Joy in The Face of Pain?

All of us lose loved ones over the course of our lives. The pain of those losses especially sharp during the holiday season.  The events in Connecticut this last week have been especially tragic.  We find ourselves dazed, sad, angry, and fearful.  We want to do something to reach out to reassure ourselves that our world can be safe and caring. How can we experience the joys of the Holiday season at a time like this?

Many times, when we face tragedy, we look at it from the present moment.  It can fuel quick action. Other times, after the initial emotions subside, we dismiss it and go on with our lives. Rather than acting on the negative emotion or dismissing it we can choose the practice of calming, embracing, and looking deeply into the pain, honoring our suffering in an empathetic and supportive way.   It taps into our hunger for the sacred and a deeper spiritual power.  A deeper spiritual message emerges and we begin to view it from a broader perspective.  The pain transforms to an energy the helps us to create new intentions and new actions. 

When we look at the challenges of the shootings this year, we can see deep societal issues -- a need to reduce the emphasis on violence, healthy role models for boys, and the need to have restrictions on assault weapons to name a few. We can each be sensitive to these issues and take new actions within our awareness of the values that are important to us.  All actions count, no action is too small. When we honor our deeper values in memory of those important to us, they stay with us in spirit.  

Let us heal ourselves by using these painful experiences to honor the those in Connecticut increasing our awareness of the problems, and taking new action in their honor.  It gives deep meaning to our lives and an appreciation of the power of spirit to bring us through adversity. 

Perhaps this is the essence of the Joy of this season, -- the ability of our higher spirit to bring us through pain and tough times.