The only way to deal with all the crap in the world

I’ve been feeling frustrated with the world, disheartened by what I’m seeing in the news, and I’ve been asking myself what I can do to change things for the better.

I feel frustrated about the same old approach to violence. As someone who has studied Peace Studies, Mediation and Conflict Resolution, spoken to thousands of women who have suffered violence, and worked with many more people on tackling their own internal wars, I can absolutely say violence only ever breeds more violence. It might not be immediate, as counter violence has a tendency to suppress the initial violence for a time, but the tension will build, and eventually that suppressed violence will be expressed somewhere else.

This is true on the world stage but it’s also true internally, individually. (Incidentally it’s my belief that the violence on the world stage is an expression of the collective suppressed internal violence from a group of individuals). Every one of us has a dark side, what I call ‘gremlins’ or what’s known as limiting belief, self sabotage, or shame.

When I worked on the National Domestic Violence Helpline callers would come with so much hate and anger for the person who was abusing them. They’d plot their revenge, they’d say what they really wanted to do to their partners. But the only way we ever managed to make any kind of progress with callers, was to get them connected to their own light. We’d talk about the love they had for their children, we’d get them connected to the way they felt at a time when they felt free and alive and excited, we’d get them to see that there was a community of hopeful, loving people who would welcome them and support them. Love and light was the only way to help the situation.

The same goes for our internal battles. The key components of creating a peaceful internal landscape are a. identifying our gremlins and b. connecting to our power, our internal resources, our brilliance, our hope, our love for ourselves and the people around us. To fight back to a gremlin is to give it power and let it grow. To blast a gremlin with love and light is to see it scamper off into the corner of the room, unable to influence anymore.

And so I start to wonder how I can spread this message further, how I can get our politicians to see the power of hope and joy over violence as a way to ensure national security. And then I notice my own gremlin that’s saying ‘you must save the world Hannah, it is not enough to just be loving, and full of light and to share that with the people around you.’ But then I connect to my core, the internal version of me who knows the truth and I hear her say ‘of course it’s enough to be loving and kind and joyful, because it ripples, it ripples to those around you and then it ripples to those around them, and eventually, if we all give ourselves permission to step into our own joy, we will change the world in a positive, peaceful, incredible way.’

*Image by Grzegorz Mleczek (

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