Reflections on the multiple mass shootings in the US on 3-4 August
I originally posted this to social media on the morning of the 4th, but wanted to go on record here about how I feel and my suggestions for what to do.
If you are–as I am–horrified and stunned and dismayed and heartbroken by 2 mass shootings in the US in under 13 hours, I beg you not to go into fear and resentment and hatred and separation.
If you believe that there is some kind of deep state out there orchestrating these acts of domestic terrorism, please know that spreading conspiracy theories plays right into their hands (whomever “they” are). Politicians and the media both benefit from the spread of fear: for the one, it fires up their bases and ensures reelection, full campaign coffers, and attention from lobbyists (=money and influence); for the other, it gets more eyes glued on the tube (=money and influence), and for the partisan news outlets, what applies to politicians also applies to them.
Some of my former academic colleagues may believe that I’ve become squishy or lost my mind because I left a tenured position for the “dark side”–spirituality. But really I left academia because of the toxicity and the necessity of the “us vs. them” mentality in the closed, zero-sum-game system of the university. Over my 20 years in higher ed (7 as a grad student, 13 as a professor, including almost 6 as department chair) as budgets became tighter, the more clear it became that to survive and thrive you had to be cutthroat, denigrating others to build yourself up. We were like rats fighting to the death over tiny crumbs, both within the department and departments and colleges against each other.
When I could finally see how we were all being manipulated by fear, I opted out. Influence and financial security were NOT worth it, either for myself or for my family. I did not want to bring that level of bitterness home to my 4-year-old. In my years as chair I had actively worked for and gotten living wages for our adjuncts and lecturers, and made sure to listen to all parties, not just stakeholders (deans, VP’s, tenured faculty) when making decisions big and small for the betterment of our collective. Sure, I found certain colleagues ridiculous–especially in their obvious attempts to game the system–but I didn’t let that stop me from listening to them and weighing their requests in the balance.
I finally left in 2010 because as my spiritual gifts expanded, I could feel–viscerally, in my BODY–the difference between the Love field that I was engaging with in the Akashic Records or when working with crystals or meditation, and what was available on campus. The difference was STARK, and I didn’t want to play the fear game anymore. Let me dance in the Light and the Joy of understanding and LOVE, please!
And now I see the fear-mongering–even among so-called spiritual leaders (they aren’t, if they’re peddling fear)–out in the wider world. This is nothing new, but it has reached crescendo levels.
Now more than ever, ✨LOVE✨ is called for.
TALK to your neighbors, your friends, your colleagues. Use “inside voices” and lots of deep breaths as needed. Smile at people in the grocery stores, coffee shops and gas stations, especially if they are wearing clothes or hats that suggest that they are on the “other side” of the current political divide from you. We are all human, all being manipulated by a system which is bigger than we are to operate from fear.
All acts of violence, be they verbal, done with a fist, a car, a gun, or on line, come from a place of fear and a desire to prove one is powerful, because feeling powerless. What most people don’t know is that cutting others down, literally or figuratively, will never make you more powerful. Only LOVE (acts of kindness, expressing gratitude, helping where you see assistance is needed with or without being asked, the gift of a smile or a hug) can do that. It is truly transformative.
Be a rebel. LOVE EVERYONE instead.
[No baiting or haters, please. If you disagree, I invite you to reach out privately so that we can have a conversation. I will not participate in the spiraling-up of fear on this post in particular. If you want to share, please do, but I ask that you use proper attribution if you’re copying and pasting, and that you share the post in its entirety. Words taken out of context spread fear and anger. Thank you.]
Reach out if you’re hurting. Much Love!