I’m not sure when I’ll post this, but for context? Today is the day after I learned about the Orlando Pulse shooting. I also know there were car bombings in the Middle-East over the weekend. A beautiful young singer was shot in Florida. A man was arrested carting a pile of guns to the Los Angeles Pride parade.
Sometimes it seems the only thing we have an abundance of in this world is hate and violence and I have no words this morning. No words to describe my feelings as I watched coverage of Orlando. No words that I think will help comfort. No words that I think will help heal.
I don’t even have words of rage left – though that is in abundance at the moment as well. But mine ran out a long time ago, because this isn’t the first time LGBTQI+ people have been targeted. It’s not the first time a young woman has been targeted or civilians have been targeted in war.
Some days my rage runs out and all I feel is despair.
And so, although I write every day, this morning all words seemed inadequate.
In these sorts of wordless situations, sometimes I give it up for a lost cause and just go for my morning run (or skip the run as well and go straight to breakfast). But I’m trying to be better disciplined about these things so I went for option B. I asked an oracle deck what I should write about, and drew a card.
I didn’t like it, so I drew another card from a different deck. Then I laughed, because these are the cards I drew.
Sometimes the universe won’t let you ignore a message and today’s that day for me.
So I’ve gotten to this point in my writing (320 words in, if you’re interested) not quite sure where I’m going with the whole post, but knowing that suddenly the words are abundant. But I think the universe is trying to tell me something.
That if I look there is abundance in more than just hate.
People all over Florida were lining up to give blood. An abundance of love.
People all around the world were condemning the action – even in countries where LGBTQI+ people are still fighting for their rights. An abundance of solidarity.
Around the US and the world, Pride events continued. An abundance of courage.
Around the US and the world, vigils were held for those killed and those still fighting for their lives. An abundance of empathy.
Everyone knows the words of Mr Rogers. We never got Mr Rogers Neighborhood in Australia, but even I know them. Look for the helpers, he said. Whether it’s a natural tragedy or an incomprehensible act of hate, look for the helpers, they’re always there.
Unfortunately I know those words because they are quoted in so many instances like this one, but it is still true. There were an abundance of helpers, people showing their courage, compassion and love for friends and strangers.
They say love will conquer hate. It seems trite in times like this, with fifty dead in Orlando, 22 dead in Baghdad, a talented singer’s life cut short.
But when we look to the helpers, to the outpouring of grief that our empathy lets us feel for strangers, to the courage of people who refused to be cowed by the hatred of others, then I know that it’s true.
Love is the healing energy we need to send out into the world. And I believe most of us have that in abundance.