3 Steps to Take Whenever You See Something Violent (Like a School Shooting)

By Lisa Natoli

This year in 2018, there has been on average one school shooting every week. We are only 12 weeks into 2018 and there has already been 16 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed.

If you have ever found yourself in shock or horror when you hear about these school-shooting stories (or any other stories of violence) and you feel helpless or powerless to change anything, please keep reading.

Many people feel the only way things will change will occur is if “they” do something (the government, parents, teachers) – someone or something other than you.

Here is what you can do instead. Use this simple method to go from feeling fear, anger and blame to turn it into a force for blessing, healing and love.

In today’s blog, you will learn three steps to transform your fear into miracle-working abilities.

3 Steps to Take Whenever You See Something Violent (Like a School Shooting)

Watch the video and then think about this question:

What do you fear when you see or hear a story of violence?

Go deep and find out. What’s your biggest fear?

For many people, it’s a feeling of powerlessness. You don’t know when or where the next act of violence will be. You feel you are at the mercy of other people.

A Course in Miracles teaches that you want to find out what is your hidden fear, so that you can look at it, and do something about it. As long as you keep focusing on people, places and things, you never stop long enough to identify your own fear. What is it about these stories that makes you afraid?

We (and others) want to hear your thoughts. Post your reply in the comment area below. Post as much detail as possible. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

And then: shift your perception and write what you are going to do about that fear. Tell us in the comment area how you go “from fear to love” and what practices you use as a miracle worker in situations of violence.

We encourage you to post a reply because thousands of people read these blogs and comments each week and you can be a real light in the dark for others, right here, right now. Many people may not post, but they come here and read what others say.

You are not powerless. You are powerful. You have a voice and Jesus tells us that healing occurs when we join together in one purpose. I have been inspired so many times by what others share, and then I use their practices in my own life.

Please keep the comments to this topic. We do remove unrelated comments, profanity and comments with links in them.

Thank you for watching and for stepping forward as part of the solution, no longer sitting back in fear.


I’m inspired by those kids in Florida who stood up and said:

NO. We are not just going to sit back anymore. We are going to use our voices to speak up and not wait for others to change the world.

Gandhi said it like this:

If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.

Use every opportunity that brings up fear in you to find out what you fear and how you transform that fear into a miracle of love.

You are the light of the world.

In Gratitude to You,



Lisa Natoli

Co-Founder & Spiritual Director, Teachers of God Foundation

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44 thoughts on “3 Steps to Take Whenever You See Something Violent (Like a School Shooting)

  1. Just this morning a story of violence made its way to me. Before, I used to feel afraid for my own life, but now I’m over it. Knowing the truth of who I am, that I am in the arms of God right in this moment gives me strength. I am light – whatever can threaten that?
    Thank you for posting this, Lisa. Great timing. Namaste <3

  2. First of all, it (the shootings) aren’t real, it never happened. It’s an illusion, a dream of separation, a movie screen playing out a script all for our “perceived” forgiveness. Yes, our function is to keep forgiving and blessing and loving. Our mission is a return to Love, a return Home with God, in which, in ultimate reality, we never really left. In an instant I choose separation (One mind, one child of God), and in a Holy Instant I return. There’s only One of us here.

    Now, all that is “perhaps” how ACIM would see it. I’m a student learning. I also have my own challenges in making this real. The ego world isn’t real. I have a tendency to see the “conspiracy truth” behind the message that gets into the mainstream news media and the agenda they have. Although I don’t watch the news, I still get bombarded with it.

    I’m reminded of the temptation that Jesus was offered, “All this shall be yours.” He saw that it wasn’t real. He taught only love and forgiveness. The leaders of our world appear to take the temptation and choose the ego ways of the world. Those leaders are how I see myself. So, I catch myself again. It isn’t real. Keep on forgiving, keep on blessing, keep on loving, and keep on following the Guidance of the Holy Spirit and cease all else.

    Whew – deep breath my brothers and sisters <3

    Rand Marquardt

  3. I turn to God is omnipotent Love. That love is holding me now. I dwell in the feeling of God’s embracing love until I feel peaceful. I don’t look at the aggressive picture but know that Love is present here, everywhere.

