Brew of the day: Pear & Nutmeg Tea
There are some, many, who think that the ‘real’ world with all its violence, drudgery, deceit, sensationalism, modern gadgets, is where we all need to live (especially for the sake of our children, lest they ‘miss’ out on something). These same people believe that those of us who revere a world where love, simplicity, manners, kindness, family values, respect etc., are important are somehow in a dysfunctional La-La Land, and ought to get a ‘grip’.
Two weeks ago there was ‘another’ mass shooting in an American school. It is always tragic when such events occur. And yet, for me, somehow this seemed even more painful. Those whose lives were touched were from the Amish Community. They live peacefully, away from modern life, honouring the divine in themselves and those around them.
I first heard about the Amish twenty years ago, when visiting my best friend Amy who lived in Pennsylvania. Entranced by the simplicity of their lifestyle, their deliberately gentle ways never left my mind.
What has struck me most about this shooting is the complete forgiveness coming from all those families whose children were killed, as well as the Amish Community in general. Some of them even attended the funeral of the murderer so they could offer support to his family. How many people in our *civilised* culture would do that?
It occurred to me, that perhaps, this tragedy was ordained in a way that our human thinking can’t imagine. These people have shown us what we all need to learn, embrace and practise each day of our lives. Forgiveness. For GIVE ness.
I know, for me, it isn’t always an easy practice if I’ve felt wounded by another’s arrow. Yet if the Amish can forgive, literally within hours, something so horrendous, heartbreaking and senseless as the shooting of their beautiful, innocent children, then what excuse have you or I to hold grudges about pissy little things? None.
Probably the greatest deterrent to becoming a race who can forgive is our immersion in the ‘real world’. Little secret here: this world isn’t REAL. It’s all an illusion. When we get so caught up in needing to be someone, have something (car, house, career) and filling in every waking hour with ‘stuff’ or noise, we lose all sense of Who We Really Are; of our divine origins. If, in essence, we’re all One, then how can we hate our ‘syster’ without hating ourselves?
Our attachment to the illusion which is modern life is the very thing that hinders our innate ability to remain in tune with the Divine. Forgiveness is the only thing which can set us free from our pain.
Forgiveness of others and, just as importantly, forgiveness of ourselves is the only path to spiritual freedom.