cause and effect…and then reaction

Awareness is the greatest agent for change

 – Eckhart Tolle

Another Sunday morning…and more avoidable effects, followed by multiple reactions. Where one sits determines what one sees and no doubt, has impact on what they say, and how they react. The sadness of such senseless loss of life to such senseless violence is hard to take. If you have never lost a loved one to violence, perhaps you observe these events differently. Losing a loved one to violence – gun violence – brings up familiar feelings of loss; questions of what, why, how and when. If you have lost someone to gun violence, your what’s, why’s, how’s and when’s may be similar or different than mine. However, as I see the pain and anguish on the faces adults, themselves parents, siblings, or children and imagine the younger children whose parents are gone, the result of an unexpected and violent end to a necessary shopping trip or a fun night out, I imagine our questions are very much the same.

The fear in our collective is everywhere and is palpable. So much so, that even those who hold elective office or are seeking such a thing find it impossible to speak about what we all know deep inside is painful, horrific and somewhat preventable. Words have power. Surely we know that. There is cause; there is effect. There is reaction…and there is response.

The above quote by Eckhart Tolle was in my email inbox Sunday morning. Reading it and reflecting deeply on awareness in our collective helped me gain perspective on what I am observing rather than getting lost in the overwhelming sadness at the senseless loss of life. I am reminded that our unconscious reactions to events like these follows the effect of the cause. We often do not stop to consider the cause. Are we so busy that we cannot consider that the cause(s) which are the root of these devastating effects are where the true solutions lie; awaiting our opening to a deeper awareness?  Indeed the response we await is there…deep in the wound(s).

Chiron comes to mind to me today as well. “Chiron embodies the spirit of compassion and selfless service that all good physicians must have to master and practice the medical art. Through his supreme sacrifice, willingly given, Chiron gave mankind the art of healing. Chiron’s agonizing wound symbolizes the transformative power of illness and affliction. Through pain and suffering, our personal wounds, both psychic and physical, can transform themselves into sources of great moral and spiritual strength.” (From the website,; Greek Mythology: CHIRON: Father of Medical Art.)

So today, I wonder. Do we have the courage to look deeply at the causes, all of them over a long period of time, to heal these wounds? Can we step fully into the process of looking deeply at our own individual wounds, with the intention of healing them? Until and unless we take that first and most important step, we will not be effective at offering healing to the larger collective which has so many simmering wounds that burst forth in so many different ways.

Cause and effect are two sides of one fact.

 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cause and effect; reaction rather than response; these are related. If we keep moving, allowing our pain to fester, it will grow. How it will manifest is unknown even to us – within us or in those we observe. Is this the cause of so many violent events, our unhealed pain? Is the manifestation – the violent acts –  the effect? Do we then react in a variety of ways without knowing or considering the true cause in the first place? I believe the answers to all of these questions is a resounding “YES”.  When feelings are ignored, or we talk ourselves out of what we feel, we contribute to the wound(s). When we embrace our feelings, especially the difficult ones, we begin the important process of healing.

I made multiple investments in my healing when I lost a loved one to gun violence. I joined a grief support group; I continued psychotherapy and over the years I deepened my studies of universal truths. I sought various modalities for healing the mind/body and two years later, wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper in the locality where the loss occurred with some of my what’s, why’s, how’s and when’s related to the lack of action following the violent end of this loved one’s life.

Today, I ask that we all pause to consider the wounds we have which are awaiting our awareness. What are you feeling today? Why are you feeling this way? How can you take a first step to dive into the feelings to discover the root cause(s)? When will you give yourself the gift of peace within?

The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.
 – Brene Brown
I wish you peace.
I wish reconciliation for all peoples.
I wish you love.

18 thoughts on “cause and effect…and then reaction

  • Awareness and responsibility for our part and our own pain! Beautiful reflections and wisdom Carrie. We can’t change the situation but our presence within the chaos can bring deep love and calm or hate and oppression. We all get to choose which pathway. We all have an opportunity to contribute to this immense pain and deep healing. Sending love, peace and light to all who are affected.

    Liked by 3 people

  • So beautiful and heartfelt, my friend. I wish we could render the actions and motivations and means to do these things harmless. So many components here, and so complex. Kindness is the catalyst, but it’s nothing without action beyond this. I wish I knew the answers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Eli. Kindness is absolutely at the heart of our regard for ourselves and others. Our small acts really do make a difference, even in the midst of so much fear. Yes, many components and only as complex as we choose to make it – or any other challenges facing humanity at this moment. Complexity is a tool. Simplicity has solutions. They may be baby steps…they are steps in the right direction. Be well, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you and yes, indeed he is. What is so traumatic in any of these sudden losses, is the violent and unexpected nature of them. We are often left to question so many things about life…and the words of many spiritual leaders and teachers as well as philosophers of old, can be comforting. It’s tough to see or accept these tragedies and often, the comforting words, in the early days of such events. That is why our grieving is such an important part of our healing. So that we are clear and resolute about how the love we feel can be energized to serve a greater purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Carrie, your profound reflections touched me deeply. I still don’t have the words to express the depth of my sadness for your loss and respect for the wise and compassionate ways you have learned to forgive and understand the dynamics that continue to lead to ongoing violence. Sending hugs and love. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, dear Carol. I appreciate the hugs and love. Indeed we all need this from each other so that we can give it to each other.

      The story is very sad and tragic…as all sudden gun violence deaths are. As I have become a more objective observer of the human tragedies that continue to unfold before us all, I see more of the deeper causes which continue existing, completely unaddressed. Until and unless fear is no longer used as a tool inflicted upon the masses for the purpose of supporting the wealthy, these tragedies will continue.

      My prayer is that more and more people will wake up; will begin to understand the power of their voices and choices to affect change at all levels; will know the importance of healing their internal wounds and will make contributions to the collective by making choices which serve ALL rather than the few.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ending fear, competition for resources viewed as scarce, “othering,” and violence are all inextricably intertwined. I share your prayers that more people will awaken to the reality that life on our only planet could be so different if we learn to live in peace with each other and in harmony with nature. Lately, I have been reflecting on the work of Lawrence Kohlberg in terms of moral development ( and Carol Gilligan’s ethic of care ( I honestly don’t know how to help people who don’t seem to want to change and will only superficially do so in response to “power over” strategies. All that does, though, is increase resistance to change. Maybe that’s enough if it stops some of the most egregious harm?

        Liked by 2 people

      • I feel it’s about how we are living our individual truth as conscious sentient beings. Sometimes all we can do is live our best lives. A critical mass of sentient beings living their lives in loving kindness to self and others can make a huge difference. We cannot change others. We can only heal and thereby change ourselves. And THAT can make a difference. Thank you for the links, dear Carol. I will review them.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Yes, the collective consciousness of the planet is becoming overwhelmed with the negative. We most surely try to stay positive, try to raise the vibration of this lovely planet. Take care and thank you for visiting and following my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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