I sit here with a heavy heart and a lump in my throat, trying to make sense of the mass shooting at an Orlando gay club this past weekend. Those who know me well, know that this hits very close to home.
I feel the anger running through my veins, boiling right beneath the surface, violently looking for a way out of this enclosure of skin and bones. It stings my tongue as I bite it to prevent myself from spreading this poison. I want to scream to the seven winds how disgusted I am by the human race. I want to use words like hopeless, hate, revenge and punishment.
I feel it in the corners of my eyes as it floods my tear ducts, begging for an escape. I inhale deeply as I attempt to reason with the beast. I exhale in a loud and steady release focusing on the image of my chest compressing as this smog leaves my body. I wait for a long moment without a single drop of air in my lungs and naturally, my attention shifts to the next breath that I so desperately need as I prepare to slowly inhale once again as I visualize my chest rising, filling up with healing light that diffuses the cloud of poisonous gas trapped inside my rib cage. I do this over and over again until the deafening pounding of my heart subsides and I unclench my fists, blood rushing back to the white knuckles. I look down at my hands and I realize I’m trembling.
I do this over and over again until I can feel my anger slowly gather itself and retreat to the corner of my mind. I notice that in its place, fear was left behind. It is a small, soft, trembling creature that rocks back and forth as it hugs itself while it whimpers. At this point, the tears in my eyes don’t feel like acid anymore and I weep. I weep for the victims and all those who love them. I weep for humanity and for my unborn children. I weep for my fear, and your fear, and anyone who has ever feared for their life simply because of who they are (race, religion, sexuality). I weep because I take this personally and so should you.
I weep until there is nothing left but silence. My chest continues rise and fall with each breath and I do this until the stillness in my mind reveals one single question, “How can I help?”
How can I help? How can you help? How can WE help?
This question has probably crossed your mind as you search for answers in the face of tragedy. In the midst of our busy lives, and how small, disconnected, and fearful we sometimes feel, we may come up short with answers.
When I displaced the anger, and tucked my fear away, there was nothing left. In the desolate silence of my soul, and between every breath, I realized that how I choose to fill the space once occupied by anger and fear is entirely up to me. It is up to us to choose the frequency to which we tune ourselves into. Love, by nature, simply feels better than anger, hate and fear. The frequency of love, although not always louder, is stronger and resonates more, it knows no barriers and always goes the distance. When you create, speak, think, and live from that source of love, which is found inside all of us, you become part of the change. When everything we do comes from love, we become a part of the solution.
When the world terrifies you and leaves you feeling sick and hopeless, choose love.
When anger takes hold and fills your insides with cement, don’t give in. Don’t give up!
This may all seem abstract and great in theory but you may be wondering, “How does choosing love help me battle the evil of the world?”
By spreading it:
Lets acknowledge each other: Eye contact, a warm smile and a greeting can make or break someone’s day. It may inspire that person to warmly greet another stranger. It is the most basic of human interactions and it’s somehow getting lost in our culture of busyness and distrust. It’s all a chain reaction.
Kindness is the antidote: Rude people need it the most. When facing a rude/angry individual, give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Don’t stoop to their level, help them rise to YOUR level by showing them how the situation can be addressed without the need for rudeness.
Spread the light: Keeping kindness in the forefront, it is your job to educate others. That coworker that constantly complains and talks about other people all day long? Pull them aside one day and nicely point it out to them. Tell them they’re doing a disservice to themselves and that they’re spreading negativity. Educate them on the benefits of keeping a positive attitude. You can also choose to write them a note if you don’t feel comfortable addressing it with them in person. Some people are so chronically negative that they forget that there’s another way. The positive way!
Language: This is a big one for me. I do not tolerate hateful speech in my presence so I take it upon myself to politely put in check those who are using derogatory words to describe homosexuals, women, people of color, Hispanics, disabled people, etc. I remind people that words have power and as adults, it is up to us to lead the younger generations by example. I have been often told I can’t “fight” everyone. My response to that is that I’m not fighting anyone as my actions come from love and not from anger or hate. I’m spreading awareness and educating others. They may choose to not listen and continue using foul language in public or, I may have left an imprint on them and they may think twice about it next time. Also, it goes beyond the person committing the offense. Those in your presence may become inspired by how eloquently and nicely, you embarrassed and put a foul-mouthed, ignorant a**hole in his place. They may be inspired to do the same. Again, as we’ve seen time and time again it’s all a chain reaction.
These are just a few simple things you can do to spread the message of love. They do not require religion, talent, money or significant amounts of time. Keep fighting to be the change you wish to see in others. Live your life in that light and watch the love spread.
Sending my healing energy to all those affected by the tragic events in Orlando.
Until next time. Namaste.