I felt the need to write this post after the U.S. experienced its 74th school shooting since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school in December 2012. That’s 1 school shooting a week that is only happening in the U.S. Did you know that in addition to Manifested Harmony, I have worked for over 20 years in the field of helping crime victims? Although I’m not a prosecuting attorney in the courtroom anymore, I work to educate criminal justice professionals and communities about preventing violence and protecting our most vulnerable (particularly animals and children). I also offer energy healing to those who are suffering (both people and animals).
We cannot turn on the news anymore without the lead story being a mass shooting, an unexpected violent situation, or some other shocking disaster. We’re simply surrounded by it to where many people wonder, Is this the new reality? I have been looking deeper to identify why there is an increase (or an appearance in an increase) in mass violence and even one-on-violence. It’s like the whole world has gone berserk! Particularly in the U.S., we live in a world where we are bombarded with violent images (news, movies, video games, images on the internet) and we are numb to violence. So when the violence happens again and again, we do not have the energy to be outraged. It’s frankly common. The U.S. right now is no different than the war zones in the Middle East. And we are tolerating it.
I have the honor of working with the most respected and knowledgeable national organizations and leaders on preventing violence towards people and animals. And we are doing the best job that we can (through education, resources), prevention of violence efforts in the U.S. are failing. Just yesterday I had a conversation with an organization about how we are preaching to the choir and those people who need to hear messages about compassion, non-violence and peace will tune out. And while there are great theories on what we need to do to combat everyday violence, there’s one aspect missing in these discussions.
My answer … yes. I don’t mean spiritually bankrupt in that they need to do more yoga or spend more time in meditation. These people appear to have nothing “higher” or bigger than themselves that they belief in, have faith in, or can rely on when they are struggling. This is not a religions belief; it’s a faith that there is an overall plan to the Universe and how our world plays out; an energy that we can tap into to either live a life of joy or a bankrupt energy where we feel the world and everyone in it is out to get us. It is why we have a population of people who live in love and see the beauty in everything and therefore experience peace; and where we have a population of people who live in fear, harm each other (and animals) and believe that the world is a scary place.
We all know people who have suffered a trauma (whether small or large) and there’s one of two reactions that occur:
- First: the person victimized is so traumatized that they shut down to where others wonder if part of their soul severed off for protection and they simply become a shell of a person wandering and drifting through life in extreme pain; they lose their faith in God/higher power; they fear/feel that the world is out to get them; or
- Second: the person victimized is resilient and rises above the trauma due to their belief that their experience happened for a reason, and they turn that experience into something positive to benefit others (think Oprah, Elizabeth Smart, the 3 ladies who were held captive for a decade in Cleveland); they have faith and a deep knowing that there is a higher power that helped them survive.
It is the people in the first category that we need to worry about and locate. It is the people in the first category that you need to identify in your life, in your community and get them re-connect to the spiritual nature of our world. Why is this important?
Are these violent people spiritually bankrupt? When someone has a spiritual connection, they have an innate understanding and faith in how the World works, the energy that comprises everything that is, that there is a greater Universal consciousness that governs everything (whether you call this God or some other deity), and that when you have faith in these unseen powers you are protected, guided and held safe. You have faith that everything will work out, that there are lessons even in painful situations, and that you are powerful because spiritual beings are immortal (it is only our human body that dies).
When you think about these violent people, do you think they fall into the first or second category? I think the overwhelming response is that they fall into the first category. You never hear news reports that these mass murderers were spiritually connected; instead, we hear how they were isolated, fearful, and on the fringe of society. The first person is often backwards thinking, obsessed with perceived wrongs, afraid of the world, other people, circumstances of our current society, they feel victimized (whether true or not) and isolated to where they feel that lashing out (often resulting in their own death) is the only option. The second person is more forward thinking, they see meaning in every experience (whether good or bad), they have faith that there is a greater power who will lift them up and protect them, they see that they can make a positive difference based on their experiences, and they take positive action to benefit humanity.
The difference between these two people, who could have had similar traumatic situations, is that the first person has no faith, no hope, no connectedness to all that is and other living beings, and cannot feel the invisible yet powerful energy from those who guide and protect us (angels, ascended masters, God/universal power). They have no problem taking a human or animal life because they have no empathy. When you have no empathy, you are spiritually bankrupt.
So what do we do? Identify these people in your life or community and begin to draw them back to their spiritual foundation. Give them a book that helps them to reconnect, invite them to a meetup where these topics are discussed, have a one-on-one conversation. This may seem simplistic when it comes to stopping someone who is hell bent on taking a machine gun to a movie theater, but you never know what you could prevent.
We cannot leave the safety of our planet to national or world leaders, or organizations working on prevention. It starts at home and in our community. We all have a responsibility to share our spiritual light. After all, we are spiritual beings having a human experience, right? We need to ensure that as a human we do not forgot the spiritual foundation of who we are and to help those who have lost that connection.
I would love to hear your ideas on what else we can all do to help. Please post a comment and let’s keep the conversation alive.
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One thought on “Are we spiritually bankrupt?”
I totally agree, Allie. I think that, as a community, we need to take more responsibility for at-risk members. Looking at profiles of so many mass-shooters, it appears to be the same guy over and over again. We need to somehow help the parents, teachers and the young (mostly) men that are afflicted. I think a lot of times the parents knew their child was a time-bomb and the community resources are so limited to get them help.