Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Life goes on

Impotence. This is what I feel. I did not lose any friends or family members in the Orlando mass shooting. Nonetheless, I feel the pain. I am so hurt, distraught. I walk about with this collective pain. I don't know what to do with it. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to help.

The hardest thing to say in a moment like this is life goes on. It is especially hard for those who lost someone in the massacre. The hardest thing to do in a moment like this is to love. The impossible thing to do in a moment like this is to forgive. Yet, it is what will heal us and help us move on. For until we do, we will focus on the wrong thing, on what causes the pain, on what injures, on what is wrong with the world.

We can't change this state of the world with angry outbursts, attacks, blaming, condemning, cursing.
The churches are not to blame. Neither is religion or non-religion. Guns are not to blame. School systems are not to blame. The media is not to blame. Bad parenting is not to blame. Governments are not to blame. We do nothing with this blame.

Certainly the separation and judgment created by certain religions, governments, beliefs and ideologies do not help and do make our work harder, our coexistence more difficult. But this is a mental health issue. We are ill. Our conditioning and life experiences can predispose us to certain behavior. Yet, many of us are exposed to many of these experiences, dogmas, beliefs and ideologies, and we do not go out to murder others thinking that this will solve, fix, cleanse, right anything or to convince anyone to believe the way we do. We help the cause by attending the mental health aspect of it.

We don't fix this by yelling, moralizing, censuring, or pointing fingers. Until we take some ownership of this, nothing will change. If we blame anything or anyone, we have to wait for that anything or anyone to change for the world to be better. We can't wait. We have to figure out our part in this and do our part in healing it.

After the catharsis, we need to come together, not for tolerance, but for understanding and respect. We need to love. How do we love? We do it by accepting others, by ceasing to call out the differences, by acknowledging others' dignity, humanity, and personhood. We love by changing our thoughts. By healing our own thoughts, we move from fear into hope. We heal by coming into the present and loving through the fear, the confusion, the misunderstanding, the pain, the despair, the rage, the feelings of revenge and righteousness. We need a break from all this hate. Hate breeds hate. Love breeds love. Healing breeds healing. Healing is what we need right now.

There is a time for everything. We cannot change others minds in a moment as raw as this one. Our rhetoric will be returned with more rhetoric. This is a time to embrace the pain, the anguish and, more importantly, each other. This is a moment to value life – ours and others'. We pray for the courage and the strength to forgive. Hate will not heal us. Love will.

Life goes on. Do we want it to go on in pain and fear, or in love? Do we want it to go on as it has or do we make it better, different? Our life goes on. Let it make a difference.

Today is a good day to realize that we have gone mad. Let us stop the insanity. Let us heal our minds that we may feel and act out of love and not fear. Let us remember that this too shall pass and life goes on.

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