I was shocked by the events that took place yesterday in Orlando, Florida. It is hard to conceive that a human being would go into a public place and start shooting innocent people at random. A few years back, I saw video footage of a shooting at Kenya’s westgate shopping mall and it terrorized me. I realized at that moment that the terrorists had won since they were able to upset me. Terror provokes fear and the more suffering and fear we feel, the more terror prevails.
So, when trying to come to terms with the shootings at the gay nightclub in Florida, I realized it was time to do something else. Instead of switching to fear and suffering, I decided to pray for the families of the victims and for those that are still in the hospital. My hope is that you will pray with me.
Universe/God/Divine Love (you choose), please help the families of those who left their bodies last night in the Pulse night club in Florida. While seeking to have fun and to celebrate who they are, they were abruptly stopped in their tracks by someone that didn’t understand that what makes us humans beings are our differences and the ability to see through them and be compassionate. Please also help the family of the attacker since I am sure it will be very hard for his parents to reconcile their love for his son with the violence that was perpetrated by him. Please also help the LGBT community, make this act of non-sensical violence strength its sense of community. Also, please remind us with every breath that a single person won’t be able to steal from any gay, lesbian, bi, or trans person the natural joy and uniqueness of who they are. Please bless us all with your love so that we can turn any feelings of anger or hate into love. And so it is.
I once heard that violence is anger in action. And what happened in Florida was a huge display of the power that anger can have when acted out. Like water thrown into a fire though, I believe love is much more powerful than anger. And so, when talking about the violence that took place in Florida or attending a vigil for it, put out your fireman hat on and put down the fire within and without with love by praying as we just did. You can also imagine golden light enveloping the city of Orlando, the state of Florida, the US and the entire globe. While you do that, remember to take deep breaths.
Diversity is what makes the Universe expand. If we were all the same, there would be no diversity. And so, let’s use this horrendous episode to reinforce where we stand as a nation and as people, let’s celebrate who we are and our differences. In doing so, let’s exercise compassion and loving kindness.