  4. Hello dear friend!
    Such joy to hear Lisa on this topic and shouting out from my heart: Yes! Yes! Yes! This is the way and our only chance to keep sane and safe in a mad world. I love how Lisa doesn’t start: “well, it’s all an illusion anyhow”!, which is a trap I hear so many course-teachers and students alike fall into. it just makes me scream inside!
    To me, that’s like saying to a child who just burned his hand on a hot stove: “never mind sweetie, there is no stove and no hand!”
    The feelings that we have are very real and they have a message for us: so, deal with them! How do I deal with the shock and fright, anger and pain in such situations?
    I turn immediately to my best friend and brother: Jesus. I call on Him and ask Him to be present and to join with me and call on all Angels to join and give healing and comfort to those that are bereft and are in pain. I also join Him in seeing what is the truth. And that is: only Love is true. So I invoke the Love and Light of God, in me and from me to the world.
    That’s what Lisa calls doing our job as miracle workers.
    And when you started on the “Listen, Follow, Trust” from the drawing, I laughed out loud! I loved doing this drawing, because I LIVE this teaching. Meeting with Lisa in Denmark and soaking up this teaching about “Listen, Follow, Trust” was such a gamechanger for me!
    So how do I do that? I get quiet to begin with, otherwise I cannot listen. I ask Jesus what He wants me to do. He always answers. Sometimes I hear His voice, sometimes He shows me a picture or I get a feeling what it is I need to do.
    Then I DO whatever it is what He wants me to do. That’s very important. If you want to see results and feel the change, you have to take action and change your thinking and habits.
    And I just have this deep Trust in everything that happens then. I accept it and go with the flow. Whatever it is. Jesus is in charge and I gladly let Him lead.
    So I hope this can be of help to you who are seeking and struggling. And it doesn’t need to be heavy!
    It can be light and full of joy, even when we are being challenged. I’ve experienced it many times. The most wonderful miracles happen when I am experiencing the greatest challenges!
    And know: we are never, ever alone! This is also true for the people who go through these hard times: we are being surrounded by Angels and Jesus is always right there for all of us. But we must remember and call on them!
    Sending my Love! Joan

  5. I remember that everything in the world is happening for me as an example or contrast of who I am. The violence in the world could be in me if I forget who I am. This is the blessing, to stay aware of the light in me.

    • I always tell my son and daugther that Fear is like a monster. We have to fight Fear and remember the Light that we ALL are.

      Thanks Lisa for ALL the LOVE!

      Happy Easter!


  6. Thank you for this post. What I do, is immediately turn the news feed off, and start blessing, sending love, and Know that God is with all who are involved including the person or persons who have done this horrendous thing. Thank you Lisa. I like your comment about Stop, Drop, and Roll. Theresa

    • Thank you Theresa! I love your practice. Just an FYI: It’s Stop, Drop and Pray. But rolling probably will do the trick also! Get on our knees or the floor! HA. I love you. See you on a Friday in the ACIM Group!

  7. Thank you. My fear is that I will be totally disconnected, I want to think there is more good than bad, but if I listen to the news or even other people they are ready to disprove it.

  8. I am new at this but the first fear that came up for me was Trust. How do we learn to trust ourselves and others and God when we see so much suffering going on in the world? I do want to learn to trust but I want to feel it not the knowledge of knowing I should.

  9. I understand supporting kids who are speaking out against gun violence. I believe everyone is against gun ‘violence’, but not everyone is against guns. Therefore, there is a disagreement about the solution. It’s no different than alcohol, which causes more deaths than guns. No one advocates for banning alcohol in order to stop drunk driving and other alcohol related deaths. People who drink alcohol responsibly don’t want to lose their rights because of people who don’t drink responsibly. Is it fair to say we can have opposing opinions regarding the cause-and solution-to gun violence and still be coming from a place of love?

  10. I love the reminder that we are miracle workers. I have a very powerful technique I would like to share with you. Anyone who is committing acts of violence has not received the love and nurturing they deserve as a child of God. So I project myself in my mind into that person’s life. I extend all the love and pure light I possible can and remind them they are loved. I might see myself take the gun out of their hands, hold them while they cry.
    Forgive, heal and bless. See the healing take place before the violent event. I do the same with ones affected by the violence. Heal, comfort and bless… Go there before the event happens and see it changed by love before it can happen. I see each one in the real world of perfect love where attack is impossible and does not exist. It may be a place they have never been able to imagine, but it is there, and as a miracle worker, I am called to share that vision of Christ with all who are in my mind! In these active prayers/meditations I am training myself to see everyone as brother/sister. Their need to awaken is just as great as mine.
    As miracle workers we are called to help awaken all those who still sleep, not to judge, but to extend the light we all share.
    It causes me to remember the Bible quote, “Behold, I show you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.”

    • Rev Tony – this is awesome!!! I love you. What a great message. Thank you for sharing this here, and for always extending the light that you are. Unity of Cape Cod Rocks with you there as the minister! You light up this world with love.

