On Monday, April 15th, I posted a link to my interview with Lynn Crocker of Create Your Reality Radio Show in lieu of a blog post. My intention had been that I would resume posting blog articles next week. However, yesterday changed everything.
The events at the Boston Marathon yesterday were, for whatever reason, a tipping point for me. As each act of domestic and international violence and terrorism has occurred over the years, I have felt increasing grief for the families and friends of the victims of these horrific acts, in addition to those working to save lives and trying to keep people safe from continued violence. It is overwhelming to try and fathom what these people go through when these events occur.
After yesterday’s explosions at the Marathon, my response shifted. I felt despair, which was then followed by fear. I have a close family member who works in Boston – was she safe? I quickly found out that, yes, she was. And then, as the news reports continued to come in yesterday, offering no guarantees that continued violence wasn’t a possibility, I started to worry about her remaining in Boston. Then the news reports began talking about large cities going on alert, which started me worrying about my daughter, who lives in a large East Coast city. Would she be safe? I began to wonder if any of us are safe.
Then it struck me – this is exactly what terrorists want to happen. They want us to live in fear. And this reinforced what I already know. Fear is the greatest obstacle to achieving peace and tranquility not only in our personal lives, but also for the planet as a whole.
This kind of generalized fear can quickly morph into hate, which spawns the very acts of violence that we are reacting to. This kind of generalized fear makes it easy for prejudice to take root. This kind of generalized fear can turn inward, eating away at our ability to love and live a life of peace.
I do not advocate burying fear deep down inside of you – that will also fester and turn into something sour that will eat at your soul. What I do encourage is to recognize and acknowledge your fear and where it comes from. And then to realize that we have an inner core that continues to want to live and thrive and feel connected and cherished. And fear will get in the way of that need.
Please join me in offering our compassion, prayers and wishes for peace and recovery to the family and friends of the victims of all acts of violence.
I’ll finish this post with a few quotes from the beloved Buddhist teacher, author, nun, and mother – Pema Chödrön
I used to have a sign pinned up on my wall that read: Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us…It was all about letting go of everything. p.7”
Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear? ”
Peace be with you.