Wellness Circle: Finding Healing in Helping

Some of our greatest moments of emotional change come in how we handle difficult moments.  Last year, we as Native People, saw an assault on the Earth, women, families, land, and Sovereignty.  It hurt.  It hurt from a long distance for many people across the globe.  What was the largest response?  A personal gift of concern and of time, that experience of action, to help others, protect the women, the water, the land, and support Sovereignty of tribes who are at the place the media calls “ground zero”. Do we wonder, how many advocates are survivors?  How many survivors are on a healing journey by being there for others experiencing abuse and to make policy change for justice.

How about Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls? The assaults on the Two Spirit/Native LGBTQ community? What about those lost to abuse or crimes? As we end the calendar year of 2017, this can be another time for reflection of how challenging the current political and societal environments have been.  There have been heinous crimes.  There have been incidents we could not see in our nightmares.  There has been a lot.  Are there ways to heal? Is there an action plan to get through it all?

Helping can be Healing. Such as, ‘Treating Each Others As Relatives’ is a Prayer in Action.  We saw hundreds of thousands of people come together to support the water, women’s rights, we supported Murdered and Missing women by sharing, caring, helping and seeking the missing and justice for the crime.  When we are hurting, acts of kindness are extremely powerful.

What impact did this year have on you? What impact have you had on others? Helping can be healing in action for the giver and recipient of kindness and there are fundamental physical and psychological responses to healing by helping.  Our physical and spiritual bodies will thank us.  There are neurobiological responses of helping others.  Acts of compassion, kindness, offers help from of our own hearts to another create a biological response.  Princeton University shares, “Giving back has an effect on your body. The mesolimbic system, the portion of the brain responsible for feelings of reward, is triggered. The brain also releases feel-good chemicals and spurs you to perform more kind acts — something psychologists call “helper’s high.”[1]

Healing people heal people. An a cycle of compassion has begun, with you!

[1] https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/slinden/files/helpershigh.pdf