  11. Lisa, thank for the teaching in this video. Without even knowing, I have done exactly those three things. Stop drop and pray. I continue to pray for each and every person that is involved. By sending our love to them we certainly effect a change. I some times loose sight of this and when I become aware, I get back into my heart. Much love and appreciation, Alma

  12. This question was an excellent one to address. Thank you Lisa for offering a view from the point of ACIM. When this type of thing occurs, I do watch the unfolding of events and feel empathy for those experiencing the horror of the event in any way, even those responsible, and those observing and caught up with it. But, I don’t spread the chaos, hover in it, or sensationalize it in any way. I simply bless them, send them light for healing, comfort, understanding, and love. I know that “this” is not truth, not of God, and I thank Him for this understanding and the willingness to do His will.

  13. I tell myself and Myself that what is happening is a call for love. The kids in Florida and folks all around the world are using it that way. The oldest gun manufacturer in America is going belly up. What We are doing is working! I believe it. I know it. And so it is. Keep shining Peace light and love, I just keep loving everyone even the stupid idiots. Lol

  14. I AM so blessed with the awareness that all minds are joined!!! This simple truth grants me the wondrous opportunity to be actively blessing every person I encounter in my day!! Driving affords me the chance to send light /love to every person I drive by, to every soul inhabiting every building, all the ‘other drivers’ on the road too! There is nothing so fun as to allow the H.S. in mind to join with itSelf in “another” mind.
    It truly is a gift to know that everywhere I go I meet myself!!! Bless You <3

  15. Thank you Lisa! Your words of inspiration are always such a good grounding cord. In response to today’s video, when I find myself observing the insanity in the world, I either go into prayer or I say “hover over me father, hover over me”, it’s very calming to my mind.

  16. All this is good, Lisa. But as you have said before, if we have the best outcome, regarding guns, violence or whatever and remain within the prison of the ego world, then, we are still in prison. Any reaction to violence, except to see it as a call for love, strengthens the ego. Personally, I hate guns. I would ban them all if I could. But that is my ego speaking. Spirit tells me not to focus on an effect but seek the cause, which is the belief in separation. One death is not more shocking than another death. There is no hierarchy of illusions. They are all unreal. So, when news of a violent death comes to you, it would be best not to react at all. Just quietly bless all brothers involved and bless yourself and know that this is an outward picture of an inner condition. Go within to find the peace that is there, the oneness. That is what will bring us all home together. Thanks.

  17. When I hear about school shootings or other violence in the world, I remember that the Course teaches that everything in this world is a reflection of Heaven’s Love or a Call for Love. I see violence is a huge call for Love. So I energetically send Love to everyone involved and remember the Truth of Who they Are as the One Son of God. I will start adding to that the listen, trust and follow step, because I desire to become more aware of Spirt’s guidance in these matters as it pertains to taking any action in this world.
    Thank you for this enlightening post!

  18. Thank you for your video Lisa. The advice of prayer and blessing in times of fear and violence resonates with me deeply. But I’m a bit confused by your words about loving the kids’ protest. In the same time I wouldn’t know what is an alternative action in this situation, but I didn’t ask for guidance. Somehow I doubt the protest arose as a result of a prayer, probably more as a result of great frustration and anger. Isn’t protest a form of attack according to ACIM?

    • It’s that the protesting is part of the world you see outside of yourself. The world is not wrong in protesting. Your thoughts about the protesting…

  19. I feel anxious and I’ve got very little to feel anxious about sometimes, I can just feel jittery and that will do it . I fear the fear .The violence that happens in the world at first I could just shut the tv off And not listen . Some days I’m fine , then I’m not again . When I asked god , he told me to tell you about this . Love comes through . I thank you Lisa and Bill , love your work and videos

  20. I think of the heinous and barbaric violence inflicted on billions of innocent animals everyday -and everywhere in the world. A violence that humanity at large, supports, justifies and is unconcerned and unconscious of. It is hypocrisy to extol kindness and spiritual consciousness while ignoring other sentient creatures.

  21. Thank you Lisa for your teachings- I always learn so much from listening to you. For me, I just try to be the change I want to see in the world. I do my spiritual practices and every day do my best to keep conflict from my mind. The answer to the effect is always in the cause- We live in an insane world because we are really all a bit insane in our thinking and our minds. The mind is the root cause. So, I just try to work on my thoughts and forgiveness, etc… The fact that we even need guns period, for anything, as they are meant to kill- people, animals, etc… is already a sickness in the mind. Namaste. Love and Light.

