Today was a most tragic day and I've not found much wisdom yet. I've peeled myself away from the news to pray dozens of times, to light candles, beat drums, hug my children tight and love them so deeply, sending up waves of empathy for the fallen little ones and their loved ones, and feeling my own vulnerability as a parent hyperstimulated.
I've been in circular arguments with myself and others about gun laws, a sensitive subject in this country which values freedom over everything else. I come from a gun-owning family, my husband and I don't own weapons, and I have found myself pondering why self-defense is an obsession for so many. Today is an example of why people resort to feeling a need to fiercely protect.
Raising a son, I've asked myself what can be done to make sure he knows the difference between feeling his anger and acting it out. Bringing up small children, I've wondered how I can best protect them.
I've wondered why mothers collect guns, and how it is that they don't notice that their young adult sons are unstable and need psychiatric help. Did the school teacher mother of the young man who did this feel a need to protect herself from someone? His father? Him? What was needed that didn't get met?
Would gun control remedy tragic losses such as these, decrease them, or simply create the illusion of safety and a reason to go back to sleep about the fragility of life and the need for massive structural support of children, young adults and parents?
I am left with questions around why these events take place in school rooms, malls, and movie theaters. I wonder why white men are often the ones who commit these particular kinds of crimes.
I realized I don't feel any safer flying on airplanes post-911, even with an increase of airport security, though I am told I should. Having flown dozens of times since that fateful day, I still see windows of opportunity for the clever and dangerous to do harm should they choose to. I pray my way through those moments of fear and mistrust and I will still never be able to anticipate or prepare for everything. I realize we are caught in the midst of a strange and torturously slow evolution. It's difficult to accept.
What I keep coming back to, the medicine I hold most dear, and would like to use my voice here for, is deep soulwork and awakened, non-violent parenting. For encouraging the tending of wounds instead of acting them out. For facing the soul in truth, for honing the intuition to return to a time of being able to perceive real danger whenever possible. For allowing the expression of big feelings with the voice rather than the hands.
Evolution is slow. I don't ever believe that nothing is changing. It is very slow and I am sometimes impatient. Big wake-up calls hit us at least once a year in this country and every day worldwide. Violence does not beget positive evolution. And some families may feel that being left so vulnerable, without a plan for defense, is to leave their hearts too open. Pain such as what was felt today seems unbearable.
It leaves me with many questions that I do not have the answers for. So, I end this day with my heart heavy for those in suffering, hug my children tightly, I connect one last time with friends, and my beautiful SouLodge community. I think about what I treasure most and hold precious. I take the time to honor all life by burning sage and cleansing my own negativity. I try to see where I can adjust in the areas where I lack appreciation and clear perspective, areas where I have become presumptuous.
Dear readers, I'm asking that we all light the candles together when called forth to. And that we hold every child as so, so precious.