Paradise is Sharing...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Taking the Sting Out of Tragedy....

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 "Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life." John Muir

Running and giggling, we chased and darted after our dog Daisy who had managed to abscond our wiffle ball once again.  My brother who was five years older than me couldn't catch her, so I knew I never would.  It looks like our ball game is over.... so we decided to take off and find a new adventure.  Wiffle ball bat in his hand, my brother started a new game, he is now the Lone Ranger, and I am Tonto (I was always Tonto - he always got to be the Lone Ranger)... and we galloped around using our bats as horses whinying and neighing.... until that game faded away into a new one.  Now we were sword fighters, dueling to defend our family honor... my brother drew his wiffle ball bat sword and took a ferocious swing.. and hit the beehive that was behind him.  The hive toppled over off its platform and split open like a cracked egg. 

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A black cloud of angry bees swarmed out like a pissed off genie.  Their world had been shaken, and they had to lash out and punish the perpetrators.  My brother took off in a full run.  Daisy, knowing that we had done something to get us in trouble, put her ears down, tucked her tail, and slinked deftly to the barn.  But I was too slow to escape. The bees were relentless, coming after me with bitter venom.   Hot stingers flew into my neck, and as I swatted they caught my arms and hands like fiery fish hooks.  By the time I made it to the house, I was a welted mess.  My brother had escaped unscathed.  I was distraught by the injustice of it all.

In my six year old mind, this was the epitome of all that is unfair in the world.  I sat on my mothers lap and wailed... "But I didn't DO anything! Why did the bees sting ME?!?"  She rocked me back and forth, unable to answer my pitful sobs... "Because you were there, and they were angry and scared."  ..... "They were scared Momma?"  I remember being puzzled that fear can result in anger.  Those bees seemed angry to me - I was the one who was afraid.  But as I've grown older, I have witnessed that yes, indeed, when people's worlds are shaken, our fear can manifest as anger, and we lash out and sting anyone who is around.

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Yesterday, a gunman walked in  to a school, slayed his mother and gunned down her classroom of elementary children.  Our world has been shaken.  Just like the six year old who was comforted in my mothers arms, I am distraught with the injustice of it all.  But unlike the child I once was, I experienced an explosion of anger.  How could this happen? What kind of world do we live in? 

 I logged onto Facebook and saw others felt the same way - angry.  Venomous posts were flying around about gun control, school policies and politicians.  Then there were posts from other parents that dripped with fear.  They were hugging their children tighter tonight.  They were fearful of letting their children go to school tomorrow.   And of course, there were posts of just deep, sorrowful, heartwrenching grief.   Instead of buying Christmas gifts for their children, they are buying tiny coffins and headstones.  Why is this happening, they didn't do anything - they were innocent children.   My anger evaporated into the mist of sorrow I felt like the six year old sobbing in my mothers arms all over again.  This is truly the epitome of injustice.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons
Just like Daisy, I put my ears down and slunk away.  I shut off the electronic devices, Facebook, and the news...  and retreated to the arms of MyHoney.  I need to get away from the toppled beehive.  

We as humans naturally want answers.  There is injustice in the world - we believe if we can pinpoint how and why the world is unjust, we can do something to remedy it.  We want to fix it.  We just want to DO something. 
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”  ~ Buddha

We turn to our television sets and newspapers looking for answers.  We chat on social media boards trying to find out what other people think.  We take action by signing petitions, protesting, and persecuting.  While some of these actions may bring results.... they will not bring you peace.

To take the sting out of tragedy  - to find peace this chaotic messy world, don't turn towards your televisions,  your electronics, Facebook, social media, or the news.  You will not find peace there.  

To find peace - turn toward your family.  Spend some time with them "unplugged".... play board games, go ice skating, enjoy each others company. 

Turn toward Humanity - do something kind for someone.  Practice random acts of Kindness.  Reach out to someone in need.  Send love letters.  Donate blood, food or money.  Give of yourself.

Photo Credit: Sakis Koukouvis
Turn toward your Higher PowerPray for the families who were affected by the tragedy.  Pray for humanity, and pray their fears subside.  Pray for acceptance. Pray for peace for yourself.  Give thanks for your wellbeing, family, friends and neighbors.

Turn toward your Inner Wisdom.  Sit still.... reflect... just BE.   Take some quiet time and reflect on all your blessings.  Burn a candle.  Practice Metta Bhavana - the meditation of Loving Kindness.   

Are there ways you have taken the sting out of a tragedy you would like to share?  

Paradise is Here, Paradise is Now.... Paradise is taking the sting out of tragedy.

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