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.