Like many around the country, I have been rendered almost speechless by the events that unfolded in Cleveland earlier last week. The words unfathomable, unforgivable, reprehensible and inhuman are several that do come to mind as more and more details are revealed.
While the three women, one child and their very, very ill perpetrator each have their own soul growth to contemplate from this positively incomprehensible situation, I wonder what can possibly be the lesson at the heart of it for the millions of us who are now privy to such unspeakable horror.
The one word that has been coming to me again and again throughout this coverage is FREEDOM. We often take it for granted. We often tether ourselves to our own kind of prisons through our very own thinking. We often energetically incarcerate others through our judgments and expectations.
This case highlights the absolute extreme example of losing one’s freedom in ALL areas—food, shelter, sexuality, fresh air, nature, sunlight, movement, education, water, hygiene, clothing, friendship, family, engagement, passion, interest, curiosity, relationship, children, and more—a total loss of freedom that is absolute, unequivocal hell on earth for the soul.
The soul is freedom itself. I can think of no other word that more accurately describes the essence of a soul than freedom. The freedom to experience and choose. The freedom to change and grow. The freedom to self-express. The freedom to be a vehicle of love or the opposite.
The abductor sure got to relish his freedom to choose. But the women and young girl, they lost everything, including the very nature of who and what they are—free beings.
We could certainly get into the larger metaphysical aspects of soul agreements, non-duality, and oneness here. Likewise, we could move into the more human aspects of mental health and law enforcement, as well. And finally, we could simply remain stuck in the horror of it all, the layers upon layers of story that shroud most from true self-examination. But, my feeling is that none of those directions of dissection will serve us best.
If we really desire to honor the three women and child in this case, then from my perspective, we honor them best and serve the world most, by taking the time to fully and completely contemplate the value of freedom—how we both allow it and disallow it in our own lives and the lives of others.
Do we cultivate true choice for ourselves and others without strings, attachments, judgments, resentments and guilt? Do we foster for ourselves and others personal truth over societal norms and the status quo? Do we invite ourselves and others to honor soul resonance over conformity? Do we really allow others to be fully themselves in our presence? Do we create an openness within our own families for each individual to live true? Do we use our vote to promote the best possible paths for human rights and freedom? Do we take on other people’s problems as our own? Do we love ourselves enough to be whole and free?
If we get really, really quiet and still enabling us to enter that deep space within where we meet our soul, we may find that our greatest fear isn’t even death, but rather the loss of the ability to live as free beings—a kind of death while still alive.
To become imprisoned as a natural consequence of a behavioral choice negatively impacting others is one thing, and certainly more easily accepted by the soul as the natural aspects of cause and effect. But to lose freedom in the way that these women and child lost theirs, is as unnatural to the soul as any human experience can be for it epitomizes the very opposite of who we truly are.
I know that you all join me in sending wide, deep loving vibes to all involved in this sadistic case, as well as to so many others who have faced similar losses of freedom, and who are perhaps being emotionally triggered once again by these recent shattering events. My heart, like yours, breaks at the thought of the isolation, loneliness, and utter disempowerment that must be primary in the daily existence of all human beings living in such inhuman circumstances.
But let’s not let it end there. Let’s use this horror as a call to self-reflect. Everything that we become aware of in life is always a call for self-reflection and personal growth. Perhaps it is time for us all to reassess and re-examine, both within and without, FREEDOM. Let us all cultivate new pathways to greater freedom for us and others to live as we truly are—infinitely and eternally free spiritual beings temporarily inhabiting a human body on this spinning planet.
Warmth and LOVE,
A modern bridge between the mainstream and the mystical, Annie Burnside, M.Ed. is a soul nurturer, award-winning author, and teacher specializing in parenting, conscious relationships, authentic living and spiritual development. Her book “Soul to Soul Parenting” won the 2011 Nautilus Silver Book Award. Find Annie on twitter @annieburnside