  22. Accepting the atonement for myself is my only responsibility.
    “Only Truth is true” ( Ken Wapnick)
    God Bless the rest

  23. Since being in ACIM a couple years now (thank you Lisa, Bill and TOG), I still 1st of all go to being apalled and helpless ’cause this is now news, is past, is tres tragic! And I’m helpless. Until I remember the one being who is in the deepest crap of their life: they’ve just taken life. So now I connect via Mind with their place in this vastness, and just bless them and affirm it was only a dream and you’re going to soon get the most help ever (if they’ve been killed in their process) and if still alive offer peace for where they are and will be going. Then instantly it’s a mass blessing out to the network of all others affected . . . I realize that’s huge because of the audience . . . but it is the victims, the survivors, the helpers, the rescuers . . . and all who from then on have this to live with and sort out, and just keep blessing them. And cry . . . because it is an ugly thing in my dream and I really screwed my dream up because it’s in there. So there’s my ownership of the creation. So then I ask for help for me, to put out into the dream world better things resulting in better effects, until I figure out how to take the last step Home. Sometimes too, I simply can’t fathom the act and am numbed . . . a limited state until asked for help arrives. Blessings.

  24. Dear Lisa,
    I hold you and the TOG in my heart and bless you always. Thank you for posting this question! I think a lot about this issue–it has consumed me in the past, and I thank everyone who has posted!
    For me, the violence in the USA, and the election results of 2016, led me to move outside the country in 2017. It felt too difficult to live there, I was physically ill over the many issues of disregard for others reflected within the USA culture.
    Moving to another country helped, a bit, in the world of form. I felt less in crisis, and supported by a culture that is kinder and happier.
    Interestingly, when I lived in the USA, I couldn’t follow the news. I would tune it out. My looking at it made me feel sick; my not looking at it made me feel sick. My friends there often do so as well–tune it out.
    When I moved outside the country I was able to (and wanted to) follow the news more closely. I’ve had more complete conversations with others here, in a foreign language, than I could have with my best friends in the USA! My USA friends seem so traumatized by the constant violence, the disregard for unity, that they simply can’t discuss it. When I talk to them they say, “I can’t go there” about anything, school shootings, the constant erosion of safety net for people, the erosions of protections for the environment, the erosions of attempts to address racism, inequality of any kind. I’m okay with all of that, because I understand that the solution isn’t ultimately in our actions in form.
    I totally resonate with comments about “this (these horrible violences) aren’t real” as a premature trap. Our feelings are important, and lead us step by step to healing, if we heed them. I needed to pay attention to my feelings, which led me here. Where I go from here is in the hands of my Beloved Father.
    Sooo, this gets me to my point that of course my stop gap solution of moving to another country was in form, and my “stuff” followed me to my new home country.
    What I think of when I read about school shootings:
    I am in School, whether I like it or not. I cannot choose the curriculum, only the time I take to get through it.
    We are all One. That means I am the shooter and I am the shot.
    I am shooting myself, over and over again. And others.
    I look for the violence within myself and egad…I see plenty. That is why I am still sick, that is why often I am not at peace, and that is why my brother annoys me.
    For starters, but we know the ego can make the list loooong. This list can be evaporated in an instant.
    I will be guided what to do within this world of form. I await, to serve. Feet on the ground.
    This Easter I give it over these observations of violence within myself, to Jesus, my Brother, and the Holy Spirit,
    I love you all.

  25. My fear is not that I will become a victim of a shooting, rather I am afraid that these reports will keep everyone from knowing the truth. It’s easy to believe one’s eyes and ears, but it takes faith in Jesus to know that these actions are errors, and that our perceptions of them are errors. I guess my new practice for these situations, or anything similar, is to just talk to the Holy Spirit; “Holy Spirit I don’t believe this is the truth. What is the true perception about this?” 🙂 <3

  26. Lisa, you said in step 3: ‘I will be answered. Sometimes it’s simply to connect, pray, bless. Other times it’s to get up and do something’. As someone who tends to go into doing too easily, even after being quiet and ‘listening’ in my mind, the ongoing challenge is to know when the call to action is coming from Voice/Guide/Teacher, or from ego mind wanting/needing something so badly. Can you point to some guidance in differentiating between 2 v/Voices – really ‘knowing’ which way to go?
    Thank you.
    Arien van der Merwe

  27. I stop & try not to think & only feel the emotion. It’s usually very overwhelming & I breathe in light & out darkness. I do this until there’s no more darkness to breathe out. Then I’m calm enough to repeat which ever ACIM lesson comes to mind a few times. Lately I’ve been repeating the “Ho’oponopono” phrase (in regards to our Orcas starving & going extinct).

