We live in a time when so many forces seem to be conspiring to drive us into fear and unhappiness. Political unrest, domestic and global threats, murders and mass shootings, the tragedies caused by weather, the economy and many other sources. I was asked today, “How can an all powerful, loving, fair and just God allow these mass shootings of innocent people?”
Additionally, not long ago a person asked me how I can believe that each of us is on this earth to learn and experience what it could be like to feel separated from God and that each of us creates our own existence here, when children are abused and hurt – How can these innocent children learn positivity from such experiences? And, how could they have created them without being conscious?
I have heard many answers to these questions in my lifetime including, “God is testing us”, “He is building our character”, or “The result of cause and effect (Karma)”. All of these answers can be debated and leave the listener with no satisfaction. How can children, animals, and insects be tested or build character. Karma could be an answer but even that answer is debated within Vedanta and Buddhist philosophies.
It is difficult for me to watch the drama of each of these things play out in the media, where it gets repeated and fed to us multiple times each day for days and weeks on end. In my observation it only fuels the conflicts all around us and pushes us further into a state of fear. As long as we feel one bit of emotional suffering or fear from any of these events we cannot transcend the pain and fear and go to place of complete peace – with a “knowing” that we are all connected to each other, and to everything in our existence.
I want to bring this down to a personal level. Today as I was driving I was safely turning right onto a busy road. A driver in a vehicle going at least 20 miles per hour faster than the speed limit laid on his horn and as he passed flipped me off. My initial instinct was to flip him off in return, but thankfully I was playing meditation music in my car when driving and had just repeated my affirmations a few minutes before. I quickly let it go and said a prayer expressing gratitude for my safer reaction, and a genuine hope he would get to his destination safely.
I believe there is nothing most of us can do on the grand scale to change global things quickly. They are the way they are because fear is so intense with so many people it perpetuates all of these negative things. I believe enough of us have not yet been able to transcend the pain and suffering to make a shift in ourselves, let alone the weather, or our Government, or the economy.
I believe the answer to change is to become the best version of ourselves first. To focus inside our own lives and let go of all the personal pain. To begin by unconditionally loving myself first, then everyone the same way. To do this I repeat my Habits of Happiness, and when an event occurs that makes me want to react in a negative way – to quickly let it go and remind myself that my only duty is to keep everyone around me as safe and loved as possible. I know that when enough of us do this we will see a shift. Wouldn’t it be great to have the media only sending messages of love and light?
My answer to the first question today was, “I believe the real answer is that each of us can transcend the suffering and fear these events bring to us, and know that we are one with Source (God). By so knowing we then understand there is no suffering in reality. Only love and peace and happiness.”
Thanks to my friend Appro Das for allowing me to use his photo in this post.