We were like many around the world, glued to the television and the Internet in disbelief of the Sandy Hook shootings.
I thought of the hundreds of small children I had toured over the years who come to visit the Los Angeles Zoo. Many are six and seven years old. It always amazes and delights me that at least one of them would slip their tiny hand in mine as we walk together on our way to see the animals. And, at the end of the tour when I tell them good-bye, it wouldn’t be unusual for a few to give me a thankful hug. Me, a complete stranger.
I reflect back to my own grown children when they were that age as well. That’s as far as I could let my mind travel. I couldn’t even conceive in my imagination what I would have felt, or the parents of the touring children would have felt, if our kids met with the Sandy Hook tragedy.
Between the tears, pain and shock, some of the people interviewed, including parents, first responders. and school officials, said “love” was the answer to their healing. Nothing was more powerful or more touching than the gift of love from so many around the world.
Even through television you could feel the love radiating from the beautiful children’s memorials covered by the media. So many came out to support the parents, survivors, the school, and Newtown. How? Again with love. Even dogs were brought to the town for people to hug. We all know pets bring the healing power of unconditional love.
Love is the answer to comfort your own fears, shock, sadness, and discomfort as well.
This time of the year brings up losses, from death, ended relationships, jobs, and financial challenges for so many.
If you feel that way, acknowledge these feelings and try not to escape or suppress them, so you can let them go. Holding on, and pretending they don’t exist, only makes the pain more intense. Be brave and allow the sensations of these feelings to surface without telling yourself the story of why they are there. Just put your attention on how it feels in your body. Sharp? Moving? Heavy? Stay with these sensations and they will melt away.
Next, think of something or someone you have loved. Close your eyes and imagine that love you have felt before, transferred to you. Allow yourself the luxury of reveling in that peace and spaciousness.
Whenever you feel sadness, fear, or anger, just stop whatever you are doing. Bring up that healing love, and breathe into it, and see and or feel it filling and surrounding you. Do this whenever you feel the need. Sometimes, you may have to do this constantly. Stay with it, because you are dissolving the pain, and uncovering your happiness that has always been there.