This post is going to be a bit different and I'm not going to do my usual format.
I'm sure everyone knows the tragedy that happened recently in Orlando. Fifty brothers and sisters were lost and even more were hurt. It's such a terrible situation that I don't even know how to process it and I can't even begin to understand why someone would do such a horrible thing.
I've been told and I strongly feel that I've been gifted with a large capacity for empathy. As such, I find it hard to fathom how someone could just do such a thing. If it were me, I'd be thinking a thousand different thoughts like: "I wouldn't want to be hurt, so why would I hurt someone else?" or "I wouldn't want to lose a friend/brother/sister, so why would I cause someone else to lose their friend/brother/sister?" or "I'd hate to get a call that my child was killed, so why would I want to put someone else in that position?" etc. etc.
And it surprises me that these situations happen because it honestly feels like the person who did it either: (A) didn't think those things, or (B) didn't care. And I'm not sure which is worse.
The whole point of this blog post is that I've seen so many comments, posts, etc. about the tragedy and I think there's one important point that most are missing. Do not get angry. Do not hate.
I know that sounds odd, but let me finish.
Do not get angry - be upset, hurt, frustrated, etc. but do NOT get angry.
Do not hate - feel compassion, be worried, be understanding, etc. but do NOT hate.
If you let anger/hatred fill your soul you are only letting people like this win. People like this want to shake the foundation of life. They want you to become like them. They want you to stop loving, stop caring, stop feeling anything but what they feel which is anger and hatred. Do not give into that.
It's no secret that one of my favorite TV shows is Xena: Warrior Princess. At times like this I like to remember and reflect upon something Gabrielle said:
"There's only one way to end the cycle of violence and hatred, and it's through love and forgiveness."
And that's the honest truth of the matter. We can only prevent further events like this from happening when we continue to love with all of our hearts and share that love with everyone in our lives. The guy in question (I won't mention his name because I'd rather he be forgotten rather than immortalized for his horrible actions) hated himself for who/what he was. The scary thought is it could have been someone in your life. Someone in your life could have been the one to do such terrible things.
If you want to make a stand and make a change - just remember to love. I know it's hard during times like these, but please, don't forget to love and forgive.