As our hearts grieve what happened in Orlando, a question that comes to mind is how on earth can we keep those same hearts open to each other through such incidents.
Orlando was not simply an attack on the LGBT community, but on each one of us trying to live our full sexuality, on every single homophobe scared of their own sexual impulses, on every single teenager or adult trying to fit into a certain label, may it be straight, L, G, B, T, or Q.
Keeping our hearts open amidst this darkness is not easy, especially when its symptoms are so many and so in our faces. From Cameron to Trump, from ISIS to domestic terrorism, from the greed of the 1% to the obvious subservience of the 99%; in these troubled times, it is easy to believe that that is all there is, and that is all that we are, and that change will never come.
And when the darkness around us is so obvious, so painful and so intense, it is easy to separate, to point the finger, to blame, to project, to close down, to run to safety and to retaliate with destructive words or thoughts.
Because the darkness that lives in the world, that we so desperately try to fight, control, stamp out, ignore or run away from, is the same darkness that lies in our own hearts.
And yes, OF COURSE there are responsibilities to be taken, questions to be answered, changes to be made, and constitutions to be amended. Without a shadow of a doubt; sadly, events like these trigger the most long-term and deep changes to society. Like the body heals after a cut, we lick our wounds, stop the bleeding and grow thicker skin.
But perhaps the most challenging yet most rewarding path would be to find within ourselves the voice of oneness; that human, compassionate voice that knows and feels that we are all one, one tribe, one people.
And that when one person hurts, whether that be the victim of a crime or the one that perpetrated it, we ALL hurt.
When one of us is attacked for being themselves, we ALL are.
When one of us is persecuted for expressing their sexuality, we ALL are.
When one of us is killed for reaching for their full freedom, we ALL are.
And that, today, is why our hearts grieve.
So whether we like it or not, believe it or not, feel it or not, the only true way of changing the world is by feeling the pain of our humanity, that inner grief that comes from being part of a tribe that is hurting. But above all else, we must find darkness in our own selves and in our own hearts, however it may be hiding and whichever shape it may be taking.
And only then, when we allow our hearts to grieve and we deal with the darkness within them, can we change the world for good. Together.