Right after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe did not mince words, telling neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan, “You go home, you stay out of here, because we are a commonwealth that stays together.”

Powerful words made so soon after the violence by white nationalists were reassuring, giving me a positive connection to the people of Virginia.

This good governor made a plea for healing. “What I’m asking you today to do is put the anger aside, as I did when I got up this morning. Put it aside. Let us use hope. Let us use today to reach out to our fellow citizens. Let us show these people we are bigger than them. We are stronger than them.”

Ah, how to put anger aside? I feel deep discouragement. Impotence. Bewilderment. I am frightened at violence here and abroad. My body stresses with tensions, frustrations and fears. To get centered, I have to reclaim my center, and on my own, it was nowhere to be found.

Seeking physical and mental peace, I had a Reiki treatment by Resheeda Bowman. Reiki is an alternative medical approach to aid healing through energy. Human touch is powerful, especially when energy is channeled with compassion. I fell into a deep relaxation.

Afterwards, I shared my anxieties and asked the question, no doubt, so common nowadays, “What can I do? What should I do?”

I heard the right thing when I needed it most.

“You are a spirit having a human experience,” she said. “Think about what can you learn from this.”

I know I cannot change things alone. Nor will hate ever be eradicated. But good is a force that must be witnessed. Some are destined for heroic action. Others resist darkness in seemingly small ways, but it all contributes to the light.

Resheeda said, “You have choices. What do you want to do?”

In my relaxed state, my first thought was, “Hold my family close.”

My second thought was “Reach out and be kind to strangers.”

Frankly, I’m not brave enough to be on the front lines of protest engaging with hatemongers head on.

But how about making new friends from different cultures and backgrounds? I can drop a toe in those waters.

You can, too. Reach out to co-workers. Belonging to a church or club or committees makes it easier since folks are in your path already. Go beyond professional acquaintance.

We all hurt and yearn to belong. Finding commonality is easy once the talking starts. Be a Jumbotron of hope to others.

I know. We’re busy. We’re shy. We’re uncertain.

You know what takes courage? Saying to an acquaintance, “I’d like to know you better.”

This is one way to heal and affirm goodness in the world. I am a spirit having a human experience. I can choose to rise and evolve.

— Email Suzette Standring: suzmar@comcast.net or visit www.readsuzette.com. The award-winning author writes for The Patriot Ledger and is syndicated through GateHouse Media.