|Detail of the water feature back wall of the healing garden in Rio Rancho. copyright Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio|
This is the back of a water fountain in a garden next to the Esther Bone Library here in Rio Rancho. This water feature and the area immediate to it was created by a friend of mine who lost her teenage daughter to a driver who was under the influence and his car veered across the highway. Her son was driving his sister home from school and never would've had enough time to react-it happened so quickly. This garden is called the Healing Garden and it is in the middle of what is one of my favorite parks in this town.
Now, it is easy to judge and condemn the man who had a hand in taking this young girl's life. Much easier than feeling any compassion for him or forgiveness. Remember last week I spoke about how all we can do is take care of our own little corner of our lives? Herein lies the challenge.
We don't really know his side of the story though, do we? We don't know what demons he battles every day (if he is still alive). We don't know if he ever experienced love like my friend's daughter did. I don't have any answers for any of you-I really don't. But, I do know that at least (and perhaps more) 25% of our population suffer from some form and degree of mental illness. And with it, comes varying levels of stigma-making it even more difficult for one who is suffering to move forward with it and seek treatment. Finding support and treatment is not an easy task. Our health systems fails when it comes to this. So often, we as human beings judge others so quickly and harshly without really knowing all there is to know. Compassion should not be a conditional thing-you either are or you aren't.
And, yes, it is a huge challenge to find compassion and forgiveness when someone takes another person's life. But, from what I've learned, without forgiveness, we do not heal. It is a painful journey-this trying to forgive when you are hurting so badly from your loss. I've seen others do it and am in awe at their peace and coming to terms with such a devastating loss. They give me inspiration and hope.
(you know, when I sat down to write this post, I had no idea I was going to write about this). Go figure...
Join us as a group of us (yes-there are many of us!) from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!