Perhaps like me, you cried this week. For Paris. For Syria. For people whose lives are so horrific that it leads them to think that killing other people is the one and righteous path.
Perhaps you cried for humanity and experienced a deep sadness that this is what has come of us.
Many times I despair at the difficulties on this planet. I feel distressed that so many are still unconscious. I’m overwhelmed by the atrocities people are willing to impose on others.
In those moments I feel impotent in the face of the enormity of it all.
So I do the only thing I can do; I come back to myself. I think about the way I speak to the people in my life. The choices I make to speak from either love or fear.
It’s a moment by moment practice and one that I often fail. And yet I keep going because I know that if every individual would make that choice in every moment – to choose love over suffering – posts like this wouldn’t be necessary.
Then I come even closer and I focus solely on the way I speak to myself. I focus on the way I treat myself. Because of one thing I’m certain; I have nothing of value to offer the world if I don’t first love, nurture and value myself.
And so in the wake of moments like the one we’re currently living in, I look for the terrorist within. I look for the one who’s angry. The one who hates. The one who wants to hurt someone, something, anything.
I give her love. Compassion. Kindness. I let her know she’s been heard. I witness her angst.
Then I look for the victim within. The one who’s been traumatised, bullied, abused, violated. I look for the one who’s angry. The one who hates and wants to hurt someone, something, anything.
I look for her and I give her love. Compassion. Kindness. I let her know she’s been heard. I witness her angst.
We are all the terrorist and the victim. They each exist within us.
In. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
Until we are willing to see that there can be no peace. Only blame and retaliation. Misunderstanding and disconnection. Devastation, despair and endless cycles of violence.
World events mirror our inner worlds – like enormous holograms shining out onto a global stage.
When we heal ourselves, we heal the world. The problem can’t be fixed with guns or borders or bombs. It’s fixed by healing the wounds within. Everyone’s wounds. Irrespective of whether you label them victim or terrorist, friend or foe.
The School of Visibility headquarters are based in Canberra, Australia. We acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as the traditional owners on this land. We recognise that the land was never ceded and we pay our respect to Elders past and present.