Let’s talk about Orlando Florida. I’d like to offer a spiritual overview, the big picture. It is always good to step back out of the emotionality and see what is really going on.
If you have heard my commentaries before, today’s message is not new. We are witnessing a cleansing on Earth, a purging of the old energies. As I have said before, the bad news gets the headlines and makes more noise, convincing us that all hell is breaking lose. In a sense, hell is breaking loose, and it has to, before we sense the light behind the dark. As Tagore said, Faith is the bird that feels the light, and sings while the dawn is still dark.
Someone told me on Sunday that they felt hopeless, with events like this shooting, that everything is getting worse and is perhaps hopeless. I invite us all to take a breath and reclaim our hope. Everything, even horrid events like this, are an opportunity. You might even say that the depths of the pain that gets triggered corresponds with the depths of the possibility for healing and shift.
When I studied in India at Oneness University Sri Bhagavan taught us about inner and outer life. In the outer world, we do what we need to do to take care of ourselves, our survival issues. If you are in an abusive relationship, call the police or leave the relationship, for example. In the case of Orlando, we would be wise to push for gun control.
But the inner world needs attention too! Here is one key. And this is the same key I keep returning to with Donald Trump. As author and spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra says, Donald Trump is America’s shadow projection. In other words, what we will or cannot see in ourself, we will project on to others. When we heal within, the projection disappears or goes away.
What do we see with Donald Trump? What did we see in Orlando: Hate, closed mindedness, rage. Again, here is another key, the opportunity. One small but gigantic mistake we keep making is focusing outside ourselves and blaming our projections, in this case the Orlando killer. He is showing us ourself. Again the trap is, many of us will say, how horrible, how could anyone do something like this. It is all a matter of degree. Stay with me here. We all lash out in perhaps small ways. Or we hide and deny our rage until it bursts with a nasty comment or passive aggressive statement or action. Or we flip someone off in traffic. Or we kick our cat. Most of us are cowards as well. We try to hide this anger and hate in the hope that nobody–including ourself–will ever see our pain. Yet we all have pain, to various degrees.
Again, I want you, do not write this off. Do not let your mind convince you that this is completely different, that this guy is crazy and evil and we are all sane. How convenient it is to try to see this as one mad man, or one mad religion, or one mad culture or race or fill in the blank. There is only one of us here, and we will keep showing ourselves go ourselves until we stop pointing fingers and heal the pain within and develop compassion for all.
Where does the rage come from? It comes from many sources. Not being allowed to be yourself growing up. Not being allowed to feel your small frustrations and fears and anger until they blow up into rage and hate. Childhood trauma or abuse. not being loved and honored as a child. What may see like small things turn into big things.
It is crucial that we stop distracting ourselves from our pain. It is imperative that we learn to hit the release valve, a balance between express and repress. We obviously do not want to repress and bury this stuff, and we obviously do not want to express our rage out on the world as Omar Mateen did early Sunday morning. We can start to pay attention, feel fully, maybe see a therapist or coach, get some help. Do not overlook or disregard your own signs of disturbance: the impatience, the judgment, the anger, the rage. Do not hide it back away, but do not project or throw it out at the world. This is profound, sacred, and essential work that every one of us must do. Have compassion for yourself. Have compassion for our projections. Have compassion for those souls in Orlando who have laid down their lives to help us awaken and remember our compassion and show us ourselves. And never ever give up.