Resilience: Forest Bathing Amidst Grief

The news has been very depressing lately with recent acts of incredible violence here in the United States. For those of us with mental health conditions, this can be a moment that heightens stigma and deepens pain, as we watch people try to explain horrible events by saying they were caused by a mental health condition.

There is no greater evidence that we are bigger than our mental health conditions than when horrible things happen. We can commit to non-violence no matter what people expect from us and go out and take a walk around the block. I happened to be on Lopez Island the past few days and we walked out to Iceberg Point and the tramped around in the forest. While not everyone has the privilege to go out to nature, especially now that covid-19 has gotten rid of safe transportation options for those without cars, I still think even looking at pictures of forests bring healing. The forest is not judging us, and we can rest and trust that we are good people and that we will make good choices, no matter how we feel. I grieve for those killed in the violence against Asian Americans and also those killed in Colorado. Don’t read about these things. Go outside, and trust in your goodness. Nurture it. Say a prayer for the victims and move on. Don’t go down the rabbit hole. And if you have a mental health condition, vow never to be in a room with a weapon. Even if it means we might come to harm or be harmed, at least we will leave a legacy of non-violence.

In the forest at Lopez Island, Washington.
(Can you see our dog Addie in the shadow? :))