because I keep asking myself why...
Yesterday, when I woke up to the horrific news about Las Vegas, I felt numb. In shock, I didn't feel the deep, heartbreaking sadness that I felt when hearing of mass shootings in the past right away. It took me time to process the reality of what happened and today, I'm there – heartbroken. I can't put forward another post promoting a TV segment or telling you about my favorite new skincare products without addressing what's heavy on all of our hearts. Writing is therapeutic for me and if anything, I'm not embarrassed to put my thoughts and feelings out there as I know some of you are feeling the same way.
I watched Jimmy Kimmel's monologue in tears this afternoon. It was so well spoken and heart felt that I'm sure if you saw it, you were tearing up, too. "A very sick person smuggled 17 guns into his hotel room and smashed out the windows, started firing indiscriminately from the 32nd floor into a crowd of 22,000 people across the street," Kimmel explained.
How can this happen? Besides the conversations on gun control, we need to be having real conversations about mental health, which I believe is the root of the problem. This was a very, very sick person and the truth is, there are so many sick people, just like him out there. I've had very close friends struggle with mental health and the help they needed (and some still need) wasn't available due to insurance. I don't like to get political as I don't think everything is black and white and I'm definitely not the most educated on politics, but I will say that mental health is overlooked in our country and the NRA is more concerned with protecting multi-billion dollar profits in gun sales than the second amendment. And as Jimmy Kimmel mentioned, I too doubt that our forefathers wanted us to have easy access to AK-47s. How can this all be?
Tonight in yoga my teacher, Julie Pasqual, gave a dharma talk that we all needed to hear and helped me make sense of what's been happening in the world. The hour of moving meditation allowed me process and here I am, writing. After hearing of each domestic mass shooting, terrorist attack and refugee situation, I ask myself why and can't begin to make sense of all of the hate. How? How could one murder? How could we not help? Why? Why is this world so full of fear and hate?
I often talk of living a life of love and compassion instead of resorting to fear and this talk took that a step further. She saw a former FBI agent on the news explaining that the shooter in the Vegas case was "disassociated" and therefore unable to see concert goers as people. He saw, "them" as "the other." An act of complete ignorance by a very sick man.
Thinking about yoga philosophy, what I study, practice and teach, this theory makes sense. As Julie went on, she referenced Iyengar's teaching, "I am not the body. I am not the mind. I am something divine." I often reference that we are all souls living a human experience, and in this teaching, Iyengar gives another perspective – We are all divine. Replacing the word "soul" with "divine" makes it more relatable for those of you who aren't into spirituality. We need to individually recognize the divine in ourselves and make a constant effort to recognize it in others, even if they're not aware of it themselves.
I'm not sure what we can do to bring peace, impact the government or stop the hate. I'm not sure anyone has answers, but besides thoughts and prayers, besides donating money and blood, besides signing petitions and making noise, we can also attempt to see each other as one and live compassionately in order to bring more peace to this earth.
Heartbroken, but hopeful...