A little girl named Alexa stopped last Saturday with her Aunt and grandparents to feed a horse on the side of the road-something I have done a dozen times with my own children. It was five in the afternoon in a rural area. A car literally came out of nowhere and careened into the pre-schooler, Aunt and the horse. The car was moving so violently it then bounced into the grandparents sitting in the parked vehicle. The Aunt was gravely injured and the grandparents were also hurt. Alexa died in the ICU at Children’s Hospital a few hours later. She was 4 years old.
By all accounts this little girl was the most beautiful, vivacious and spirited child. Her mother is known as one of the most caring and excellent educators in our area. How could this happen? Why does this happen? How does a parent go on after something like this?
My first immersion with John Friend he talked about one of the most important aspects of the Absolute- intrinsic goodness. The philosophy follows that all aspects of the Absolute- The Divine- live in us as well. We are manifested from that same flow of Grace. Therefore- at our essence- our true nature is one of goodness. Life is good.
I have to say- I had a hard time buying that one. I have lost friends, co-workers and my father. I watch horrific things on the news every night. How can this be good? How can we be good when it is evident that so much suffering and evil surrounds us? I left that immersion feeling very confused about what John had said. I kept questioning it and having this internal battle over how such a thing could be true. It wasn’t until later that I came across something John had wrote that helped me understand better what he was getting at.
He said bad things happen- it was how we responded to them that was the key. We choose in Anusara to respond with more love- more beauty.
I think that is the hardest thing in the world to do. To choose to respond to the dark with light. It is so very easy to stay with the dark- to curl up and stop living- to hate and wallow in that blackness. But who are you serving? We just keep creating more dark- more anger- more hatred. We want to chose to create more light- more beauty- more love. It sounds easy and almost childish in its wording, but really, it is one of the most difficult of choices.
In the infamous case of the Amish schoolchildren- the Amish community completely forgave the man that had murdered 5 little girls n their classroom before killing himself. It became a international news story- the fact that people could forgive such a horrendous crime. The coverage of the story changed overnight to be not the horrible facts of the crime, but the idea that people could actually forgive someone. In some ways people found that more shocking than the crime.
Our world is not one that feels so connected to something greater- God, the Divine, the Universe, whatever words you chose -that we feel supported to choose the light- we more often choose the dark. This little girl’s parents even in the midst of their tragedy tried to chose light. They chose to donate her organs- to save other children. They asked that all cards and flowers instead be replaced by donations to the Children’s Hospital ICU- to save more children. They tried to bring some light to someone else’s darkness and in the process may have brought some light into their own dark time.
I still don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I still struggle with what I see in the world around me but I go back and I remember…I remember that I can chose to respond with love, beauty- and more light…even when it seems impossible.