“It feels like we’re living in a story.” I turned to look at Grace. She was standing in her pajamas, her hair hanging in a wild mess around her face. We had just gotten home from Dairy Queen, our car ride spent rocking out to Tom Petty as I held back tears over the events of the day. She still had chocolate smeared around her mouth.
“What did you say, sweet girl?” I’d heard her perfectly well, but I wanted to make sure my own subconscious wasn’t having selective hearing.
“I said, ‘It feels like we’re living in a story,’ ” she repeated.
“What do you mean by that?” I smiled at her and held out my hand. She took it and said, “Sometimes it seems like we’re watching ourselves on a show.” Then she nestled her whole body into my arms and just stared into my eyes. “But my heart is still beating and I’m still alive.” I think she was channeling something very divine. This response still has me marveling at its profundity.
Today. One for the history books, to be sure. A mass shooting in Las Vegas. The souls of dozens of people taken from senseless violence. And this on the heels of weeks of natural disasters devastating countless lives. I haven’t found the right words to tell my kids about some of this, but I think they intuitively know. It’s not a pretty story we’re living in at the moment.
If it is possible, one thing I find even more disappointing than these events themselves, is how awful people can be toward one another in their depths of despair. The ugly, hateful words people are flinging around in an attempt to find some “reason” for any of these things happening. Evil doesn’t care what color your skin is. It doesn’t care if you voted Democrat or Republican. Evil preys on fear. Evil just wants us all to be against one another because that is the only way it can thrive.
The people of our world are tearing it apart with blame, fear, and hatred. So what can we do- what can I do– to make a change? Well, here we are still breathing. Or as my four-year-old put it, our hearts are still beating. We are still alive. There is still a purpose for us to be in this story. Will your character be a light in this darkness? Evil cannot exist where there is love. And love is the brightest light there is.
We are still here because our mission isn’t done. Our story is still unfolding. So use that breath in your lungs to breathe good into the world. FORGIVE those who have wronged you. Demonstrate COMPASSION to those who need it, not just who you feel deserves it. LOVE one another. Jesus, Buddah, Lao-tzu all talked about these principles. It doesn’t matter what religion you are. If you have a pulse, you are here to grow in understanding of these things. Sometimes it’s not easy. If it were, our journey here would be very brief.
Every thought we have, every word we speak, everything we do, has an effect on everything in this world. We are all made up of energy. Atoms vibrating so fast it becomes matter. I’m not a scientist but I have read this quite a few times from reputable sources and I have it on good authority that at our most basic level, we are made up of the same “stuff.”
**Warning: I completely geek out over these things.** Ekhart Tolle wrote about this in A New Earth: Awakening Your Life’s Purpose: “Physicists have discovered that the apparent solidity of matter is an illusion created by our senses. This includes the physical body which we think of as form but 99.9% is actually empty space. This is how vast the space is between the atoms compared to their size, and there is as much space again within each atom. The physical body is a misconception of who you are…So your physical body, which is form, reveals itself as essentially formless when you go deeper into deeper into it…That empty space is life in its fullness, the unmanifested Source out of which all manifestation flows. The traditional word for that Source is God.” (p. 250-251)
We can use our energy to channel love and compassion or we can channel fear and hate. That energy is what binds our bodies, minds, and souls together and what connects us (or repels us) to each other. And unbelievably we have freedom to choose what will define what we are made of. Think about it like this, we have it in our power to change the world on a sub-molecular level just by choosing what energy we will allow to flow through us.
I love that Mother Theresa quote so much, I have it on a wall in my house, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Well to take that a step further, what if we treated the whole world like our family? Can you imagine how beautiful that story could be? That would be one I’d be proud to share with my children.