08 Sep 2011
- Written by Lucy Shaw
Since the events of 9/11/2001, we are most familiar with “9/11” through the prism of this tragedy, which changed much of life as we knew it in the United States. The first time that I had to show my driver’s license for identification after that event, the clerk looked at me with sadness and said, “Oh how awful it must be for you to have this as your birthday.” Before that moment, I had never considered the two as being related.
On the morning of 9/11/2001, I was up early getting dressed for an 8:30 a.m. flight to New York City for a class on Natural Healing. Living in Jackson, Tenn. at the time, I had spent the night with a friend in Memphis to avoid being late for the flight. I turned on the television to get the weather report and was at first shocked by what I thought was a hoax of some sort as I watched the first plane charging into one of the towers.
I walked away from the TV shaking my head, only to return as I could not tune out the newscasters stunned reporting. Finally, it registered as factual. I stopped getting dressed, knowing I would not be going to New York, and sat down like most of the rest of America to try to process this living horror in real time.
The power of television brought these events into my friend’s home, my vision and my consciousness. These visions became indelibly imprinted on my mind and the minds of those watching for days and now, years, on end. The horror and implied personal and national threat and audacity of it was such that I locked it away in a safe place somewhere in my subconscious mind so that I did not have to address all of its implications. I accomplished this by seeking a way to blame somebody, somewhere of a very evil conspiracy. This way, it didn’t have to touch me personally because that meant “they” were responsible and of course, I have no control over “them.”
However, when that cashier linked my birth date with this event I had to make a conscious decision about how I would personally relate to “9/11.”
So, I asked myself, “What was born that day in 2001?” For many it was the birth of a new kind of fear, outrage, despair and a loss of innocence. No matter who “they” were that did this thing, it was a reminder not unlike other willful, human holocausts of the intentionality of evil and terror. This evil makes its appearance on large and small scales every day. It shows up in the small and large acts of meanness, intimidation, racism and separateness we all endure. All of these are acts of fear – the fear that there is not enough!
But, on Sunday, I will celebrate mine and Sasha’s birthday knowing that there is enough. There is enough love, forgiveness, compassion, empathy, life, health, wealth and so much more to go around. We live in a world where beautiful souls are being born every day, welcomed or not. We still live in a nation where the freedom to worship, to be educated, to think freely is valued. As individuals we still have the gift of free will. On Sunday, just as every other day, I will CHOOSE to be an instrument of Peace. Taking the lyrics from the Christmas song celebrating birth: “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,” I will choose to take responsibility for what I can do as a majority of One with God.