Another Perspective On Shootings

A few days ago, a man walked into our local mall (Cascade Mall, Burlington, WA), and opened fire with a rifle, killing five people. It was horrifying and scary, and because it took three hours just to clear the mall itself, while stores and buildings within a mile range were locked down, people sat in a state of panic for hours. People were afraid for their lives while this man walked free. Most people didn’t know that he had left the rifle in the mall after the shooting. But those who did know, didn’t know if he would gain access to another gun after he left the mall.

After a tense day of waiting for news of capture, we finally heard. The suspect was captured and is being held on a $2 million bail. He’s in jail.

Since the shooting, people have been gathering, sharing their grief, their sadness, their fear, their terror. There have been candle light vigils, and memories of another mass shooting in our area in September of 2008. People’s hearts are breaking and they are reaching out to each other in support. They are being stirred up in a very big way.

A local Facebook page that shares news picked up on police scanners, reported the shooting and posted updates as more information came in. Now that the suspect has been detained, comments on the page are largely along the lines of wanting the shooter to die a painful death for his crimes. In our society of an eye for an eye and everyone wanting retribution, this is no surprise.

When we’re in pain, we think that making someone who is “to blame” feel as much or more pain, will make our pain go away. In fact, it might lessen our pain for a moment, but it doesn’t make our pain go away, because our pain always comes from within our hearts. The only way to lessen your pain is to go into your heart and deal with it.

I was thinking about this man who brought a rifle into a department store and shot several people. Why would he do this? What was his motivation? These were not people that he knew. They hadn’t personally done him wrong. What happened? The first thing that crossed my mind was that he probably has some mental health issues going on, so I texted his photo to a friend of mine who is very psychic, and asked her to read his mental health status. I told her absolutely nothing about him.

The first thing she texted was, “Oh man… bad shape.” I replied with, “I figured. Didn’t know if schizophrenia was involved.”

She responded with, “Oh ya … lots of folks roaming around in there.” (This is a hallmark of schizophrenia).

Then, “Who is this?”

I told her it was a man who shot up our local mall and killed five people. After letting me know she’d seen the story on the news, she mentioned that she’d been to that mall (five or so years ago when she was in my area for a few months). Then she told me something that gave me chills. “Funny thing… when I was there at the mall, I told my brother that trouble was going to land there some day and it would be ugly. It bothered me that I could not remove that destiny.” (There are times when you can do something to shift events to come – and times when an event must play out.)

I commented back that I hoped that the victims’ souls all crossed completely over with no pain or trauma incurred. She let me know that because an event like that was planned by all souls involved, their souls often leave the body before the bullet even hits them. The pain and trauma are with the people left behind. The purpose of the event is lessons for those left behind.

The purpose of events like this is for what happens afterwards. It’s for the vigils. It’s to bring people back to their faith. It’s to bring people together in tough times. It’s to remind us of what we all share in common. Our common humanity. Our community. Our oneness.

It’s to break our hearts. It’s to break our hearts wide open. It’s to allow our compassion for our fellow man to flow again. It’s to remind us that we not only carry the capacity for tremendous love and compassion, but that we ARE love and compassion.

News media will do what they have to in order to attract attention and thus make money off of this “story.” People will act out from their places of pain. Great debates about gun control and lack of mental health services will rise up again. People will be stirred into action to promote this cause or that.

But ultimately, when painful events like the one my small community experienced a few days ago happen, I see the bigger picture as one where we are given a huge opportunity to open our hearts and choose love and compassion over fear. Doing so, literally raises the overall vibration of our planet.

Instead of being afraid that we will become the next victim, know that if we ever are a person who gets gunned down in public place for all the world to see, our soul has made the agreement to do so (usually before we are born). These things are not random. One thing I learned a while back is that no one dies without permission. If it is not agreed upon by your soul and by God, you will not die.

We have the choice of how to react when things deep inside us are stirred up in a very big way. We can choose to let our fears of death and our fears of pain drive our behaviors. Or we can find another perspective that allows fear and anger to be experienced and then move through. We don’t have to grab onto these painful emotions and keep them with us.

We now have the choice to hold a place of compassion in our hearts for everyone who is in pain. We can choose to open our hearts wide and bring in more love, remembering that we are all in it together.