This morning I woke up, made my husband a Ruben sandwich for his lunch and checked my Facebook feed. Awesome – Sage Goddess still has crystals on sale, one of my friend’s from high school has the personality of a golden lab, according to some online quiz she took and it looks like near my hometown got snow last night – so hooray for moving out of the Arctic Tundra. Nothing was suspect. (There’s a point to this and I’ll get to it later.)
I had no idea what had happened in Las Vegas until my husband mentioned it to me, at which point my stomach sank and my throat got tight. I did not panic. I rejected the information and told myself I was not going to “let it get to me” or “buy into the hype” that is so common in our self-appropriated panic culture. Up until today, I have always been very passive – even dismissive about “bad” news. I haven’t had a strong voice either way because like so many of my “New Age” friends I believe that giving something attention breathes life into it. I believed that I could somehow transcend the mass confusion, hurt, anger, and negativity and remain in my little bubble unaffected while the rest of the world “reaps what it sows” so to speak.
But that isn’t necessarily true. Even though I “rejected” the news from this morning, it still made an impression on me, something that is unavoidable as a member of this human community. I am not, after all, a psychopath.
I watched a live video stream with motivational guru, Mastin Kipp – eager to see what one of my teachers had to say on the subject. He emphasized this: there is deep, unresolved and unbearable emotional pain within a person capable of such atrocities. Emotional pain is not RELIEVED with such actions, but transferred, perpetuated, and amplified – with each person that chooses pain and fear over love and courage.
The media is going to lead you into the darkness. The media is going to tell you that you are unsafe. The media isn’t going to ask you to be afraid, it is going to tell you to be afraid and WHOM you should be afraid of. Most of our humans are going to be afraid. The are going to react – with their survival instincts running the show. They are going to be angry, and scared and they are going to look for someone to blame.
Who’s fault tho?
The truth is, we are ALL responsible for this. We are all responsible for allowing our personal biases and prejudices drive barriers between us and other humans. We are all guilty of harboring hate, resentment, and fear and allowing that to flow from us – transferring it, perpetuating it, amplifying it with every fearful choice that we make. We are all responsible for allowing the belief that one life is more important that another – or the belief that “terror” has a skin color.
In this young country we are much like grade-schoolers, we have a selfish inability to get along and must be told what to do. We react with savage disgrace to a pro ball player taking a knee, but we remain silent when our government directly attacks its citizens by crafting a discriminatory and exclusive healthcare bill – an act that would have left thousands and thousands of people unable to afford treatment. This. THIS is a blatant and appalling disregard for human life.
What makes this disregard for human life ok is our choice to dehumanize each other.
We have spent a lot of time choosing to dehumanize each other lately. Steelers fans are pigs. Trump supporters are animals. Anyone who disagrees with us is a moron. A troglodytic piece of crap that has no common sense – even when that person is family, or a friend, or co-worker. Our allegiance to a country has taken precedence over our basic humanity and please. I am asking you nicely, stop.
You won’t get a love letter from Putin
If you are here, I must ask of you a favor. I must ask of you to consider that hate is not going to stop with the almighty powers at large. It is not going to be Donnie T’s new modus operandi to act in empathy and understanding. It is not going to suddenly occur to the world’s leaders that something is askew here and maybe we should change it all. Everything. Start from scratch. That is not how this is going to go down. It must start here.
I am asking you to forgive your exhuband for saying that really mean thing to you 4 years ago that made you embarrassed. I am asking you to show compassion to the lady writing a check in the “speedy checkout” line. I am asking you to look at your mother and know with all of your being that even though she sucks sometimes, she is truly doing the best that she can.
I am asking you to show the same grace and compassion to our president, the other leaders of the world, and even those damn Pittsburg Steelers. That maybe, they made the best decision they could, with the information they had and that their decision was about reflecting their beliefs – not about challenging yours.
I am asking you to choose love. I am asking you to grieve with your neighbors and call your grandmother and tell her you still think about the caramels she made at Christmas. I am asking you to take this traumatic experience and transmute it into something that is unifying and sustainable.
Many of my friends and followers could be feeling like I did this morning, and not knowing exactly how to handle something like this without “giving weight” to negative events, but also not being an insensitive and complacent bystander either.
I am asking you to be a leader of compassion. I am asking you to step out of your safe bubble and step into your communities and call for compassion. I am asking you to call for healing and safety. I am asking you to exemplify grace. To everyone. Even those who have hurt us or the ones we love.
The Elevation of humanity
The things that have been going on, the natural disasters, the football disasters, and now the events in Las Vegas last night – they are energetic calls for unity and humanity. Many have listened. Many have risen to the occasion. Many have shed their prejudices and lent a helping hand to someone in need. It pains me that it takes SUCH dramatic intervention for us to let go of our death-grip on beliefs. It does not have to be that way.
Wherever you can make a change. Do it. Elevate the standards of your home, recognize there are different beliefs and perceptions even within the walls of your living room. Take the liberating belief that EVERYONE – I mean EVERYONE is doing the best they can with the information they have.
When we assume that everyone is doing the very best they can, everything changes. We become a culture of helping and teaching, rather than dehumanizing and belittling.
Brevity may have gotten a little away from me, so I am going to wrap this up. I am deeply saddened by the loss of human life in Las Vegas. I am sending love and light to those directly affected by this tragedy and pray for their healing and wholeness. I am also going to make a commitment to grace in my everyday life.
Maybe that guy that flipped me off on the freeway is rushing to the hospital for someone he loves. Maybe that little old woman writing the check has no one to teach her how to use a debit card, and maybe the small banter with the grocery clerk is all the conversation she gets in a week. Maybe it’s ok that she is taking a little longer. Show her grace. Show them all grace. Show them all love.
At the risk of sounding cliché, its the only solution we have.
Las Vegas, you are strong and loud and fabulous and I know you are a city that will NOT be distracted or belittled by hate and fear. We are with you and we are rooting for you.
Hold each other a little tighter tonight,