By Dr Mac Carthy and Dr Dombroksi

During the last few weeks we have all felt the waves of sadness and anguish over the shootings in Las Vegas. This tragedy has echoed past losses and pain and triggered a national re-focusing on the fear and anxiety that seems, at times, to overwhelm us. In our personal lives and within the nation as a whole, this fear and instability seems to be creeping in from all fronts. Hurricanes are ravishing our beautiful islands of peace and tranquility and our leadership is questionable, unstable and unsteady. The ripples of fear seem to permeate our communities, our families and our homes.

I recently learned that the Japanese culture has a single symbol for the words “Crisis” and “Opportunity”.  The difference behind the symbol is a matter of context and perception. What a revelation! All it takes is an attitude shift to redefine your situation. When there seems to be a crisis at hand could it help to ask ourselves

“Where is the lesson in this difficulty?”

“ Where is the opportunity?”

“ How could I possibly re-envision this crisis as an opportunity to reframe my situation and make it more spectacular than before?”

What this question demands is a calm stepping away from the emotional hold and a broader look at the situation. What it demands is to step away from fear. It is out of the instability of fear that we make poor decisions and spin a more entangled web of desperation. But calm and peace instill control and level headed decision-making.

In my quiet moments of meditation what I keep returning to is a prayer that I learned as a child:

Let there be peace on Earth and Let it begin with me

 As I repeat this mantra I am struck by the calm it can instill and also by the power. If we can take a breath to step back and concentrate on the peace, stepping away from the mania and lack of control, then the peace and re-focusing can center us and remind us of our power and control.

As each of us strive to make sense of these senseless events in our lives let us remember to start with Peace. Instead of searching for peace in others, let it begin with me.

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