I am writing this blog in the aftermath of two mass shootings that have rocked the nation.
One in El Paso, TX , the other in my hometown of Dayton OH.
It’s been decades since I’ve lived in Dayton, but I remember many happy times in the beautiful, vibrant Oregon District. So the news of this tragedy stands in stark contrast to my experiences there.
As I scrolled through Facebook this morning, the reactions to the news were mainly posts filled with anger, disbelief and despair. It’s no surprise because we have had too many of these tragedies and lost too many people. The cries for gun control, changes in the laws, and for more support in the area of mental health were everywhere. The underlying message is “YOU need to do something” and “It’s your fault” and the blame game starts again.
It’s very interesting to me how disempowered people are feeling and how easily they give away all their power to an authority figure…a lawmaker, a powerful organization, or a political leader as if they can do nothing.
Are you one that relies on others to make your life better???
We have got to make a shift BUT in the midst of these tragedies I do feel hope and here’s why…
I have always been a global thinker, meaning I can see the bigger picture or a broader perspective as if I was floating above a situation.
Because of this I see us moving ever closer to the tipping point where love wins and hate has no home here.
Every time the nation experiences a loss like these, more of us are waking up and saying no more. But we have to be clear that hate does not stop hate and hurt people hurt people.
So I know that the work that really needs to happen is some inner soul searching or I like the phrase soul remembering even better.
We are souls having a human experience, not bodies with souls. It’s seems like a minor difference, but this idea can shift your entire world when you really think about it.
If the soul can never die, the 75 years or so one lives here is like a nano-second on the continuum of time.
So what then is the point of being here on Earth?
I believe that we are meant to experience life in a physical body as we remember why we came here. You are here for a purpose which gives your life meaning and joy.
You remember your purpose by learning what you don’t like. But when you do things that feel good, spend time with people who enhance your life and you feel excited about the future, you will do more of those things and the good feelings grow and you are on purpose.
There are a lot of people in our world who haven’t yet discovered or remembered their purpose. This causes a person to feel angst, frustration and even depression and they may not even realize that this is the underlying reason. So when do we start to guide our young people how to explore their curiosity with the intention of discovering their purpose?
It’s never anyone’s soul purpose to harm another. What we are witnessing in the world events are individuals who have become disenfranchised, feel separated or alone, and are harboring some deep trauma. It’s systemic but slowly the medical and counseling worlds are recognizing the need to address issues in a trauma informed way. This is progress to be celebrated and supported for sure. It is when people are at their worst that they need love the most. That’s the biggest challenge.
One of my spiritual teachers talks about the needs of the heart. There are four of them and when any of us are upset, angry, or acting out it is because one(or more) of these basic needs is not being met.
The needs of the heart are:
Think of a time when you were angry at someone. I would bet as you reflect on that, you could identify a need for one of these that was not being met. Can we take a minute in the face of a conflict to simply consider which of these the person in pain needs?
When I was a middle school teacher and had a student who was having a hard time, I’d try to consider these things as I’d help them unpack what was going on. It always was one of these at the root of the issue.
How can you feel empowered to make a positive change now?
I believe it has to start at home.
Are you supporting your loved ones and encouraging them to express their dreams and desires? If they don’t have any or can’t express them, there’s your starting place.
Help them start dreaming.
Do you celebrate your children’s individualities and talents? Are you a good role model as a person who values your own interests and desires and pursues them as you can?
Young people are aware and feel your passion for life or frustration with it equally. Who are you in the face of challenging times?
Another good way to make a difference is to start to get to know your neighbors or people in your neighborhood.
Do you have people and friends that live nearby whom you trust and can rely on if you need?
Organize a potluck at your home and invite your neighbors over. Start a book club. Host a dinner when you can have conscious conversation about things that matter.
Build relationships. Extend kindnesses. See the good in others. Get your family involved and make a plan together. Show your kids how you challenge yourself to do something new and make new friends.
If all of us started small by doing any of these things I mentioned, we would have a huge positive ripple effect in the world.
People are craving face to face human interaction and connection. Stop relying on our government or others to make it better.
You can make it better. It starts with you.
I would love to hear your ideas of how you will be the change you want to see in the world.
Love will win. Keep the faith.
So much love,