My heart bleeds when I see the pictures of the wedding in the Turkish town of Gaziantep that was brutally ripped apart by a suicide bomb. At least 54 people died and even more got wounded. It’s horrible and deeply saddening.
Watching these pictures I feel for the photographers too. My whole body remembers how it is to be a witness to such overwhelming pain. How, as a reporter, you have to harden your soul, become cynical in order to cope with each new event. After two decades of reporting on violent conflicts in Turkey and the Middle East I couldn’t anymore. Something in me got broken so profoundly that I left journalism. This step propelled me onto a journey in search of healing.
My heart also goes out to the bomber, only 12 or 14 years old. Poor, misguided child. I wonder if he or she even knew what the vest was s/he was made to wear. Did someone detonate it with a remote control? Or was the child filled with hatred and rage by a recruiter, and made to believe that the atrocity it was about to commit was serving a good cause?
I try to understand the people who turned this child into a mass murderer. And I think I’m not the only one who comes to the conclusion that at the root of their mindset lies pain, an immense pain that can only be remedied by inflicting pain. I believe it is the outcry of people who have been brutalised by their regimes with the support of the West which claims to defend human rights, people upon whose houses and families bombs (often from the West) have been raining for years. Those terrorists who have left the safety of Europe where they were born and raised feel the pain out of empathy with their fellow Muslims in the Middle East, a bit like I used to feel the pain of the people I was reporting on.
Their and my reactions were very different, and both wrong. I didn’t help anyone by internalising other people’s suffering. And lashing out in revenge only creates more hatred, more violence, which then needs to be avenged again. The world is spinning into a dangerous spiral that might end up destroying a lot more than we want.
Violence and conflict certainly bring change, but as far as I’m concerned it’s the easy way out (if it is a way out at all). The primitive way, if you wish. I believe we humans are capable of more. It is time to tap into our spiritual resources to prevent the annihilation of what is dear to us. We in the West should take the lead.
A lot of the recent violence is done in the name of religion, which should be a form of spirituality. ‘People want to be religious,’ says Karen Armstrong, a formidable religious scholar from Britain. Unfortunately most people have forgotten the Golden Rule which is at the core of all great religions, first recorded by Confucius in 500 B.C.:
‘Do not do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.’
Armstrong’s mission is to make the world return to the Golden Rule, and with that purpose she founded The Charter for Compassion.
I wholeheartedly subscribe to the Charter,and invite you to do the same. I acknowledge it is not easy to feel compassion for cruel and horrible people, and don’t even claim that I can always do it, but it is the most effective way to change them. Why?
In my current work as psychoenergetic healer I am constantly confronted with the power of our thoughts and emotions. After analysing the exact origin and nature of a blockage I release stuck negative energy from my clients’ systems in order to help them get better both physically and psychologically. Relief is often instantaneous. It is now generally accepted that we can ‘think ourselves sick’, but I often find negativity projected by someone else into my clients’ energy field, is part of what causes their discomforts. For me it is beyond doubt that negativity (like hatred, or wishing someone dead) from one person can seriously affect another. Imagine what happens when this negativity comes from a whole group of people.
Recently I did a little presentation on the power of thought. You can watch a recording below and consider again what a positive energy like compassion could do for our world.