Inner Peace: When the World Collapses Around Us
“Cherish people. You don’t know when they’ll go. That’s something on my mind now.” — Vanessa Hughes (HEART GUIDE, she lost her brother Rod).
“Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Energetically, he is still here somewhere. … Spiritually, we’re all still here afterwards: Guiding each other, watching over each other.” — Summer (Hudson) Aleas (HEART GUIDE, she lost her father).
I recently visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. Navigating the subway transit system, along with the bustling throng of passersby, felt chaotic and stressful. My daughter reminded me that the city is a perfect place to practice inner calm. After all, most of us don’t live on secluded mountaintops; we live amidst potentially stressful life situations and events.
Like millions of people, I turned on my television news channel when I first heard about planes crashing into the World Trade Center. I saw President Bush sitting in a classroom with young students. I heard reports of airplane hijackings. I immediately telephoned my (former) husband to discuss whether we should pick up our children from school. The 9/11 Memorial brought it all back. But what I remember most vividly is turning off the TV, walking over to my bed, and sitting down with legs crossed to meditate. In my meditation, I brought light into myself, I brought light into the bedroom, and I brought light into the New York City wreckage. My body disappeared. My thoughts disappeared. I joined many others in a current of healing energy being sent to New York in response to an urgent distress call.
When a crisis arrives, we are each called in different ways. Some of us (by training or circumstance) become first responders: leading evacuations, fighting fires, or providing emergency medical care. Some of us light candles and send prayers. Some of us cry or scream. Some of us chant or sing softly while holding hands. Some of us organize our communities, gather supplies, and raise funds for aide. Some of us teach the children how to love this world – in its vast beauty as well as in its vast suffering.
With death, there’s no time for labels. We don’t care about someone’s religion or political party affiliation. When seeking survivors among the carnage, we care about human life. We care about finding ways to help. We care about the families who have lost loved ones.
Perhaps this Christmas, we can remember not only the birth of a miraculous child who taught us to love one another; but also, the mother whose only son was killed. While Mary’s loss is not the focus of a national holiday, anyone who has lost a loved one knows the depth of her suffering.
What can we do in times of tragic loss? We can continue to light candles, we can pray, we can sing, we can sob, we can dance, we can paint, we can write, we can rebuild, and we can gather our loved ones close. We can listen to our heart’s call. We can find our purpose here on this earth.
We can remember: Our inner peace, our humanity, and our courage grow stronger when we work together, in love, for the greater good.
In joy & gratitude,