Monday, December 24, 2012

Lighting a candle for Connecticut

My children were young when the horrific events of 9/11 unfolded.  The distressing footage was constantly running on television and my heart was heavy as I drove to collect them from school that afternoon.  It felt like it was the end of the world.  In my mind's eye I saw the future with me scavenging a desolate landscape for food and firewood to keep us all warm.  I knew that this event had burned deep into my heart and soul.

Later on I did in fact order wood for the winter and go out and buy the children new winter coats, but as I drove to school that afternoon something else opened up in my mind. On the roadside a flower was bobbing in the afternoon breeze. I remembered something.  Even though we humans may do our best to destroy all that is good and beautiful, eventually the earth will reclaim its power - flowers will bloom, plants will grow, life will go on - even without us.

With that tiny spark of hope in my heart I gathered my children up and took them home.  I sat them down and talked about the events of the day as best I could.  They had heard some rumours at school but weren't clear where in the world it had taken place.

I knew that the one thing I could have some influence on was the preservation of their spirit, of their tender hearts, of their vulnerability. So I explained that everyone involved in the events that day, including the people who flew the planes, who created the plan, needed our help.  That we could light a candle and send love to everyone.

No-one behaves badly when they are full of love, people who feel centred, worthy and loving respond to the world around them with kindness, love and compassion.  What was missing that day - and many days before and since - was Love.  We lit a candle, and continued to do so for many days after, and sent love out into the world.
If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.  Dalai Lama
The older children were annoyed that I didn't allow them to watch the television, feeling that they were less informed than their friends, but I let them read the papers and we talked about events, fears and concerns with openness and honesty.  I knew that if their minds became saturated with the frightening images being shown on television, and listened to the endless fear-based reporting, it would eat into their consciousness and pollute their minds before they had developed appropriate filters.  We wouldn't expose our children to germs, chemicals, poisons or dangerous animals - I didn't want to over-expose them to the media's bombardment.

We can teach our children how, even though we may be fearful, angry, hurt and upset, to focus on loving, compassionate thoughts.

In Newport, Connecticut somebody's child shot everyone's child. Its time to move beyond judgment and head for Love. Its the only thing that will keep us all safe.

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