The Orlando Tragedy: How It Can Be a Catalyst for Healing


 

Orlando shooting victims mourning

 

Again, in the very recent past, we’ve witnessed another horrific loss of human lives because of a single person’s own inner pain; a person who chose to end the lives of forty-nine precious souls in one of the most violent ways possible. Precious souls that were children, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles. Precious souls who wanted to live their truths and live happily.

And, again, we’ve seen the divisiveness nationwide because of that action.

On one side we see people (many of them ministers, political, and authority figures) jubilant over the deaths of people they deemed “unholy” or “dirty” or “perverted.”  On the other, we witness people mourning complete strangers, who knew that they were perfect as they were and were loved and cherished.

It pains me to see that many choose to take sides, deeming those different from themselves as the “other.”

No, there is no “other.” We all bleed red. We all feel joy and pain. We ALL wish to live in peace, experience happiness, and realize our dreams.

However, there are many who react from a place of fear because they do not KNOW the “other.” They are taught that the “others” are wrong, too different, weird, depraved, immoral, sinful.

Fear is the great divider. It has been so for ages.

Have you noticed that after tragic events, two situations emerge?

On one hand, people will lash out from pain, rage, and fear, and even victimhood, acting and speaking in ways that attack their fellow human beings. On the other, there will be those who will open their hearts and minds and look for ways to use the tragedy as a catalyst for healing.

Often, the way to mend a deep wound is to open it, release the poison, and then allow it to heal.

I know from personal experience that the cutting open of old emotional wounds feels excruciating, and I’ve been in the deepest pits of hell. I’ve been triggered in ways that shattered my beliefs about myself and others. And then, I was able to rise above and see my truth, allowing myself to mend my own deepest wounds.

I wish death on no one, no matter what color they are, what religion they practice (or don’t practice), or their sexual identity. I wish that our brothers and sisters, from the past and even now in the present, never had to deal with being shot, tortured, spat upon, discriminated against, hanged, burned, fired from their jobs, disowned by family, and being treated “less than.” No precious human soul should have to experience that.

And  yet, it is still happening.

In the last couple days, I was witness to a dear friend of mine being attacked for posting something that another took the wrong way. It was all related to the Orlando shooting. I could feel my friend’s shock at the terrible attack, and yet, I understood and felt the other person’s pain and anguish. This person could have lost loved ones in that shooting or been shot themselves.

However, this situation I witnessed could have been avoided if the one who attacked had stopped a moment, taken a breath, and asked for a polite discourse so that they could each discuss their feelings and put aside any misunderstandings.

I see too many putting their energy into dividing our country, into destroying the lives of their brothers and sisters. Yes, brothers and sisters. We all have heritages, we all are different races. But we are also part of one race: the Human Race.

I would like to see no more senseless killing. No more discrimination. No more flirting with fear-mongering. No more addiction to drama.

How would I feel if it were one of my children or friends who had died in Orlando? I’d feel devastated. I also would want to know what inner pain, what atrocities did the shooter live with to cause him to react in such a devastating way?

Too often, reactionary attacks have replaced thoughtful responses, and this is the time to come together, as a nation, as individuals, and loving human beings to keep our minds and hearts open, to accept every soul as the precious life he/she is, to understand that diversity is beautiful. To step out of the fearful path of destruction. To reach out and connect in loving, yet firm approaches. NOT allowing others to harm, yet understanding that they are doing so from their own inner pain.

Forty-nine graves have just been added to the hundreds of thousands, even millions of graves of those throughout history, of all races, orientations, and religions who died at the hands of perpetrators who themselves lived in their own personal hells.

Let’s not let the Orlando tragedy be for naught. Let’s use this as a time to regroup, reflect, and remember that hurt people hurt people. We MUST find a way to facilitate healing…and that begins with healing ourselves.

 

 

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