Finding Light in a Dark World
I’m sitting here on a plane traveling home after a week at Disney World. A place where dreams come true and that is often called “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Where both children and adults can, at least for a while, be in a place where all is right in the world. A place where good always triumphs over evil and everyone lives happily ever after—if only.
On our last day, while riding the magical express, I checked in on social media and in an instant the magic faded, the light dissipated and darkness emerged.
Evil reared its ugly head.
This was no fairy tale with a happy ending, no battle where ultimately the hero charges in and saves the day. The news is devastating, heart wrenching and unfathomable.
Not kids, not an elementary school which somehow should be protected, shielded from this kind of hate. I sat stunned on that magical ride amongst all that happiness—such opposing emotions in effect.
So now I am heading back to a world different from the one that I just left, going back to a reality that is so hard to comprehend. I am searching desperately to find answers to many questions. How can things be different in this world? How do we change? What can I do? What can we collectively accomplish as a whole?
Fight for stronger gun controls? Yes. Demand better diagnostics and services for those with mental disabilities and disorders? Yes.
However, I believe these changes will only work at the surface of the problems—not to the deepest levels of which our world desperately needs. Our culture has become too accustomed to violence, hate and separateness. I believe the change must begin within.
By changing and working on ourselves, we can begin to change the whole.
But, where do we begin?
Start by looking at where the root of violence begins. Violence begins in our own thoughts—day to day thoughts toward ourselves and most importantly thoughts toward others. It begins in our interactions with our fellow human beings. How do you react when someone triggers you? How do you respond? We must begin to recognize that we are not separate. We are one. We must stop looking at matters using words like mine and yours, we and they. We must realize that we are all sharing the same universal and human space, experience and breath.
Begin by looking into the eyes of another and seeing their humanness.
It does not mean you have to agree on everything or even on anything. Just recognize their need for love as the same as your need. Think of them as your mirror. When you smile at them they smile back. When you show anger so do they. The law of cause and effect in full motion. Find understanding where you think you can’t. Find forgiveness when you think it’s impossible. Find compassion until it hurts. And above all else, choose kindness.
Instead of judging, accusing and blaming, choose instead to open your heart, take a breath and let it go.
Begin to pick your battles wisely or how about choosing to opt out of the battles all together? There can be no battle if one party does not participate. You’ll find most of them are not worth fighting—release grudges. You will find that in the big scheme of things, they lose importance.
If we start this process in our own minds and hearts we can slowly begin to change our families, our communities, our countries and our world. It begins with us not our lawmakers, senators, congressman—not even our president. They are not our knights in shining armor ready to charge in and rescue us—we are. Neighbor to neighbor, parent to parent, family member to family member, human to human, we are the answer.
So again, I sit here on this flight wondering what I can do to help. What can I give? All I have is the power of words. Words can heal. Words can bring about change. They can make a difference.
Please, I’m asking you to share these words that are written with the intent of inciting a change and a deeper awareness of what is so desperately needed at this time: love.
We need love for one another. The kind of universal love where the recognition is clear. We are one. We all want validation. We all want to know we matter.
Most of us will never be able to wrap our arms around a parent who lost their child at Sandy Hook Elementary. We probably will never get a chance to tell them how very sorry we are. But we can use this horrible event to help spread peace, compassion and universal love in the name and memory of those innocent angels who were taken away way too soon.
Please, I beg. We owe it to those parents who will never get to hold their precious children again. We owe it to them to change, to make a difference, to find the light in this often dark world and to somehow find our way back to Neverland.
Gina DuBois is a self-proclaimed 21st century yogi who enjoys the blending of her spiritual, enlightened side with her good-time girl persona. In addition to the role as owner of Hidden Haven Yoga Studio in the Hudson Valley, NY, she also holds roles as a wife, mother and writer off all things interesting. Her passions include helping her students find their own inner yogi, grooving on the dance floor, gourmet foods, fine wines and generally anything that will make her laugh out loud.
Editor: Maja Despot