Yes, it is, but CNN wouldn't want you to know that. The media doesn't want you to hear the good stories that are out there (and they're happening every single day), no, TV wants you to believe that people everywhere are messed up, out of work, suicidal, angry, violent and generally having a very bad day. Statistics support this, people spend their lives calculating the numbers of just how many downtrodden, unhappy people live in this country.
Well here's a thought: What you focus upon expands.
The wisest people I know don't watch very much TV. They mostly use it to watch their choice of DVD's. Me, I fall somewhere in between. When I listen to bad news I try to listen with a dispassionate attitude, and this is not a cold, unfeeling thing to do. I won't allow myself to get sucked into the mire. Instead I imagine a very sage soul is sitting there with me.....this could be Jesus, Buddha, or any wise and centered being you can think of....and from this I get the message, "Just listen, this is where prayer and meditation needs to go today". Having your finger on the pulse of society doesn't have to entail all the fear and anger it would like to incite.
Do fear and anger govern your response to violence? Do you have an eye-for-an-eye attitude? Do you go into denial? "Do you go out and buy a gun......or turn on I Love Lucy reruns"? I have felt all of these things, and more. I am a single mom. I have a little girl and it's just us living here in our home. Would I know how to protect her if someone broke into my house in the middle of the night? Do I rely on prayers when I go to sleep and my Mother Bear instinct to suddenly jump into action if need be? Well, I pray, and I know I could muster super human strength if I had to, but is it wrong to pull out a gun and blast the head off an intruder, someone who means to harm me and mine? Tough questions to answer if push came to shove.....and tougher still if you are a person of faith. I haven't even been able to find a pastor to answer this question directly for me. So here's what I think.....and God knows I don't know much, but I believe the Universe supports our survival, and the right to defend ourselves with brut force if need be. I also know that carrying around fear will certainly cause the wolf to smell you coming a mile away. I used to think that living a good and honest life had built in protections all over it. Not so. Bad things happen to good people. But I will not lend my voice to the hatred of violence. Does that make sense? I will not add to an already jumpy society and trigger happy mindset that creates it own violent energy. What you focus upon expands. So instead of hating violence, or those who commit atrocities, I will put my focus on educating children in conflict resolution.....(and in my opinion this is sorely lacking in schools and homes). I will put my focus on gun safety and education, because face it.....our world will never be without guns, and yes, I would take action against someone attempting to harm me, and I would shoot someone in a heartbeat that was going to hurt me or my child. But do I walk around like a bad ass all day? No. Would I feel safer with a gun? Maybe so, but I would also be extremely aware of the responsibility gun ownership carries, and I would adopt the attitude of being quietly prepared but still expecting the best out of people. There is an energy we put out everyday. It's tangible, it's real, and it attracts. There is a fine line that must be walked here, and while I choose to send out light and love to those around me, I also know that realizing there are those who do not care about society's rules is a wise stance to take as well.
What I will not do is hate the hater. I will not add violent thoughts to an already tragic situation, I will not allow a horrible event like yesterday's mass shooting to pull me off center. We reap what we sow....pure and simple. Tough stuff to think about....no easy answers either. But somewhere between being "prepared" and "ready", I believe there is a soft place, a yielding place where we can offer up our fears and questions and misgivings and come away blessed.....and not hardened. When I send out love to everyone, and I mean to the perpetrator as well as the victim, I come away much more centered, much more quietly alive, alert, aware. Good things to have going for you in a time and place where people are losing their cool. And I've always been able to act in the appropriate way when I've surrendered my day to a higher power, and whatever that may look like or need to to be if push ever did come to shove, I would rather come from this place of centeredness, then anger, hate and revenge. At least this is how I sleep better at night.....quietly prepared, yielding up my fears and trusting I would know the right thing to do if and when the time ever comes.....and exercising my right to protect myself in whatever way the situation warrants.
May those who are in pain and suffering unimaginable loss be lifted up. May their pain cease, may it be a benediction on those who have died, for their depth of pain shows just how much their hearts are capable of holding love. May that place stay soft and yielding, and may the bitterness end.
Until next time.....blessings upon your heart. (And forgive my musings on a very tough subject....I am still seeking further peace of mind on this topic as well.)