The more we attempt to make sense of the tragic events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT last week, the more we realize how impossible a task that is. It is a raw and gaping wound, a trauma we all share as a collective community.
The morning of the shootings, my husband and I were out on the school playground along with the entire student body, teachers, administrators and many other parents participating in our twice-monthly Community Circle. The students sang holiday songs in Spanish and did a flash mob-style dance. Not long after we arrived home, the horror began to unfold as the news reported on the shootings.
It seemed incongruous and unfair that as we were coming together as a community in our school yard, another community of parents, teachers and students were experiencing heartbreaking trauma and loss. And since that day, each time I pick up my daughter after school and she runs into my arms exclaiming “Mama!”, I can’t help but feel pangs of grief for those parents in Newtown who will never again experience those moments. The families of the teachers and administrators who died, and the entire community are similarly devastated.
I was scheduled to teach a Reiki class that night to a group of new students, and it was with a very heavy heart that I made my preparations for class. On the drive over to the office, I remembered how Mikao Usui intended for the practice of Reiki Ryoho to be available to everyone because he believed if families and communities shared Reiki healing with each other, it would contribute to a better society.
This was the basis for the message I gave to my students that night. The healing work we do individually, with others and in our communities matter. Every act of healing helps lessens the burden of suffering we individually and collectively carry.
A person who commits harm against others is someone who was not properly cared for on the soul level. There may be other contributing factors, but if the soul is wounded, we lose our connection to the Oneness we share with humanity. Wounding of the soul is not just that person’s problem; it eventually becomes everyone’s problem.
I’m not suggesting that Reiki, prayer or other healing/spiritual practice alone is going to change things, but what we do locally does affect things globally. Locally begins with ourselves, understanding the root cause of any suffering or trauma we carry, and then extending our compassion and care outward to others.
It may be hard see the ripple effect right away, because measurement is not always obvious or linear. Yet, the compassion and healing we share with another may help avert or assuage a crisis of suffering elsewhere.
We still need for law enforcement, public safety and other administrators to be responsible for maintaining a safe environment at offices, schools or other public environments. But when we reach out to our larger community with loving hands, hearts and minds, rather than withholding out of fear or a concern with protecting what’s “mine”, we create the conditions for true healing and wholeness to take hold in the world.
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