Finding Sense in Colorado Shootings

Cities around the country, including Laguna Niguel, lower their flags to honor the victims.

There are times when words don’t seem to be enough. There are situations when our collective shock and grief is like a silent gasp. Like the shooting in Aurora, Colo., at the midnight screening of , when a gunman chose to play out his own fantasy on real-time lives. It is a day that will in some way be etched in all our lives. 

We are not immune to it even after Columbine, Virginia Tech, so many others and now this. No matter how many movies or headlines of violence, we are never immune. We are human, after all, and the images of fear, pain, shock and grief touch us way down deep. We look in the mirror and acknowledge our mortality, and reach out for those we care about and love.

All day I heard person after person describe the violence that the shooting suspect, James Holmes, age 24, allegedly committed, as ‘senseless.’ That word sounded hollow and tinny to me. No, on many levels there was no logic or sense to this massacre not with at last count  

Yet as a spiritual teacher I feel that everything in the universe has a ‘sense’ to it. It is about something. Sometimes we know what it is, sometimes it takes a bit to find out and other times we never know. The religious will say it God’s will. Others will call it ‘evil’ and blame a devil. Some will put it down to instability in the human psyche; an incident bound to happen from time to time. I wonder.

There will be the usual rhetoric on and violence in movies and . Somebody should have been watching; someone should have known. Where was the mother? How about his parents? Questions and blame will be rattled off.

Yet the empty ache of those who lost someone is indescribable. There are no words I can say to each of them except …”I am sorry for your loss.”  The pain, post-traumatic stress and survivor grief of those who lived through this or were touched by it will linger. What can we say to them except … “We are with you.”

So at these times I search in the seeming random ‘senselessness’ for something that makes sense. There is a beautiful fabric that unites us all and holds everything together even in these types of situations …especially in these types of events.

The Tapesty of Life and Love in All Things

The most powerful thing we saw at the onset of this incident and it is continuing is the spirit of people helping each other. Some people helped each other out or protected their friends or loved ones  when the shooting started. That is the majesty, bravery and strength of the human spirit. We saw it in the police and rescue personnel and those that rushed to help and be of service. Our greatest strength is our gift of compassion and ability to help one another.

The other thing we see is our technology that had the ability to save so many injured people’s lives. We have made great strides in trauma care. It came at a price but it put people back together again. The next gift is the which is the other that will restore mind, body and spirit.

The other legacy of this event is compiled of the individual stories of those that lived and those that passed. No life is without a trail of people who have been touched by that individual. Jessica Ghawi was named one of the first victims. She was an aspiring sportscaster. Her story to me is about our destinies. There is no bigger question in life than what is destiny?

This amazingly beautiful young woman gave testimony to that in her blog; my condolences to her family and friends. Ghawi had been in Toronto on June 2, and escaped a shooting at the Eaton Center Mall. She wrote about the incident in her blog. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2176501/Denver-shooting-Batman-The-Dark-Knight-Rises-Jessica-Ghawi-12-dead.html

She recounted how a ‘feeling’ made her go outside and leave the food court area where the shooting occurred a few minutes later. That feeling seemed to save her life because the Toronto gun man stood in the exact spot she had been sitting in and killed someone there. She wrote that it could have been her. It made her look at life and appreciate it she said. Her writing style was poignant and impactful.

Then a little over a month later she is dead in this shooting incident. It makes one think about destiny, not in a negative way but in a way that is poignant. Was it her time to pass in Toronto? Did she get a little more time to share her powerful story as a teaching tool or to be with her loved ones? It makes you think.

What I feel and have learned about life and spirit is that we are born with a time to pass. It comes with our spirit when we come in this world. We can renegotiate it and extend it at times and sometimes we can’t. Destiny can be our freewill just like the carefully calculated stroke of a master golfer…we can guide it. Other times it is as inescapable as a several ton boulder rolling down the hill.

It makes me reflect on my experience with destiny. In the 90s, I had a feeling I was going to get in a car accident. I did my prayers, blessings and protections to stop it. I had a couple of close calls. I thought I could shift it.

On Halloween, I was going into work and I heard in my mind that my little neighbor Layla (not her name) who was four and had a penchant for wandering around would get run over by a car. I immediately began to pray for the child. All through the day I would surround her with light and pray for her safety.

Later that night I took my daughter out trick or treating. On the way home we were in a really bad car accident. My daughter who was nine at the time was critically injured. As she lay on the table for a CAT scan the doctor asked her what had happened to her as she went in and out of consciousness. She said: “She had gotten run over.” 

That is not what had happened but it hit me like a shock wave that I had been praying for my own daughter earlier in the day and not for Layla. If I had known it was my child I would of course tried to stop it. She survived and it has been a continuing learning process.  I talked to many spiritual people about it. One Indian mystic told me that our destiny is our destiny. We can shift it sometimes and sometimes not.

This beautiful young woman was here to teach us something if only for a short while, just as all the others. The key is to see that there is a pattern to life and even in the brutal chaos and pain that can sometimes occur there is an unseen fabric of divinity that we’re all connected with. If we look deep into her story we can see the light and the beauty of her gift to us. We realize that within the darkness this man tried to create there is a light which can never be put out. We are something greater than any madman’s rage.

We are a part of living fabric of knowledge, grace and energy that continues. That feeling she got is within each of us. We must each leave this world but we are more than this. That is the power.

Peace and Blessings to all on the journey.


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