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Celebrate the Lives of Those We Lost

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911 REFLECTIONS
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Just days before the 10th anniversary of the mortifying September 11 attacks, a plane crash off the coast of Chile rocks a nation, and here in Uruguay we are all reminded of the pain and sorrow of loss. It reminds us of the unpredictability of life, how every day surprises us in some way, and then sometimes surprise becomes shock, with the death of a loved one, a sudden illness or a tragedy that moves us all.

We are reminded that life changes, sometimes abruptly, dramatically, unexpectedly. What is present in one moment can be gone in the next: no matter the nation, no matter the motivation or the cause, loss moves us all, for we have all experienced it in some way or another.

But just as life is unpredictable, it is also wonderful. The opportunities to share love, to discover the best of ourselves, to discover selfless giving and inner evolution in every moment are always present. This is what we must never lose sight of, what in fact is becoming ever more important that we never forget -- that deep within lies the strength that can carry us forward, the peace and love that lift us up and allow us to support those around us.

Its presence does not call for action, but for being, the state of being that radiates love to all those around us.

When these events rock our world, they are calling us to focus on what is real, here and now and in every moment. In times of external uncertainty, cultivate internal security -- the inner stability that only can be experienced through the expansion of consciousness by developing a deeper awareness of self. In doing so, we increase our capacity to embrace life and to give, without restraints, to share abundantly the best of ourselves.

This is what we can do with those who are no longer by our side: celebrate what they have left behind, what they have given to us -- gifts of all kinds, some obvious, others maybe disguised as difficult times that ultimately brought growth and evolution. We all know in our hearts what we have received, especially if we are connected with the internal experience of unconditional love, within which even what we see as "wrong" dissolves in this energy, leaving behind the best aspects of every situation and leaving a smile in the heart.

When external instability reminds us of our fragility, our mortality, if you take your awareness inward, you will find that beyond the changing world, beyond the loss and gain, beyond our concerns and separations we can find new opportunities to love, to care, to share our hearts, which deep within call out yes to life. This "yes" unites us all, a yes that grows and inspires us to give, a yes to doing more for everyone, to leaving our mark with deeds that will be remembered, reminding us that the race to material gain was never as important as the journey toward self discovery and sharing.

Even if we feel lost, confused, disoriented or desolate, we can all bring our attention into our hearts. Feel its beat, feel its warmth -- within it you can discover love-consciousness. It is inexhaustible, unlimited. The more it gives, the more it has to share. This is the time. This is the shared embrace. Every family has its losses and hardships, every neighborhood, every town and every country. So when a tragic event twists the hearts of a nation, it is more important than ever that we unite, supporting the best aspects of each other.

It's time to transform ourselves through the actions of love. The loss of innocent lives, near or far, can inspire thousands and even millions to do more, to give within their communities, to support those who were left behind, maybe by helping clean up the neighborhood or cooking hot soup for the homeless. Let's grow from our losses and learn to unite in a shared embrace. Learn to dance together through the joy and the pain, in the midst of difficulties, facing what life brings, looking for the best within each situation, giving thanks and loving, growing and giving in unity.

Let's remember that life really has no guarantees, and that happiness is found within the unpredictable nature of the world. Let's share and celebrate life together, let's honor and remember the best of those we lost. By starting with ourselves, we inspire those around us to follow.

Isha Judd is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher. Her book and movie, "Why Walk When You Can Fly?" explain her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness.

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