Is There Love Even Here?

When I saw the first hint on Facebook, my initial selfish reaction was, oh no, what happened this time? I don’t want to know about it right now! My energy is good this morning. I can’t take tragedy.

But of course I had to go find out.

Shock, grief, tears. What do I do with this? I wonder. The answer comes, light a candle , send healing and love to the families and those affected.

That helps. A little.

I sit back down to my work, write a little. I can’t focus.

Scrambling for meaning, for something, I scan more news, more reactions.

As I always do when these things happen, the refrain reverberates in my brain, “Why are we so broken?”

Why are we hurting so much?? What could possibly drive a 20-year-old kid (because, yes, that’s really still a kid) into a classroom with machine guns? What desperation? What untenable anger? What sort of dissociation from reality?

It’s so easy to go into despair. Or into a rant.

Why the fuck are we still selling people guns when again and again this happens? Over and over? Oh sure, guns don’t kill people, people do. But guns sure as hell help get the job done quick!

Yes, the anti-gun rant. I’m on it easily. But plenty of others are way more articulate, informed and eloquent on the subject.

Or this one:

Why the fuck do we raise our boys on video games that make killing sprees look like just another giggle? Manufacture giant plastic machine guns to give to 4-year-olds? Why do we desensitize our children from blood and guts and violence from the moment they can sit in front of a television set or computer game?

Why do we glorify war?

What have we done? And where are we going?

I close the computer, put on my running clothes. Head outside. A pall seems to hang in the atmosphere. A gloom. News travels like lightning, and though I’m  3000 miles from where all those children were shot, everyone I pass knows. A heaviness fills our auras.

I run. I breathe. I cry.

Later, in the shower the words arise:

More Love. More Love. More love.

Yes, less guns. Yes more attention and care to the messages we give to our children about the precious fragility of human life. Yes, to all of that.

But beyond and above it all. Overarching all of that:

More love. More love. More love.

Love to the mothers and fathers in Newtown, Connecticut. Love to all those children who witnessed this carnage. Love to the shock and grief stricken members of that community. Love to ourselves.

Love to every precious being on this planet, living and dead.

And yes, love even to that boy who walked into a kindergarten classroom loaded down with semi-automatic weapons.

More Love! More Love! More Love!

Not as a simplistic solution.

But a start.

More love.

26 Responses to Is There Love Even Here?

  1. Yes. This is perfect. Glad you wrote, glad you shared and I’m so glad to be made aware of you and your blog. (Thanks to Jenny Bones! She shared your post on G+)

    • @LisaMarieMary  Welcome, Lisa. And I’m glad these words resonate for you. Today, I keep returning to my heart. My head has so much to say. And action is good. But then, it’s back to the heart and projecting love & compassion.

  2. I’ve been trying to not pay much attention to this, Sarah….ot wanting to hear the details since this seems the most insidious of all these unbelievable happenings.  When will something be done?  I just saw on Rachel Maddow that even suspected terrorists are allowed to purchase guns without a background check.  WHAT is up with this law? When will anything change?  Have we not seen enough already?  
    Your words are healing, Sarah.  Thanks so much for taking the time to express the pain we all feel.

    • @LeeTorrence  I know Lee, I’m with you and I’m staying away from TV coverage, or obsessively reading the news and all the attempts to figure out what was going on with that young man with that family. In the end it’s not those details that matter. The root of the problem is so much bigger. And yes, something needs to be done. We can only hope a conversation will begin.
      Meanwhile, for me, what I need right now is to stay out of my head and be in my heart. Just project that love and compassion to the survivors and the families…

  3. I am also not watching TV but read news on the Internet. I’m with you on the personal details not mattering. The problem is much bigger. A conversation about gun laws is a start. Also empathy for others.

    • @Priska  Yes, I believe a big conversation is in order about gun laws. However, I’m not hopeful since this is only another in a long string of such events here in the U.S. The statistics that compare this country to others with more stringent gun laws in the matter of such mass killings are staggering. But it does go way beyond that. We need to get at the root of why certain individuals feel so wounded, so hopeless, so desperate, that they would resort to this.
      It’s so complicated and tangled. But starting the conversation is important. And doing that from a place of love. That’s what I wish our lawmakers would do.

      • @saraho Life is complicated and I agree with starting in a place of love. In Australia we had the Point Arthur massacre in 1996. We responded by banning automatic weapons and bringing in strong gun controls. I believe that the UK did a similar thing. In coming from a place of love can we try and love each other by taking away the access of weapons from those who are in a scarey place and vulnerable to hurting themselves and others. I understand that it goes beyond this but it is a starting point.

  4. I’m with you on the gun laws.
    I can’t help thinking though that the problem is much deeper. Young men are likely to respond in an external way when things are bad for them, and they have the means at their disposal to wreak great havoc when this happens. Women and girls are more likely to internalise their pain.
    But the deeper question is why did this young man feel so much pain? Why was there no social safety net for him (and so many others who also wreak havoc in various ways)?
    There are so many systemic problems now, and young people are feeling them deeply. We don’t have the tight social structures that help those suffering through their pain. The future looks bleak to many people.
    There is such a great need for connection. Everyone deserves it. Yes Sarah–that’s what we can do. Love so deeply that we connect.