  28. Dear Liza Thank you so much for your ongoing work. So important to be reminded on the place of function..I am a miracle worker an need to share ligtht and love! Be still and know…!

  29. Yes, I must admit this last shooting in particular “rocked me”.
    As an urban public school teacher, in spite of my ongoing ACIM practice, I found myself outraged by the insanity of this projected dream world. We, Americans, actually sell assault weapons on the streets of America LEGALLY!!!
    How did I not know that? And how can anyone in their “right” mind, justify this???? Obviously, we, the collective, our not in our right mind. So, I did pray, I did use the prayer from the Lesson 7 1, Only God’s plan for Salvation will work. And , I found myself posting things from the students and such other posts against assault weapons, etc. Not my typical way, but it honestly did feel guided. Perhaps a bit of a lesson for me in being less timid and more authentic and for some reason I need to take more action. I did not want to stir up conflict BUT I did want to bring awareness. Not everyone is an ACIM student and Jesus does use us in this dream world.
    I have to deal with lock down drills in elementary schools, kids asking questions, being afraid of getting to close to the windows in fear of being shot. Actually, I found myself anxious after the Parkland incident when practicing the lock down protocol. Really, and then the idea of having teachers start being armed???? OMG! Soon insane! So ludicrous!
    I would have to say that my underlying fear is that this projected world is never going to be peaceful, loving, harmonious, etc, etc, etc. My own state of mind is only part of the collective whole and I know I am doing my best BUT the mass reflection of fear, hate , death, etc, even if it is a dream , is disturbing. Just being honest! I do my best in my own little personal dream to “teach only love” and actually feel that is what I do best in my school as a “teacher” with my students. The greatest gifts I receive are the opportunities I get to tell these Little Ones that they are loving, lovable and loved. In this way, I feel I am planting seeds of Truth and it is also how I am being used on a daily basis as a Miracle Worker or Light of the World. Thanks for letting me share.

  30. My fear is being out of control and powerless to change the situation .
    Even though a shooting may not affect me directly, I feel for those who are involved. I stop immediately and pray for grace, Divine Light, Love and Wisdom to penetrate and permeate the people , places and things that are involved in the situation. I invoke Angels to surround and protect all of those involved, including the “perpetrator”, victims, first responders, families and loved ones of the victims.

  31. Hi Lisa

    Thank you for the uplifting message in this video clip message.

    And you asked for our miracle working techniques. Here is mine:

    1) When I started this journey some 10 years ago, I trained myself to say/think/pray ”I am spirit, whole and innocent. So and so is also spirit, whole and innocent. All is forgiven and released” whenever something went wrong. In the early stages of this practice, it was solely a mental exercise.

    2) Over time, I began to train myself to also feel into myself and feel the expansive spirit that I am and then say the same above words.

    3) Now, I remind myself that I am love and joy. If I can feel the love and joy that I am, I say those same words of blessing. Because we can’t bless or perform miracles when we are coming from a low vibration.

    If I can’t feel the love and joy, then I know I am to invite Jesus or the Holy Spirit to watch my fears with me, but I tend to often get derailed and forget this stage. And say the same above prayer of blessing even tho I am not in a good place myself. Gosh, gotta work on being a little more mindful.

  32. I loved this so much! I am very grateful for my brother who asked this very sensitive question that we all needed an answer to, and I am very grateful for my brother who answered it so lovingly. Thank you!!

    I stopped to get still and really uncover my fear in these violent situations. Of course there is the typical fears that we all have that this could happen to us or our loved ones and the feelings of helplessness. But what I heard that was deeper seated was that I fear I am unworthy of my Father’s love and forgiveness. I have guilt over my belief in the illusion of separation and this collective guilt is being played out in these violent ways. I also asked for a healing answer and I was reminded that my one and only problem (my belief that I am separate) has already been solved because it never happened. I have never been separate from God and never can be. I and all of my brothers and the world are absolutely worthy of the Fathers love and forgiveness. I must always remember this not only for myself but for us all.

    Thank you so very much for all you do. I love you all! 😘😘😘

    Robin from Nebraska

  33. I love reading these comments. Thank you for your presence in the world and for the love you bring to it. Love, Lisa

  34. I use the moment to express forgiveness and compassion, plus extending love and strength to those afflicted. Sometimes I just put myself in their presence to comfort them and ease the shock and horror they are experiencing.

    In the aftermath during any discussion with others I express my belief that from all these shootings there’s a hidden value for all of us. Something is there for us to learn; it’s opportunity knocking at the door