"The most fundamental aggression to ourselves is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently." -- Pema Chodron
Upon waking up yesterday I wrote my reflection on a journal as I regularly do most mornings. Contemplating on the lesson I learned from the experience of the previous day I had an urge to look up nonviolent communication. As I searched online the news about the shooting in Las Vegas popped up. 50 dead? Just last night? I wandered from my task and read the news. At 7:15am I texted a friend whom I thought could by a remote chance be caught up in it. I was worried. She wasn't there but her boyfriend was staying at a hotel right next to the Mandalay Bay and she had a heart attack (in her words) after hearing the news. My heart goes out to the people affected by the cruel act. As much as anyone else I could be one of the victims -- in the wrong place at the wrong time. I ask myself how would I act in a disastrous situation? I have no idea. When it comes to life and death situation I trust that my stress response will take over and I don't need to train myself to fight, flee, or hide and freeze. But I do need to train myself to actively engage with life harmoniously and responsibly in every mundane situation. So, that I will have the clarity and energy when a deadly situation arrives which it surely will.
Latest events in my life have affected the way I see the world and how I feel about the people. Living through losses, heartaches, and physical ills has made me more receptive and sensitive, responsive and caring. We can either express our feelings and thoughts from fear based perspective or from love which is a balance between fear and courage. If you tell me you have no fear don't be upset if I tell you that you're either lying or a psychopath. As the authorities deal with the laws and public safety. We deal with the darkness in us and among us. It is the internal motivation that drives the external expression. If the internal motivation is life and living then you and I have something common to go on. When someone's internal motivation is fear and destruction there is not much others can do to change the dark perception. It doesn't matter that you are pure lightness with a halo above the head. You cannot change or light up someone's mind without their internal mental spark and emotional space to let in the feeling and fan the intelligence. This is why we have laws and orders. As far as I can see nobody is doing a mass shooting in their own home or while defending themselves from authorities. No wonder the government doesn't need to defend itself with a better gun regulation or insurance.
Living in the possibility of natural and man-made disasters has always been part of the deal. I don't fear death as much as the life filled with void. Perhaps this is the cause of violence. Some of us are so numbed we need to destroy lives in order to feel something instead of nothing. And perhaps this is why I'm so emotional lately. It's because I choose to feel and express my feelings rather than living as if I were nothing. I'm a lot of energy, emotion, and sensation. My responsibility is to find the right venue for them so that I live the fullness of my expression. While killing a lot of people is one way to express the fullness of life, it's in no way sustainable. Only the fearful is attracted to violence. Most of us can see that while violence can bring short-term gratification or temporary fame its reward isn't worth the cause. Our lives worth feeling every moment. We will go on and continue to be the source of light and love for the people who choose to live. We carry on the memories of the fallen stars in our lives who have graced us with their brightness of being. Life expresses itself through living, loving, dying, and death. With sparkling tears for those who have gone through I dedicate my life to fulfill its promise of a good death through loving expression -- at a concert, in a restaurant, at home, in a yoga studio, during a commute, or anywhere anytime.
Once more into the fray
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know
Live and die on this day …
Live and die on this day …
-- Joe Carnahan, The Grey