the victims and their families.

And we’re all looking for answers both within and from a higher power. We’re all praying for change. And there is power in that collective prayer.

I lost my best friend to terrorism on 9/11. And through that hard time, in many ways, the love being sent out into the world was my greatest comfort. I knew then, and I know now, that we really are all in this together.

The love in the world far outweighs the evil

It’s easy to think there’s nothing but evil in the world if you watch too much news. But that’s not the case.

There is far more good than bad. Far more compassion than apathy. Far more acts of kindness than war. But unfortunately, the news plays to our hunger for the negative.

What is it about human nature that lures us toward negativity? Why is a focus on kindness often perceived as childish, but a focus on negativity is perceived as intellectual?

Whatever the reasons, we must never forget that love is everywhere. Evil doings may get prime time coverage, but loving acts are plentiful.

You have more power than you think

The tragedy in the world reflects the departure from love that exists within all of us. We can’t control others, but we can elevate our own hearts and minds. Perhaps this is the strongest clue for how to cope with tragedy in the world.

The more we create love within, the more empowered we’ll be to spread love to the world around us.

We all have hatred and biases we need to work on, and perspectives we need to broaden. We all have pain that calls our worst self forward, instead of our best. We all have limiting thoughts that cause us to withdraw, instead of bravely stepping forward to impact the world.

We all need to find our own ways to heal and expand, so we don’t rob the world of our potential. Because the truth is, we can all do better.

Placing blame on others for all the tragedy around us is so easy and tempting. But we must all look inside ourselves for solutions so we can play a role in creating positive change, instead of just pointing fingers and adding to the circulation of negativity.

There are lessons in every tragedy. We must find the lessons both collectively and individually so lives are not lost in vain—and so we are empowered, instead of oppressed by hatred.

We are one

The world may feel divided, but we are one. We are one with the love in the world, and one with the hatred. And we must respect that unity.

When my best friend was killed, I felt at one with the pain and hatred and at one with the love and support. They both held me tightly as I grieved over the loss of such a beautiful soul.

But through her death, I vowed to live more purposefully. I learned that the more we honor the gentleness within us, the more we can help to create a world that is full of the same.

The more we work to heal our pains, the more we can help heal the pains of the world.

The more we empower our hearts and minds, the more power our collective prayer for change will have, and the more empowered and full of love our actions will be.

What are your ideas about how to cope with tragedy in the world?

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     Photographer: dungdzo