How must it feel to be a child today hearing about terrorist acts all around the world?
How must it feel when they occur in the child’s own hometown, and, even more confronting, when the child is affected by that violence, whether directly or indirectly?
Standing in the shoes of a woman in her 50s, I can’t speak for such a child, but as my own children are travelling through Europe at the moment, I certainly know what it feels like to be grateful for every text and message that says, bottom line, ‘we are okay’. Having grown up with a mother who went through the Holocaust, and a father who had to emigrate from Egypt due to anti-Semitism, I know what it’s like to be a child feeling that the world is not a safe place.
How, then, do we reassure our children?
I remember the eleven-year-old in my Mastery Club program whose mother was travelling overseas. During the period that she was away an airplane crashed and he was understandably terrified that this might be her fate too. Logic tells us that for the few who experience disasters, many thousands more travel quite safely; logic also tells us that we don’t know when our number is up. So how do we reassure our children?
First, we must reassure ourselves.
Children respond to us emotionally, energetically, and so they’ll sense if we are talking rubbish or if we really mean what we’re saying. I’ve always felt impatient with parents in movies, books or ‘real life’ who promise children things they cannot possibly promise.
We cannot promise that terrorism or war will not cross our children’s paths, so we shouldn’t do so; far better to teach attitudes and skills that will empower them if they do find themselves in terrifying circumstances.
How, then, do we reassure ourselves, since that jigsaw piece must be in place if we are to comfort children?
Before I unfold the model that has been working for me, let me add that we can’t know how we are likely to respond to a crisis until we get there, but if we have at least considered the possibility, there is a chance that we will deal with it better than if we have never given it any thought at all.
The ‘head in the sand’ position that ‘I won’t think about it and then it won’t happen’, is possibly more an attractor of the Fates than a protector from them, since one law of life is the principle that ‘what we resist, persists’.
Here’s the model that has been working for me.
I acknowledge that I am living in an intelligent, law-bound universe.
An example of this intelligence is the fact that our bodily systems reflect the whole to an uncanny degree – chiropractors tell us that the spine reflects the whole body, iridologists tell us that the iris reflects the whole body, foot reflexologists tell us that the sole of the foot reflects the whole body, and on it goes. Co-incidence? I don’t think so.
Another example of intelligence is the fact that the foetus moves through every grand evolutionary stage of ‘man’ in its own mini evolution. Co-incidence? I don’t think so.
Yet another example of this intelligence is the ‘sign of nature’ (or signature) in every food that indicates which part of the body it nourishes or heals. The carrot is well known: its signature, the iris, is found in a cross-section of any carrot, and folk wisdom tells us that carrots are good for the eyes. Following this same principle, walnuts look like and are good for the brain, tomatoes look like and are good for the heart, womb-like avocados are surprisingly good for a woman’s reproductive system…
Then we can look to the extraordinary mirroring of the subatomic universe in its galactic counterpart, and again be stunned by the intelligence that appears to surround us. Did you know that our bodies contain all of the elements that can be found in the cosmos? The micro mirrors the macro
And, of course, we have a set of fairly immutable laws such as the Law of Gravity, that apply everywhere in the cosmos for all time rather than in a whimsical now-and-then, here-and-there fashion.
If intelligent design is in evidence throughout our physical world, what makes us think it’s missing from our personal and interpersonal lives?
Whether we see divinity in these indications of intelligence comes down to our individual philosophies. To me, the evidence of a Grand Organised Design does suggest some kind of Designer, but I’m not at all interested in authoritarian biblical gods; I’m much more convinced by a unifying energy that governs all life. If someone is going to die, I don’t think it’s because God-in-heaven wanted him or her at His side for some reason; it makes more sense to me that that person was somehow ‘complete’ here or has, at some level, chosen to go.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
For some reason, most of us can accept an orderly universe at the physical level but not at the level of our personal lives, and yet why should these principles stop there?
Laws like the Law of Polarity, the Law of Conservation, and the Law of Symmetry govern us even if we are not fully aware of them – and they govern us at both physical and emotional levels.
The Law of Polarity tells us that no experience is one-sided because everything exists in a state of polarity. We have light and dark, male and female, hot and cold, in and out, up and down, kind and cruel, and so on. Every experience has its opposite and no experience or person can be located solely at either end of the continuum; each extreme can only be known by comparison with its opposite and holds the seed of the other within it.
The Law of Conservation tells us that nothing is created or destroyed; it merely changes form. In other words, we will never eradicate war or terrorism; it will merely change form or location. Therefore developing the skills to deal with confronting people and experiences should be a prime responsibility of a sound education!
The Law of Symmetry tells us that the universe is constantly seeking homeostasis, and so opposites are drawn together in order to create equilibrium; aggressive and timid people are drawn together so that each party will become more balanced and whole.
This is a big topic and one that doesn’t fit easily into one article, but let me finish by saying that the more one understands these laws, the less frightening are world events because we know that we live in an intelligent, law-bound universe and things don’t just randomly ‘happen to us’; at some level we ‘call’ our experiences to us because of those laws. If people die and we are living in a chaotic universe, it’s natural to feel sad, shocked, upset, but if people die and we are living in an intelligent, law-bound world, then we must conclude that their deaths are not random accidents but, at some level, there is meaning, whether we are able to perceive it or not.
Understanding this helps us to centre ourselves and therefore to be more useful to our unsettled children. Children have magnificent imaginations that can be used constructively or destructively: we can leave them to construct frightening images about terrorist events and a world that is out of control, or we can reveal to them the laws governing their world and show them how to trust that events are not as random or disturbing as they may appear to be.
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About the Author
Liliane Grace is a prize-winning author, inspirational speaker and writing coach. Her unique ‘personal development’ novel, The Mastery Club® – See the Invisible, Hear the Silent, Do the Impossible, shows children and teens how to achieve their goals and dreams. She presents lively talks and workshops for adults and youth on a range of topics to do with writing, self-awareness, natural laws, and growth, and offers a writing, editing, and ghost-writing service. Liliane's websites are: www.themasteryclub.com,
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