I was talking with a friend of mine last night about the shooting in New York City. During the conversation I started to get on my soapbox about the NRA and the need for gun control.
When the still small voice was able to get a word in edge-wise, I was reminded that the violence we have seen recently is just the effect. As we know, every effect has a cause. So what is the cause?
I believe it is fear. Fear that there isn’t enough. Fear that someone can take our good away from us. Fear that other people will look at us and judge us as less than. And anger about something that has happened, which scared us.
For many people, it is scary out there. But the “out there” is the belief in lack, struggle, and separation from Spirit (God, the Universe, our Higher Power). It can also come from an assumption about how life is supposed to be: that marriages are supposed to last forever; that we are supposed to work for the same employer our entire work life; and if that doesn’t happen, we have failed.
Often we build our foundation on people and possessions. Yes, it is important to have a wonderful, nurturing place to live. Yes, it is important to have a job that brings us joy as well as a steady income. And our relationships with dear ones make a difference in our lives.
But sometimes things happen, that we didn’t expect and couldn’t have imagined. Often we experience anger, guilt and shame as a result, from our pre-conceived ideas about what is good vs what is bad. Our egos (which some people say stands for Edging God Out) can lead us into harmful, hurtful thoughts and actions.
So what can we do? I’m sure you are familiar with the song that states, “let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” Someone said that a thought thought anywhere is thought everywhere. Every time we stand in our truth, and respond in love, rather than reacting in fear or judgment, we impact our lives and the lives of everyone. Every time we give generously of our kindness and compassion, as well as of our money, the world is changed.
What happens when we think about love, kindness and compassion? We smile, certainly on the inside and often on the outside.
When we “refind our smile,” we give others permission to find theirs. Won’t you join me?