Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Forgive the Shooter

Yesterday I drove to the nearest large town, Reno, an hour away, to run some errands.  My 24 year old daughter lives in Reno where she works at Renown, Reno's largest hospital.

Anyway, we met for coffee and then she ran off to get ready for a big formal wedding that she and her girlfriends have been anticipating for months.  One of her two roommates was to be the Maid of Honor at the wedding.

My daughter had something weighing heavy on her heart which she wanted to discuss with me and I woke up this morning realizing that I, too, now had a forgiveness burden which needed to be released.  I thought I'd share the story with you since this sort of thing seems to be happening everywhere these days and it is bringing fear and anger into our everyday lives.

My daughter had just been to a funeral two days before.  Here's why...

A week or so before Christmas, I was out of town on business when I received a phone call from my daughter telling me not to be alarmed if I heard the day's news.  There was a shooting going down at Renown but my daughter was not on duty.  She didn't know much about it but she was safe at home.

As it turned out, the shooting happened in the Urology department and two doctors and a patient were shot before the shooter turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.  One doctor appears to have survived, although things are still critical and the patient will survive, too.  However, a male doctor was killed.  His last act before being shot was to lock the patient he was conferring with in his office, hoping she would be safe, and go out into the hallway to see if there was anything he could do to help the situation.

This male doctor, Charles Gholdoian, was the husband of one of the OB/GYN surgeons that my daughter works for. My daughter tells me that he was a lovely and generous man, his wife is a wonderful woman and skilled surgeon and that they were very much in love as a couple.  The whole thing is a terrible tragedy.  And, by the way, the other surviving doctor is a woman who was shot with buckshot through the right hand and arm.  She will never be a surgeon again.

Okay those are the terrible tragic facts.  The truth is that these days, we hear stories like this all the time.  What are we to do with these stories?  How are we to see these shooters and the terrible crimes they commit?

Here's the tough assignment.  We need to forgive these shooters and their actions.  The reason that we need to forgive them is that we need to forgive everything...EVERYTHING.  It is our job to forgive this entire crazy insane world and every crazy insane thing that happens here.  That means that ultimately, we have to forgive drug lords, Osama Bin Laden, Hitler and these shooters, too.

Of course, forgiving on this level is what I would call advanced forgiveness.  It's not something that is easy to do until you have developed an advanced forgiveness habit and in order to do that you need to be able to think about the world differently. This changed thinking usually takes some years to develop and it's not something I can explain easily in a few paragraphs here.  However, I am going to briefly touch on some of the concepts involved in this level of forgiveness so that you can start thinking about them.  If you find that you hear my words but you don't feel the truth in them yet, that's okay.  If you are on a pathway of forgiveness, you will understand them completely, eventually.

First of all, it is important to separate the act from the person.  We can learn to forgive the person without condoning the acts he or she committed.  When we forgive, it does not mean that we feel any differently about what the person did.  For example, in the case of this shooting, this was a terrible criminal act that has irrevocably and horribly changed the lives of innocent people.  Forgiving the shooter does not diminish in any way the horror of the act he committed. Also, if the shooter had survived he would definitely belong in jail.  Forgiving him does not change that fact.

We all need to realize that part of living in this crazy insane world is that we all act a little crazy and insane at different points in our lives.  Every one of us has been a little mean, selfish, judgmental, or critical somewhere, someplace or sometime.  Every one of us has been a little bossy or at least a tiny bit of a bully at some point in their lifetime.  It may have been just a little teeny bit, but that doesn't matter.  We've all participated.

And, we've all been a victim, even if it is just a little bit.  Perhaps we've been a victim of illness, gossip, check fraud, theft, etc.  There is no-one here that has never been victimized in some way.  We all participate in some form in bullying and victimization.

Also, we all experience loneliness, guilt, sadness, anger, hurt, rejection, worthlessness and fear.  There is no one alive on this planet that does not experience each of these feelings at least occasionally.

Remember also that there is only one mind.  I am a part of that mind.  You are a part of that mind.  The human condition includes all these behaviors and emotions.  It is who we are and we created it collectively as one mind.  We are all just experiencing it from different perspectives.

Now, you probably don't indulge the feelings of victimization, hurt, sadness, anger and rejection to quite the same level that this shooter did.  If you did, you'd be a shooter, too.  Keep in mind, however, that it is all on a spectrum.  If you've felt these feelings, and of course you have, then you are participating in the same thinking that led to this shooting.  We all do, all the time.

This thinking comes out of our ultimate decision to be separate from God.  It is ego thinking.  When we are thinking with the Holy Spirit, we do not think like this.

There are no levels in separation.  We're either with God, or we're not.  Therefore, in the grand scheme of things, there's no real difference between our feelings of fear and the way they play out in our minds and the shooters feelings of fear and the way they played out in his mind.  Yes, he allowed his feelings to amplify to the point where he lost control of himself.  However, his state of separation was the same as our state.  We are all choosing separation most of the time.

Think about this shooter's life a little bit.  He was described as a loner, lonely, alone.  What things might have happened in his past to cause him to live like this.  What brought him to this state?  What sorts of rejection did he experience in his lifetime?  Who abused him emotionally or physically to bring him to this?  Was he ever offered love?  Was it modeled in his family?  Was it modeled at his school during his childhood?   Was he loved and appreciated in his working life?  In what way did this crazy insane world contribute to the amplification of his wounds and fears?  Did anybody ever truly extend a helping hand of love to him...ever?  Was he offered a way out?

Importantly, we can offer that hand of love to him now.  Even though he is dead and in a different place.  Remember, there is no time or space and all minds are joined.  When we forgive him now, we are offering him healing, wherever he is and whenever he is.  And our act of forgiveness is working to heal the world.  We are healing the collective Mind with our forgiveness.

See him in his true light.  He is a Son of God.  He is loved and cherished by God.  God created him exactly in his own image.  God forgives everything.  God only knows goodness.  God only knows love.  God knows that the shooter's truth is actually love.  In heaven, our true state, we are all only love.  We are pure joy.  We are perfect peace.   There is only beauty.  He is God's beloved only son.  Forgive him.  Release him.  Bless him with love.

And in this act you are blessing and releasing us all.  You are raising us all to heaven and knowing our truth as brothers and sisters in God's love.

And,  this includes you.  You are a Son of God, too.  Your act of forgiveness shows you your true self.  It is your own personal act of salvation.

Available at:

No comments:

Post a Comment