I've been asked to say something about the shocking events of the school shooting tragedy in Connecticut this past week where at least 27 people died at the hands of an immature child, albeit in a man's body. How can we perceive the tragedy in Connecticut in a way that brings anything but terror and outrage, much less be able to explain it to our children?
I do not know.
I have found, however, that truth usually comes in simple answers … but that doesn't mean getting there from where we are is easy.
I did what I tend to do whenever I am pondering an important question, I took it into my daily practice, where I can count on receiving the real scoop, that inner guidance and much needed “upper wisdom,” as I like to quip when referring to my consultations with Source. I asked for a higher understanding of the horrendous happenings of last Friday's events, and was given what I share with you below. It is the gist of the “download” I received:
We deal with world tragedy by allowing what we experience to affect us so deeply that we are changed forever, for the better, by its happening. Otherwise lives lost in tragedy die in vain. Unless we can take meaning from the lives spent, they are spent for nothing.
But when we find meaning, especially meaning that furthers the cause of love, forgiveness and/or a transformed world consciousness, then those lives are NOT lost for nothing, were not lived in vain, but instead, become lives lived for a bigger purpose.”
Our challenge then is to see these innocent children, and adults, who died that day, as more than victims, to see them as inadvertent messengers instead, who, through their death, deliver a wake up call to our nation for the cause of peace.
We cannot change what happened. We can, however, decide whether to let it embitter us into becoming vigilantes, for instance, set on revenge, hardened by life, or fixated on finding who, or what, is to blame for this heinous crime, … or to allow ourselves to move to higher ground and a perspective of peace, that comes from seeking meaning, wisdom, forgiveness, and understanding from what appears to be the worst imaginable happening possible.
Sometimes our darkest hour is the one that enlightens us most.
To make that shift to higher spiritual ground, however, we must first understand that blame will not get us there.
For instance, to blame the “evil kid” whose parents “did not raise him right,” to fault the school who “should have been better protected,” to blame lenient gun laws, or to to blame any external factor at all for that matter, as the cause for this unspeakable horror, will not bring resolve or peace – nor can we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that any of the things we blame as 'causes' are anything more than ‘grasping at straws.'
We cannot know absolutely that any of these things caused the tragedy, and therefore to get caught up in fighting against some perceived cause that requires us to live in a state of resistance can, if we're not careful, take us down an emotional slippery slope that lands us in the lowlands of “Shouldville,” where blame prevails, and peace cannot exist. (“He should've, they shouldn't have, the laws should be …” – this is the language of a victim in blame, and it only drives the victim triangle, it does not get us off of it.)
The tragedy was caused by one thing really, and one thing only. That thing is the same thing that lies behind every act of violence since the beginning of time. What caused that terribly confused young man to do what he did was that he believed his own distorted, and insane, thinking.
It was the terribly limiting and painful beliefs that he blindly believed, and never questioned, that caused him to feel what he did and prompted his desperate behavior. It was his own life-destroying beliefs that generated his overwhelming feelings of self-annihilation, desperation, and hatred for himself, that then culminated in the dither of internal pain that fast spiraled into what became a homicidal, suicidal rage.
We know that internalized beliefs are the one cause that lies at the root of all tragedy because Reality tells us it is so. The guiding principles of Reality remind us that people (every single person, no exception) do what they do because they believe what they think, which then generates the feelings that go with those beliefs, and prompts them to act in ways that prove their painful beliefs to be true.
For instance, in the case of someone like the young man who killed those twenty-six people that day, we might guess,with some degree of probability that someone who is willing to destroy life (their own or others) is living in a tormented mental state. They are believing torturous thoughts for sure, even though we may not know exactly what those are.
Perhaps that person believes that the world has rejected them, or they may see themselves as a victim of irreparable damage that, in their mind, justifies feelings of revenge, and prompts striking back, much like a wild animal who feels cornered, might do. Such a person might feel compelled to try and make others hurt the way they feel they've been hurt, and so lash out in rage. People who believe these kinds of thoughts can easily become violent to themselves and others, which induces the world, in turn, to give them the rejection and pain they expect, thus proving their distorted beliefs to be true.
We don't really know what thoughts someone may be believing, but we can tell by the vibrational frequency of their actions, what the emotional quality of a person's thoughts are, whether they are hi-frequency beliefs that inspire acts of love, compassion, & kindness, or whether they are painful low-frequency beliefs that bring death and destruction to those who believe them.
