I’ve had a lot of conflicted thoughts about what to say about the Orlando shooting. There are so many twisted threads to it: that the shooter targeted people in the LGBTQ community; that the shooter was someone with known terrorist ties; that he used a commercial version of a military assault rifle; and that as a massacre on American land, it’s a tragedy, but as acts of killing humans go, it’s a minor blip when you look at what happens across the world every day.
It’s a perfect storm of issues that lead to the natural human reaction of doing what we do when we’re facing too much: shut down or shut out. We shut down when we feel crippled by everything that’s coming at us, and we shut (it) out when we’re afraid to let it in. It’s hard to move wholly when you’ve got a broken heart.
I think what’s hard about times like these is that there seems to be a lot of people telling you what you should do and feel. There are those shouting that you should grieve and open your heart to it. There are those telling you that you should pick yourself up and move on. There are those telling you to be outraged and to take action with your political and civic organizations.
All of which only adds to the cacophony. I don’t want to add to that today.
What I can share is what I’m choosing, and why. I choose to connect, rejoice, and create. To connect because we need each other. To rejoice because we are still here, able to make a difference, and we have this day to earn our daily bread. And to create because it’s what I do.
Fifty lights were taken from us. I refuse to have my light dimmed because of it. (Tweet this)
This doesn’t mean that I don’t feel the loss or am ignoring it, and I’m not saying that being broken-hearted or needing time to pause means being weak or defeated. But for me, the best counter to the darkness of what we experience is defiantly shining my light brighter. Maybe it’ll help you find yours, too.
We are stronger than hate, ignorance, and senseless violence. When you are ready and however it looks for you, stand tall. Your light is important.