I understand and respect the reasons we arm ourselves. But in my experience ONLY, as a former gun owner I lived in the shadow of my handgun and never felt any deep or permanent sense of safety. And the question kept coming up; if I kill another person and was able to live another 20 years as a result, what would I gain? After all, we live a FINITE existence where gaining more time isn’t really gaining anything when we fully accept our mortality and the end game. Which led to a larger question; if I were to kill another human, what would I LOSE? Though the answers remained unknown, the question was potent enough that I gave up my gun. This was an attempt to live by the tenets of quality versus quantity. For me, this was a choice about fear, not guns.
It seems that true safety exists within us and can only be experienced when there is a surrender to the self-serving fear that blinds us from the divine freedom that must exist in opposition to the bondage and suffering that seems so prevalent in life. I have experienced (noticed?) this freedom only briefly on rare occasion, and it brings with it an indescribable sense of peace and emptiness. I never have any control over its appearance. I can only imagine it’s manifest by my willingness to try and walk through life wearing sandals, seeking the courage, compassion and humility required to leap through the narrow gate into the embrace of the absolute Unknown.
So, when life challenges me I usually fail this walk. I try and be thankful for these failures because the good, bad and the ugly are all part of the miracle that brought me to this very moment where the invitation to change is always present. And every once in a while I do nail it and catch my stride. This is the icing on the cake……