When we understand that it's the way we think, and not external things or circumstances, that drive our feelings and behavior, it gives us just a bit more compassion for those who suffer terribly dark beliefs, because, who among us really, is not capable of such distorted thinking? Who among us has not acted in some self-destructive, or painful way, even hurting others as a result of some confused idea we falsely believed? (although, hopefully, we did not resort to the kind of devastation that the youth in Connecticut did.)
But what about the innocents involved, you ask? What about the twenty children, under the age of 10, who were killed by this mad man's distorted thinking … how do we make peace with that? How do we explain that to our children, so that they are not afraid to go to school, or to face the world at all?
Again, the truth is simple, though not necessarily easy. We must remind ourselves, and our children, that no life is lived in vain. Not even a drug addict who dies on the street, not even a child who dies at birth, and certainly not twenty precious children, and their six adult caregivers, who lived quiet, mostly unassuming, lives right up to the moment they died highly public deaths.
We can only assume, in a world where there are no coincidences (as made obvious by the law of cause and effect), that we were supposed to witness these happenings. Why would I say that? Because we did. To think it should not have happened is to take up mental residence in “Shouldville,” a place that does not exist in Reality.
Reality does not heed our shoulds and should nots, have you noticed? I certainly have. Where do all these shoulds/should nots come from anyway, if not from a mind in resistance to Reality? Truly. What does “should” have to do with what is. Doesn't it just keep us in resistance to believe Reality should be different? Reality is what it is, and it is up to us to make peace with it, or not.
Resistance to what is will not change Reality, but it will make us miserable.
Acceptance (not to be confused with liking or condoning it) will not change Reality either, but it does makes inner peace possible.
And so again, the question is, will you see it in a way that evolves your consciousness, and makes it possible for you to abide in a state of love and forgiveness, or will you see these events through the lens of a victim who sees only the horror and pain, and leads to a state of hopelessness and caustic grief?
One brings peace, the other suffering. It is up to you.
What we each decide will determine whether we find peace in the midst of what happened, or whether we simmer along in a state of inconsolable fear that we end up passing onto others too, inflicting upon them our rants against the cruelty and unfairness of life.
One engenders serenity, the other fear.
Again, only because it bears repeating, the choice is our own. What will we do with the reality of what we have witnessed? What will WE believe, feel and react out of concerning the deaths of so many innocent lives? What will we choose to believe about what it means? Will we be changed for the better, or for the worse?
These are the questions placed before me in my daily practice this morning, and I put them before you now.
My reflections on these questions allowed me to recognize that if we see these innocent lives as having been wasted, we may suffer much more than if we choose to see them as lives sacrificed for a world in need of awakening.
To believe a thing happened needlessly, without reason, creates great suffering. Whereas we can perhaps find some beginning semblance of a return to peace when we believe these deaths might be serving a higher purpose. To reduce the lives of those who died to that of being nothing more than victims of needless acts of violence, whose deaths serve no purpose other than as proof that the world has grown wildly insane with cruelty and senseless acts of hate, is to sorely limit our capacity for faith in a Source that can take even the most heinous crime and use it to bring us closer to Love and Higher Truth.
Such limited perception leaves no room for peace at all. Instead such thoughts take us to blame and anger and a sense of impotence that is debilitating. I see no peace in such an inner state, I see only fear and resistance there, that, like a viral infection spreads inner suffering, to become like a malignancy taking over our spiritual consciousness. (‘What we focus on gets bigger, or ‘what we resist persists,' is yet another observed principle of Reality.)
We can choose to see these bright lives as shining stars, who, through their death, continue to motivate us as individuals, and as a nation, to awaken to love and forgiveness and to inspire us to reach for something better, to perceive it in a way that allows us to look back on this event and say we were changed for the better for having known about it; that inspires us to find within ourselves the fearful thoughts that drive our own craziness, and to question them; to inquire into the angry, hurt, fear generating thoughts that these events arouse in us, and by so-doing, raise our own vibrational frequency towards revolutionizing the consciousness of our planet, starting with just one mind at a time – our own.
For myself, I have chosen not to let this event taint my love of others, even those who believe horribly confused, distorted thoughts that drive them to behave in devastating ways. I choose instead to allow those in confusion to show me where in me such darkness still has a foothold so that I can shed the light of consciousness on those shadowy beliefs, uplift them, and become a more consciously loving person for having done so.
I refuse to see a single life as having been lived in vain, or to believe that a single death was without purpose. I choose instead, to adjust my own thinking to a higher emotional frequency as a way of modeling what's needed in the world. And I invite you to join me in these personal efforts to transform the world from the inside out , not by changing the world, but by changing one mind at a time – starting with the only mind we can truly change, our own.