year of living copyACTING OUTSIDE OF THE HEART

I have been aware, lately, of the horrifying stories of children shooting other children in schools. I have been talking to others, over the past few days, about resisting reality and working against the universe, and it is in situations like these, so inexplicable and so terrifying, that it is most difficult to accept life as it is. I want to offer you a twist on accepting reality, however; I want to assure you that accepting reality does not mean shrugging your shoulders and assuming that you have no control or power over events around you. To the contrary, you have tremendous power; by accepting reality, you are simply saying that you must work with rather than against the forces that exist. The example in the schools is relevant. It would be possible, I suppose, to simply shake my head and comment on the state of adolescence these days…and then move on, forgetting about it. However, if you are guided by love and by a commitment to making a difference in the universe, an event this horrifying might instead spur you to do something—anything—that could change future events. You might decide to use your counseling expertise to provide community education about the warning signs of violence. You might use your strong sadness closer to home, talking freely and honestly with your children, educating them about paying attention to threats that other children make.

When someone acts outside of the heart as you know it, committing an act so violent and so damaging to your sense of the world, conscious living means taking in that act, accepting that it occurred, and accepting that each of us owns at least some small part of it. This is not about guilt. This is about responsibility. The difference is larger than the universe, and the results of taking this level of responsibility are universe-changing.


Today, read the headline news in the paper or online or listen to news radio for the big stories. Choose one story that hits you on an emotional level, something that might normally make you feel helpless, and make a commitment to yourself to accept your responsibility for this event (it happened in your world, my world) and to act on that. Your action may be small, it may be large; the essential is action.

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