Let me start off by saying, my heart goes out to the people of Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, and every other place on earth where people suffer at the hands of terrorists, extremists, and cowards, including right here in the USA.
It’s human nature to want to make sense out of an insane situation. Fear tells you that to feel safe, you have to understand exactly how and why things happened the way they did. As a result, we’re quick to assign blame.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the Power of the Pause. When our world is turned upside-down by something as horrific as a mass murder, we all would be well-served by a pause.
Pause in honor of the lives lost. Pause to let yourself feel it all instead of thinking away your emotions. Pause to be able to filter the information and opinions being thrown at you. Pause for peace — both in your heart and in the world.
By taking a breath and giving yourself some space from the situation, you’ll be able to look at it more clearly. You’ll be able to answer your kids’ questions in a more thoughtful way. Or offer your thoughts and opinions from a heart-centered place instead of an emotionally-charged one. You’ll be able to hear others’ voices instead of being deafened by fear.
When we can have constructive conversations, that include compassion, about difficult topics, it leads to a wider variety of options and solutions than reactionary anger.
It’s tempting to point to an entire population as the culprits. You might believe it makes it easier to avoid harm because you know exactly who to avoid, persecute, and punish. By facing the reality that terrorists and extremists come from many different races and faiths, it makes you vulnerable. And as most of us are taught, it’s never safe to be vulnerable.
But what if it’s in our vulnerability that we find answers? Might it be worth the risk to feel? Our vulnerable humanness could be just what’s needed to deal with the source of the hatred in the world instead of fighting the symptoms.
Instead of fire with fire, what if we chose a different weapon — our hearts. That’s just what the father in the below video did. It’s a great start.
I know this is a heavy topic and opinions are all over the map. I thank you for reading mine, and I’m open to hearing yours. In fact, I’d love to. Please share in the comments below, and please keep the conversation constructive.
In the meantime, I send you love, compassion, and kindness.