We can begin to honor the victims and the families affected by the Orlando hate crime by making sure that it only changes us (and the world) for the better. I think this begins by honoring the grief or whatever powerlessness we feel today.
Grief is ultimately designed to provide understanding, which is the calm after the storm, the “aha.” Rage, anger, and all the powerlessness we feel are the storm. They are the precursors to understanding, but they are not understanding itself and the relief we are seeking from true comprehension. We want to know what we can do to help. We want to ease the suffering of others. We want the violence to end. We want peace again.
Answers, resolve and peace come from allowing the storm to play out in the mind-body by practicing self-compassion. This can take some time and gentleness with self learning how to allow the answers again.
If you find yourself acting out the anger, tension, or rage, that’s okay. But you will notice it only brings temporary relief, and many times it continues the hurt.
Truth time. Since Sunday morning, I have been watching television, allowing and witnessing all the emotion I feel. I’ve witnessed wildly unhealthy thoughts racing through my mind. I recall myself snarling at a reporter—out loud. At moments yesterday, no elected or unelected official was safe from the vitriol in my mind. I call this blame ‘n’ shame.
The blame ‘n’ shame is a way of avoiding deeper understanding and opting out of participating fully in healing from the grief process. It is spiritual deflection, kicking the can down the road so that we never have to own the fear and take responsibility.
Truthfully, you don’t have to look far to see it being modeled for us by parents, teachers, business leaders, Ivy League politicians—and this spiritual teacher. I played all day yesterday as the shock was overwhelming.
Although understandable, this behavior robs us of life and has us avoiding the real solutions and releasing the fear in a healthy way.
Mainly, the reason we surrender to the grief is because hate and fear will change the trajectories of our lives and cripple our relationships. We will live a different life because of the hateful event. We become what the terrorist wanted. Fear wins. Terror wins.
Yet we have to accept wherever we are in the process, and I’m not there yet. No answers tonight, just sadness. Maybe some pie. The good news is that I’ve quit yelling at the television—at least for now.
I will continue to practice self-compassion, ask for answers and work to find them. Mainly, I wanted you to know you’re not alone if you are working through this awful stuff that many of us feel. We can honor the lives lost to the horrific event in Orlando by how we choose to live.
I truly hope this helps in some small way,