I didn’t intend to write about the horror of the events at Newtown. What could I possibly say other than I spent the day crying, picturing the unfathomable heartache that would come if it was me, getting the call to come to my 6-year old’s Elementary School. I followed my daytime nightmare down a terrifying road; seeing myself search the crowd of small children coming out of the school, for the boy of my heart: MY Littlest. MY baby. MY Six- year old with missing teeth and a smile so bright it could light up this whole town.
And I know I wasn’t alone. For any parent that hears this kind of news, it’s impossible not to put yourself in the shoes of the grieving parents of Newtown. I didn’t think I had anything to say.
I’ve been trying to make sense out of all this sadness, and so I turned to one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Carolyn Myss. Her words seem to stop the mundane chatter of my brain, and help me to zero in on truth. Carolyn’s lesson yesterday was centered around the subject of Connectedness. As humans, with separate bodies, we tend to forget that we are all one; that we are all connected. This may seem like a strange idea to some, but the older I get, the more I realize this to be true. I can feel it on a spiritual level after years of work, but even those who don’t see it that way could agree at the very least that we are connected by the simple fact that we are sharing this earth. We will all experience happy times, sad ones, heartache and grief; pure joy, or sickness. We will all die someday. These are just a few emotions and experiences human beings can all identify with. At the core, in a basic way, we are connected.
Carolyn talks of responsibility. We, humans tend to do this: “My family is ok. My little plot of land is secure. I have money in the bank. No one in my family is sick. Whew! Thank goodness!”…and then we go on our merry little way. We are aware of others suffering from any number of things; we shake our heads and put on sad faces when we hear of the pain they are experiencing . We may go so far as to try to throw some extra money in the basket as it’s passed around, or distance ourselves with gossip and blame towards the very people who are living with chaos in their lives. Carolyn would say, “Shame on you. These are your fellow travelers! What are you doing to help them?” (I wish you could hear her say it in her no nonsense-I don’t-put-up-with-foolishness- New Yorker voice. It adds to her appeal) She admonished us listeners, and herself, for not following that voice in our head when we hear it; the one that urges us to do more. To get involved in the lives of the people we rub shoulders with everyday at the gas station, the post office, or the grocery store. After listening to her, I felt kind of like a naughty kid that’s been found out, but inspired just the same.
It seems clear that the troubled boy who did the shooting that fateful Friday morning was known by many in his community. They knew something was very wrong with him, according to a few of the reports. I can’t help but wonder if anyone tried to help, did anyone step outside of their happy life to find out if there was anything they could do? I honestly don’t know the answer to this question, but if I had to guess, I would imagine that people gave him a wide berth, and I probably would have done the same thing.
How do I know? Because I just did. In my own community.
I watched a Mom drop her child off at a function I was attending with my children. She stood by me for more than 5 minutes, and I smiled at her, but said nothing.
Do you want to know what my little voice was telling me to do? I’ll let you know right now, I did not listen to it, but here is what it said: “Reach out to her. She needs a friendly word.”
I happen to know that her child is going through a very hard time right now. I’ve seen her leaving the school in tears, and I’ve heard some sad stories of troubling events surrounding their family. I’m not going to tell you I could fix what’s going on in their life, but by not listening to the voice that urged me to reach out, I can never know. I’m not a life coach, like my friend, Mary. I’m not my Mom, who seems to always have the right words for every situation. But. What if I’m carrying around some words she needs to hear, like, “Hey…you are not alone.” or “You can call on me” What if I’m the person who has the right kind of face that makes her decide to tell the whole story, to get some help? Do you have to be good at saying the right thing?
I’m starting to think you don’t. I’ve sensed a friend’s intention to help me, but forgotten their words. I only remembered that they cared enough to say something. Everything we do from small to big has power to make a difference, and I let my chance go by because I was afraid of intruding, of having her think maybe I was being nosy. And then there’s this: Everything is ok with my family, do I really want to get involved here? Not my problem.
Shame on me.
After the horrible deaths in Connecticut last Friday, I made a connection as I was tramping through snow drifts with Frodo, the Big Black Poodle, gazing at our neighborhood’s holiday lights. What if? What if someone had reached out to the Mom of the boy who took the lives of so many? How many people walked by, and thought, “Thank GOD that kid’s not MY problem“? And let me be clear. I’m not blaming anyone here, that’s not the purpose of this post. I’m just saying, What if? What if we looked at our towns more like villages where we all take care of each other? All the time? What if we weren’t afraid to get involved? What if we listened to the voices that tell us to love each other more, judge each other less? Can that make a difference in the life of someone whose life is so broken, that they make a decision to inflict pain and suffering on the world’s most innocent victims?
Because here it is. We can ignore those in pain, and say…”Not my problem“….and sometimes we won’t see the effect of that decision. But when those people decide to unleash their inner hell on the world, it becomes EVERYONE’S problem, doesn’t it?
What if I change my thinking to caring about more than just my little family under my roof?
I don’t know. But I think it’s worth a try. I have to believe there’s a bigger lesson here; that the people who died, died for something. What can we learn from this? There are so many questions here. I’d love to hear your perspective, but I will not post anything on my page that has anything to do with gun control. I’m talking big picture spiritual here, not small time earth stuff, so please be warned before you post your comment.
Peace, Love, and Light to all my faithful blog readers. Your loyalty means more than you can ever know♥