Thursday, 1 June 2017
I found myself weeping into my lunch as I listened to the news about the bombing of a pop concert in Manchester that had killed and injured many people, including children. I think it was the injury to those young people and the lasting effects it would have on the lives of many children that particularly affected me.
Over the ensuing days as I heard more reports of how people responded to this event I was further moved by the kindness shown: the people at the scene just after the explosion who offered first aid, the taxi drivers helping people to get home. One story I heard was of a taxi driver who had been booked to take two children home but he couldn't park near the arena. He walked to find them, took them back to his cab then drove them safely home. I heard of other taxi drivers taking people home without charge and of hotels and restaurants offering food and shelter to those who had been affected. I found this outpouring of human kindness a wonderful response to this awful situation.
When something so terrible happens it is human to react with anger. The Reiki principles encourage us 'Just for today do not anger', but anger is a normal part of grief, so are we being told not to allow these feelings? I don't think this is what is meant: I think we are being encouraged to let go of the anger and look at what is beneath it. My father (a psychiatrist) taught me that beneath any anger is pain. Reiki has taught me that in grief it can be very difficult to accept that the loss has happened and this denial leads to the pain and anger. I have learned, through Reiki treatments, to allow the feelings - so my tears when I heard of the bombing were the beginning of healing.
In Reiki healing we understand that the true cause of illness lies at the mental, emotional and spiritual levels. The young man who carried out the bombing was clearly ill because no balanced and healthy person could kill in that way. The underlying causes may have been anger that, instead of being healed, was fostered and encouraged by others. So if I am angry with him and seek revenge in some way I am falling ill, infected with the same sickness. The Reiki principle 'Just for today do not anger' is the antidote. Allowing the feelings of pain and sadness under the anger enables me to move through this moment towards healing.
So I have been very impressed with the people of Manchester and beyond whose response in general has not been to hate those responsible for this atrocity, but to offer loving kindness as an antidote. Perhaps if more love had been offered to the bomber, instead of fostering of his anger and hatred, he might still be alive today with a life to benefit others ahead of him. As it is he was infected with a terrible illness caused by anger that took his life and that of too many other young people.