    • @KitschWitch  Yes, I agree that the conversation goes way deeper than just gun laws (as I articulated in my response to comment below). And I only wish that those who hold the power in this country would continue this conversation beyond the big media blitz that inevitably follows such tragic events. How many more will have to happen before a common understanding is reached – that people need help, that we must offer some sort of safety net and place for those who are in such pain they reach for weapons.
      I like to think that we are in the midst of a planetary shift in consciousness, gradual though it may be, and that before long even legislators and lawmakers will begin to understand:  love and connection is what we need. Not money. Not punishment. Not revenge. Love.

  5. I have to disagree on the gun laws. Connecticut has some of the most stringent gun control laws in effect. Laws do not stop a person from doing harm. And enacting more gun laws out of fear will not solve the problem.
    An individual that does harm is to blame. Not the gun, not their access to a gun. It could have easily been a knife, a stick, a stone, a car, anthrax, or even alcohol.  
    Laws are in place to deter the law-abiding. Not the criminal, not the person intent on doing harm. Don’t take away rights to any group based on the act of an individual. Don’t let fear rule. 
    I agree that more love is needed.

    • @Rave  Yes, more love will bring us to a place of greater understanding of how to preserve rights, provide for the mentally ill, and restore safety for the innocent. The laws don’t work when enacted from fear. That’s the whole point. And they can’t be knee-jerk reactions.

  6. yes, “more love” is definitely needed…and that love needs to be expected and shown starting at the youngest ages in the classrooms of our schools. Some of the deepest woundings start there and resonate throughout lives, even as adults. And all too often what we heard from teachers (when our own kids were verbally and even physically abused by classmates because they were different) was that “kids will be kids.” We need to model, mentor, and demand that kids are taken back over and over and over again to MORE LOVE…
    Thanks Sarah!

    • @jecolorfulheart   Such true observations! It all starts in those early years, with what we show and model to our children about caring deeply for one another. Emotional and physical bullying is not just ‘kids being kids’, but a sign of pain and disconnect. If we could only allocate the resources we now devote to war and the building of weapons into our teachers, psychologists and schools!
      As I wrote in my response below, I do believe we are in the midst of a planetary shift in consciousness. It’s taking a long time, but if we can continue to hold the love and the vision of healing in our hearts it will spread and take hold in the physical world… in just those ways.

  7. I was home writing Christmas cards when I heard the news.    I want to write to the parents of all those angels that they will wake up from this nightmare and bring their children back.    I went to the school and picked up my daughter early.  She didn’t ask why and I didn’t tell her.

    • @shelbyl  What a beautiful idea to write to those parents. I want to move into that love, but I still cringe away from getting so close to that tragedy. I have not been avidly following the news and I can’t even look at that collage of photos of the childrens’ faces that’s going around Facebook.
      Then, I remember – breathe it in and breath out Love. And Compassion.
      Glad you got to hug your daughter early that day Shelby!

  8. More love. Yes… we could use a lot more of that. Not just more love, but more expression of it.
    Guns don’t kill people…. of course they do. This kid would have been unable to kill as many as he did if all he had access to was a knife. 
    “But of course I had to go find out.” I have chosen not to find out. I still don’t know the details, and have no desire to know them. Selfish perhaps, but I don’t think the resulting grief and anger would be channeled in a way that led to change.

    • @HappierHuman   I’m with you on the guns Amit. It’s pretty obvious the destruction they have wrought here in a country where it is legal to own weapons of war. LIke you, I’ve chosen not to explore the details of this tragedy. Just to project love and compassion to those who are hurting right now. It’s a fine balance for me to stay aware of what is happening in my world, so I can do what I can to be part of the solution, and to keep my boundaries so I don’t drown in a wave of grief and sorrow…

  9. Yes, more love.  This is  one the things I talked about on my daily walk with my friend yesterday morning.   It began by discussing gun control – and yes, I do believe in gun control, but then it turned to love.  The need for loving, dedicated families to teach their children well, less violence in video games, televison and music, more love spread to those we do not know and those we do, more love to the hurting families who are struggling with mental illness in their families, more love to Newtown.  Yes, more love.

    • @JaneRobinson   It’s it. it’s just IT! The foundation and root underneath all the other arguing and searching for blame. Is it guns or is it lack of access to mental health care? Is it poor parenting? Is it this, is it that? It all comes down to how we love ourselves and love each other doesn’t it? And our willingness to give that love – even at the risk of pain.

  10. Beautiful post, Sarah.
    All I could think of on the day was my 6 year old son sitting at his school. I couldn’t wait to go and pick him up.
    I’ve got the bare details from the news and I don’t need to know any more. Every time I look at my sons since it happened I’m filled with love for them and despair for the children and families involved.
    I have a lot of angry feelings coming up, too, and don’t see that as a bad thing. If we can’t be outraged at the culture that we are a part of, and that encourages this kind of behaviour, then I don’t see how anything changes.

    • @Dave Rowley  I hear you Dave. Change is born from the rage at injustice. All of our great, successful social movements started that way. I do believe in the saying, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”  And I’m not a fan of just not paying attention. Yet at the same time I’m seeking a balance:  how to hold this transformative anger and readiness to take action along with deep love and compassion. I fall down a lot. But it’s a balance I aspire too…:-)

  11. Having problems commenting so I hope you don’t end up with a couple of comments. I agree with you Sarah more love and compassion would solve a multitude of problems in this world but getting rid of the guns is the first step. So much heartache but a great reminder to the rest of us to count our blessings

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