Las Vegas (III)

Late last week and and through last weekend, I experienced a rush of positive energies. At drop-in tennis that Thursday, I found my way to an energetic shift like I'd never experienced before. On Friday, during my drive back from New Mexico, I made space to do some processing of the events of the past few weeks. (The northern New Mexico landscape, beautiful and remote, supports that space. Even the interstate is nearly empty, making the drive between Las Vegas, NM, and Raton a great time to sink into whatever you're feeling and thinking). And then it was a great weekend, two days of open energy, including a fun party and some good times with friends. I went to bed Sunday night exhausted but with an open heart. I woke up Monday morning feeling similarly open-hearted, and, yeah, went straight to my phone to see if any of the people I'm currently thrilled to hear from had sent me a message since the night before. No messages. Since the phone was in my hands, I did a quick glance at the New York Times website, and that's when I learned of the massacre in Las Vegas.

It hit me with the weight of fist. The bruise it left on my heart, remains tender with sadness.

As I have watched the expansion of flow in my life, manifesting in ways that are often indistinguishable from magic, I know that this exact same expansion is increasingly available to all who seek it. We have only begun to glimpse our highest potential.

In the same world in which flow expands by the day, a man possessed by some cold demonic hatred brought an arsenal into a hotel room and rained death into a crowd whose only crime was enjoying themsevles.

On my good days, I believe the increase in flow is a great gathering wave, ready to sweep toward a better world all that lies before it.

On the bad ones--like when I wake to news of a bloodbath--I wonder if this will forever be our fate: that every step forward will be met with a commensurate act of resistance. If our surging movement toward completeness evokes a sickness of annihilation.

I pray: can not the surging wave of love put an end to all this evil? But also: what other choice do we have, but to try?

2 thoughts on “Las Vegas (III)”

  1. Do, there is no try.


    People don’t start out as demonic or haters. This man was a preschooler once and he yearned for connection and love, just like you and I did, just like my daughter does now. My thinking is that love is intrinsic; hatred is learned.

    Or…maybe hatred isn’t learned, it’s constructed. We are born vulnerable and somewhere along the line many of us construct armor out of fear of showing that vulnerability. Once we create the armor, and we spend years shoring up the cracks and setting up levies, it becomes more and more difficult to fully feel (and see) the emotions and vulnerability in others *and in ourselves*. We become numb, indifferent.
    The love that was fully in our body and mind as a child slips away, anathema to indifference. Without intervention, by adulthood some of us will have created a fully autonomous empty vessel, armored to the brim, by which we sail through life as an individual ship at sea — sometimes colliding with other ships and exchanging surface-level niceties on the poop deck, using those ships as a means of refilling supplies, and amusing ourselves by divulging interesting factoids from our respective travel logs. We don’t invite those ships passing in the night down into our deepest decks and we don’t accordingly have the opportunity to learn anything other than: I’m in this alone.

    It is the very vulnerability we hide behind our armor that allows us to connect with others and, ultimately, to love. for this reason, in my mind the antidote to these acts of hate is not love — love alone simply cannot make it over the armor and walls and ramparts and duct tape. The antidote is vulnerability, connection, and compassion. These wounded people — who commit evil, demonic acts — couldn’t keep hate in their hearts without hating themselves. Maybe with self-compassion, they can ultimately come to accept their whole self and let the armor slough off.

    In terms of what that means for next steps….I wish I knew. For me, the next step is learning to hold myself with compassion so I can be open to demonstrating it toward others. I do tend to believe that the path toward a better world resides with our kids. We don’t have to reach them through miles of armor.

    1. I’d say that vulnerability, connection and compassion are components of love. Love, as a practiced, active force, encompasses them.

      Monday’s piece will speak directly to the nature of love. I’m calling in reinforcements on this one.

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