What Do We DO?

I woke up on Friday morning with the heaviest heart I’ve felt in a long, long time.

I wanted to throw my phone out the window. It was the messenger delivering the bad news and I didn’t know what to feel or how to act I just knew I was angry and sad and terrifyingly confused and I felt helpless in my own body, trapped in a cage of fear and rage and remorse and the only thing I could think to do was to destroy that tiny little machine.

I cried. Tears poured down my face as the images of the night’s events, this week’s events flashed through my head.

I didn’t know what to do.

I got in the car as the sun was rising. Heading to a yoga class because I needed to let the pain out. I turned on the Christian radio station and I prayed. I haven’t prayed or talked to God in what feels like forever and I don’t even know if he’s there or if he heard me but I prayed because I didn’t know what to do.

Tears and sweat poured down my face as I flowed mindlessly through the yoga sequence, unable to tell one from the other. My brain was screaming and I couldn’t shut it off no matter how much I tried. I dove deep into each pose and my muscles screamed but no matter how hard I pushed them the screaming in my head was louder, drowning out everything else.

I keep thinking, one day, we will wake up to good news. I keep thinking, one day, I will know exactly what to do.

I struggle each day with allowing myself to be happy in a world where injustice runs so deeply on so many levels.

I struggle with the obligation to fix it all… to piece back together the innocent hearts of those who have had hatred thrust at them for no reason, to mend the wounds of those who have felt unthinkable pain and sorrow simply because of who they are, to solve the systemic problems at the core of all this violence, all this agony.

What do we do?

I’ve spent every hour these past few days tossing that question around in my head. Trying to bring some semblance of peace to my own conscience.

What can we do…

We can, and we must, mourn both the senseless killing of our colored brothers and sisters AND the horrific shooting of our uniformed heroes.

We can start by understanding each side, by attempting to feel the pain and struggle of those we see as the “other side”. When we put ourselves in the position of whom we view as our enemy, our opponent, we come to see our preconceived notions are usually invalid.

We can talk to each other, instead of talking about or at each other. We can cultivate a dialogue, an open space to discuss our differences.

Most importantly, and this one sometimes seems to be the hardest one to grasp, we can LOVE.

The funny thing is, we all have unlimited access to love. It grows freely and abundantly in our hearts and it has no limit, its supply infinite. Yet we are so cautious to give it. We protect it as if it is sacred, as if we only have a little bit of it and it’s about to run out. WE HAVE UNLIMITED LOVE TO GIVE. And this is what makes me so angry, that we have this resource that holds immense powers to heal, to mend, to strengthen… yet we hold it in. We shield it from the world, a world we have allowed ourselves to see as being hard and cruel.

But this world, it just needs more love. This world is meant to be soft and beautiful and gracious but without love it will crumble. Without love we will continue to fall farther and farther from peace.

We can love. We can love hard and often, we can love all people at all times, we can love freely and generously and wonderfully. Love will not fix everything, but it will fix this sentiment of fear and hatred we have allowed to normalize.

2 Comments

  1. This issue is far too complex to be solved by love. You know how some people believe that, in a relationship, “all you need is love”? We all know that love does not pay the bills. It also does not solve a societal problem as widespread as racism. It’s like saying we can end wars if only we loved each other a little more. Instead of crying and mourning about it and social media, go take action. If you’re this torn from unjust shootings, you should clearly understand that this is not the first time, nor the second, nor the last. The social and racial hierarchy in this country was created by and is continually perpetuated by whites. Your post comes off as saying “all lives matter,” but all lives cannot matter until black lives matter. We need to be constantly fighting to dismantle racism, by calling out others on their microagressions (making racist jokes, comments), joining protests, and using our privilege to amplify the voices of the underprivileged. There’s a lot of information out there about how white americans can help the cause – reading through it will really open your eyes to the reality.

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    1. I don’t think you understand the post. As I said, I recognize love will not solve the problem. If you read previous things I have posted, you will see I call for action and change over just words. However, this is my personal blog through which I share my thoughts and feelings. I believe in the power of love, coupled with the power of action. I work in a field in which I am surrounded by change makers. I’m going to school to build up the skills to become a change maker myself. I am not some sad white person sitting behind a computer screen thinking if we just love each other our problems will go away. I’m working to reach a position in which I can implement ways to change all of this that go beyond just the concept of love. Obviously it’s more than that. It’s a compilation of the ignorance of systemic issues we have allowed to build up over time, of poor policy making, of a lack of tolerance and understanding. There are many things that could be done to fix these issues but what I am saying is that none of them will last or provide sustainable positive change if we do not first understand that we can love each other despite our differences and disagreements. I hope that clears this up a bit.

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