I’ve not written a single comment, or expressed a single public opinion or thought on the events of this week in Manchester. I’ve just not felt qualified to offer anything other than personal emotions and felt that I do not deserve to express public emotions when I consider what those who has lost their loved ones are going through right now.
I was driving back home from the gym listening to the radio on the morning after the attack and as the media were trying to relay events and explain what had gone on, it was mentioned that some teenagers and children were still missing – it would not be until later that we’d all find out that eight year old Saffie Rose Roussos died in the attack and it is only now that we continue to find out who the other people are that lost their lives – and as I drove into the road I live in, I saw my wife walking up the street, holding hands with our daughter and son. My son in his school uniform, including his shorts and school cap, turned around, saw me and waved with a huge smile on his face which flooded me with emotion. Such a small thing that I take for granted, that brings those moments of joy and happiness that I could not bare to be without. My eyes filled with tears.
I felt pathetic, I felt sorry and I felt guilty. Guilty because I believed I had no right to be sad. I had my smiling children and the families of all 22 of those who were killed in Manchester had now had pain, loss and a void in their lives. All in all, it made me think I was being unjustifiably melodramatic because I had not been directly effected.
So as I mentioned already, I said nothing and did not comment beyond discussing it with my wife as I tried to make some sense. Perhaps I was more emotional because we’ve not had enough sleep in our house this past week (there has been a lot of sickness bugs in our house recently) or because my imagination was running wild or for any one of a huge number of reasons I was coming up with. As I considered the wider elements of what had happened here, I simply failed to be able to comprehend how anyone, however extreme, whatever cause they hold strongly, can justify the loss of any life, let alone that of those who are still so young. I could not comprehend how anyone can place such low value on human life, and how anyone can think that violence and death can ever create any kind of healthy resolution.
There were plenty of people with plenty to say on many levels, but I felt unable and unjustified to comment or respond in any way at that stage.
Then I watched the vigil in Albert square in Manchester, I watched the footage of the city where I lived for three years while studying at the University of Manchester, that I had such a fondness for. I listened to some of the words from the people present and saw the outpouring of grief and emotion. I saw how important that shared emotion was to so many, and how important it was for people to have permission to express themselves openly and freely. I recognised that I had been directly effected, that we all have been in whatever way – the thoughts, the feelings, the reflections, the emotions are all an effect.
The thing that has really struck me since then, has been the words of families, Manchester locals, Manchester United football supporters at last night’s Europa League Cup final who all offered a defiant message to the world, one of bravery and courage and a refusal to back down or hide away out of fear. That was it, I had been fearful; fear of ever suffering the same fate, fearful of the callous mind’s of a minority, fearful of how the world might be, fear of ever not being able to see my son smiling cheekily at me for a fleeting second. Fear is the aim of terrorists.
My mantra at many times that I have struggled with life has always been to do all I can to fear less and love more, and in writing this today, I wanted to do that. I still feel some apprehension about writing or commenting in any way, so much so that I’ve not felt it in any way appropriate to use any kind of photos here in this article, or add tags to the page or anything, I wanted it to be a pure opinion piece to those who read my blog regularly and those who know me – and the one way I feel I can contribute something positive to any of this is by sharing a message of loving more and fearing less.
For anyone reading this, I’d like to help you love more and fear less, so I’m giving my audio track “Using Hypnosis To Enjoy the Scientific Benefits of Loving Kindness” to anyone and everyone completely free. We’re not sending you to our store to grab it, we just want people to have it, so here is a direct link to a download page – importantly though, use it. It is massively courageous and brave and is a major contribution to the world to express love and kindness in the face of such adversity.
I’ve been revisiting the words of Mahatma Gandhi, and wanted to share them here also:
“Love never claims, it ever gives; Love never suffers, never resents, never revenges itself. Where there is love there is life; hatred leads to destruction.”
“Where there is love, there is life.”
“The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.”
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
Thank you for reading, thank you for understanding, thank you for fearing less and loving more.