Life doesn’t always give you answers

In times of tragedy, it seems like all we have are questions, the most prevalent being simply: why?

In Colorado today, we’re finding ourselves burdened by that oppressive question as we come to terms with the details of a gunman who opened fire in a crowded movie theatre, killing 12 people and injuring more than 50. As the media dissect the story and as witnesses post to social media platforms, the images and emotions of the late night shooting are making their way outward into the world. And with every news story, every status update and every graphic image shared, the question arises again: why?

Why would someone kill innocent people? Why would this happen to innocent people? Why would the shooter booby trap his apartment knowing law enforcement would find it? Why? Why? Why? Like a song stuck in your head, the question of why is always just under the surface of your consciousness, poking its head up every so often, demanding to be heard and answered.

Faith often provides a framework for the question of “why?” but usually seems to only strengthen its hold on your awareness. For every rationalization and for every small bit of understanding gained, the “why monster” only gets bigger and hungrier. It wants more information, more clarity and more understanding. It doesn’t understand that no matter what your religion, your belief system, your view on life, some things in life simply are unanswerable on a level that makes any sense.

I firmly believe that All That Is (or whatever term you use for God) understands events like this and that ultimately there is a reason for them. But right here, right now, I’m locked into an ego-bound consciousness; and, that consciousness simply cannot process such tragedy. The ego interfaces with physical reality and therefore is subject to a limited range—that which it can see and hear and feel. The ego doesn’t have direct access to that part of me that’s connected with the divine and so it feels shut out and abandoned. What the ego cannot understand, it cannot accept.

So for the time being, I simply must rely on my faith in All That Is. I must trust that tragedies such as this morning’s shooting serve another purpose that I’m not yet privy to. I must trust that everyone involved directly with the tragedy is ultimately being led to something bigger and better, even if I can never see it in my lifetime. My own faith in All That Is tells me that my limited ego doesn’t need to know the answers. All of the “why’s” aren’t my concern and that by releasing my need to know why, I’ll actually feel more serenity.

To quell the “why? Monster,” I find I must turn my attention to the things that do make sense and that feel good. Already we’re seeing people come together in prayer for those affected by the shooting. I’ve witnessed parents hugging their kids and spouses reaffirming their love for one another. Like we had a few weeks ago with the forest fires that ravaged Colorado, there is an outpouring of love and concern for our state.

Narrowing our concentration to love and compassion for others and ourselves helps quiet the “Why? Monster.” It’s a monster that cannot be defeated during our time on earth so we must learn to work with it, to understand it, and release it when it gets too big.

For now, I hope you’ll join me in quiet reflection on those thoughts we can control: love for one another and compassion for those that were affected by the tragedy. Those actions and thoughts we can purposely direct and the intent to do so will be felt by everyone involved.

 

Chris

Denver, CO

7-20-12

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lynda English
    Jul 21, 2012 @ 14:00:21

    Thank you for writing this, Chris.

    Reply

  2. Dan
    Jul 21, 2012 @ 18:57:54

    I’m sure a lot of people are sharing these sentiments and appreciating these thoughts, Chris.

    Reply

    • Honor Your Spirit
      Jul 21, 2012 @ 19:41:59

      Thanks Dan. I guess it’s only human nature to try and make sense of the tragedy but it still seems like the harder we try to understand, the more we feel confused and helpless.

      Reply

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