Back Pain, ChristChurch & Making Sense of it All
“Morning! How are you?” I asked, my voice groggy with sleep and pain.
“Urm, I’m good, just so saddened and shocked to hear the news from New Zealand, this morning…”
“I haven’t seen the news yet,” I cut in, trying to speak quickly through the pain eating through my back and legs. “I’m just calling to let you know I won’t be able to cover today’s shoot…”
And that was how my morning began today, Friday 15th March 2019. My colleague’s words had me intrigued though, so as soon as the call ended, I headed to social media on my phone to see what she was talking about. ‘CHRISTCHURCH SHOOTING, 49 DEAD’, I saw emblazoned across my phone screen. Immediately, I felt sickened, my stomach sinking, my heart beginning to pound – imagining this to be an attack on churchgoers by another crazy gunman in America, just from the title.
Then I saw friend after friend posting status updates with words similar to, “Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’un. May Allah grant our Muslim brothers and sisters taken in this deadly attack on a mosque in New Zealand, the highest ranks of Jannah.”
Errr sorry, what?
I quickly clicked on the first news article on my news feed and suddenly realised the truth of what had actually happened, my blood feeling like it was curdling in my veins, while goose bumps suddenly appeared all over my skin. I just had no words. Nothing.
Of course, it didn’t matter who the victims were, or what faith they followed – but identifying as Muslim myself, just the fact that this was an attack on Muslim worshippers in their place of worship, hit really close to home for me. Allowing what had happened to sink in for a while after the initial shock of the news, I suddenly realised that actually, this wasn’t really much of a surprise. News like this was to be expected in the current climate of fear and hostility around Muslims, and what was actually more surprising was that attacks like this were not happening (or making the news) more often.
I remember when I was around 22, while going though the beginning stages of my spiritual awakening, I went through quite an angry, frustrated and helpless period, when it came to dealing with world events, atrocities and the larger agenda that keeps us all in our ‘places’; attending rallies and protests, and sending out daily tweets and status updates about the injustices of this world. I was just so angry and sad a lot of the time, and I felt like I had to keep physically doing things to play my part in bringing about change.
Now things are different. Although events like this do still sadden and frustrate me, I guess I’m now just much more aware of how this world functions and I just don’t feel the need of adding to the noise out of a reactionary state. Social media is such a noisy place to be most of the time, but when a major event like this occurs, it can be pretty much impossible to hear yourself think, let alone allowing yourself to just be. I try to stay away when stuff like this happens, to give me the space and time to reconnect with the whole, to pray and meditate, and accept it all for what it is.
Muslim worshippers being shot dead while attending their Friday prayers at the hands of a male white, right wing extremist really does not come as a surprise. What else would you expect after an 18-year long campaign against Islam and Muslims; an 18-year long campaign of breeding hate and Islamaphobic attitudes; an 18-year long campaign of dividing and conquering, so the West can continue to play out their own War of Terror in Islamic countries and have it be justified?
It is no wonder that the people who commit these acts are as lost, confused and broken as they are; seeing Muslims as the other, seeing immigrants as the other. Not understanding that we are all truly one, and allowing the racist, Islamaphobic, classist and sexist agendas put in place by our world leaders to infiltrate and destroy them, so they feel they have no other choice but to go out and destroy, too.
To be honest, I’m penning out these words to make sense of how I feel because it’s just currently such a mixed jumble of emotions. I am just so fed up of all the hate that exists in this world and why so many of us are so extremely adamant on focussing on our differences as barriers that divide us, rather than embracing our differences as the multi-faceted, beautiful things that contribute to us being human, all in our own unique way.
It has been said over and over and over again, but I will say it again – I have to say it again. Despite all of our differences, WE ARE ALL HUMAN – made of the same matter and energy, and each of us an individual part of this vast cosmic orchestra that is this Universe. Uni – Verse. One Song. Each of us contributing our own sounds to complete the melody. When we realise that – each and every one of us – maybe we can create a song that we can all dance to.
What I will say to those who are feeling angry, sad, frustrated and helpless right now, is the following:
- Take a step back, and breathe. The Internet is really not the best place to be when everyone is making so much noise. Step back, breathe, pray, meditate. It will bring you a sense of peace and allow you space to send out prayers and good vibes to those affected.
- Understand that you are not insignificant and that each and every one of us play a part in how this world functions. We all contribute to the whole and with more of us vibrating at higher frequencies, we can truly impact the collective consciousness and make this world a better home for us all. Become the change that you wish to see. Embody and embrace love, kindness, forgiveness, empathy, compassion – work towards becoming your highest self, and don’t allow anything or anyone to lead you off-track.
- Send love to every one, regardless of who they are and what they have done. This might shock you, but even send love to the man that carried out these horrific acts earlier on today. He clearly needs it more than most.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, in what is one of the most powerful speeches I’ve heard,
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
There is not much more left to say.
Peace, Light & Love, always.