I had just posted a picture of the beach at Nice, France a few hours ago. It had been shared by one of the teachers chaperoning my son’s student ambassador tour in Europe. The group was spending Bastille Day in that beautiful city on the French Riviera, and they all hit the beach for a couple of hours of sun and swimming. It was a warm, sunny day, the kind of perfect day made for a dip in the Mediterranean.
Afterwards, they enjoyed ice cream purchased from a street vendor located on the Promenade, then walked to the city square to enjoy the street performers, music and festivities. When he checked in via FaceTime, he said he was having a wonderful time. He hadn’t heard what happened yet.
An hour after speaking with him, we found out all hell had broken loose. Right there on the Promenade in the exact location where my son had enjoyed ice cream three hours before. Right there by the beach where he had played in the Mediterranean. Right there where people of all ages were out enjoying the aftermath of holiday fireworks and celebrating freedom. Right there where a nutjob terrorist had decided he had the right to destroy innocent life.
I immediately texted my son and then turned on CNN to try to get the facts of what had happened or was happening. I knew he and his group were safe in his hotel several miles away from the beach. Yet, I needed to know if this was a lone wolf terrorist or part of a more widespread launch of attacks, as there had been recently in Paris. Details matter.
Years of expertise as a former PR pro has trained me to be calm in a crisis and find out what I am dealing with before jumping to any conclusions. In this way, I have learned to be the calm in any storm. When I heard about the terror in Nice, an intense calm came over me. I reached out to my son’s father to let him know what had happened. I knew my son was safe, yet many others were dead and wounded, including children.
It would have been easy to move right into anger or rage. Some would even say I was completely justified. Yet, I have learned that anger and rage are often a mask. They hide the true emotions rolling through my heart, mind and body. They hide the pain. The pain of heartbreak and devastation. They hide the horror of what is inhumane within our humanity. They are protection against the helplessness of not having been there to save them. Not being there with my son as terror came right into his world. And not being there to comfort the many mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and lovers who had a beloved ripped from the arms of their love in the middle of a beautiful night by the sea.
Instead, I moved right into Love. Love is that point where Heaven and Earth intersect, what I call the true sexy. That state of being where I am both grounded and connected to the Divine. All at once, I was shifted into my power, the power of all of my parts in full integration. Heart, mind, body and Soul gathered together in Love. This made me stronger, wiser and more compassionate while being fully human and fully alive. Feeling it all, then surrendering it to the Divine. Accepting what I had struggled with for years: the fact that I could not control everything, that I could not control what wasn’t mine to control. Thy Will, not mine, be done. I offered a prayer of gratitude that my son was safe, that it wasn’t his time. Then I asked my Angels – the Archangels – to go and surround the situation with Love.
I sent Love continuously to my son, who was fairly calm as we discussed the situation. We had prepared him for this eventuality – what to do if he was in the middle of an attack or if something happened nearby. He had decided to go on this trip knowing it was possible, saying “Mom, if it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go.” He chose to follow his bliss. And off he went.
As the news media began to dissect the details of the terrorist attack, my son stayed grounded. He was in no way apathetic. He was pissed at the idiots who have nothing better to do with their lives than simmer in hate and destruction. Yet, he was calm and strong, focused on being that for others. I watched his courage as he moved with his Soul to rise above all of it. He, too, had learned how to integrate his heart, mind, body and Divine essence to be Love. I was very proud of him and his strength in this heartbreaking and mind-boggling situation.
In any storm, in any attack, in any horror, choosing Love is an act of courage. It is an act of loyalty. It is choosing God over insanity. It is choosing life over death and destruction. It is choosing serenity over hate and vengeance.
At the time of this writing, 85 men, women and children, including the murderer, have died from the attack in Nice on 14 July 2016. Official cause of death: insanity and hate, ignorance and arrogance, idiocy and violence. But most of all, the absence of Love.
I believe in justice. I believe in right action to protect and respect. I believe in allowing an opportunity to choose Love over hate. I believe in accountability when you choose hate or destruction over Love (Universal Law of Cause and Effect). And I am accountable to myself, the people I serve and, above all, God, for how I choose to use that free will in every moment of every day.
Je choisis l’amour. I choose Love.
©Rory Kelly Connor 2016
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