Hate. I feel it everywhere, even in the nooks and crannies of my own world. In Vegas, our nation experienced something we are now so familiar with, and these terror attacks, these hate crimes, these mass-tragedies are getting bigger, and scarier, and more widespread.
Our nation is in a humanitarian crisis as a result of the hurricanes amongst other natural disasters destroying land and lives, we are still at war and our Military families remain steadfast to sacrifice themselves for our freedom, diversity and race battles are on our streets daily, we are in one of the most political unrests in history – and there is an undercurrent of unknown threats and probable chaos out there waiting to happen.
The emotional palm of my mind can only carry so much, because like so many of us, I feel the weight of the world and hold onto it as if it is partly mine to bear – that is being an empathic member of a compassion collective.
For me, I internalize – so I write. I paint. I ride my bike. I get tattooed. I play with my furbaby. I deal the best way I know how so I am not pulled into the oblivion of secondary residual trauma or the continued peripheral pain you experience when you are a witness to what has become a global pandemic of the most guttural and disgusting parts of humanity.
The more we stay in that space, the less we will have to offer others, and the more climbing out of a dark hole we will have to do. I admit I have become more and more numb to tragedy and disaster – and I have ultimately chosen that fighting my own demons and trauma – fighting for myself, will allow me to continue giving my breath to the journey of others. I think when tragedy happens, it is a time to reflect on our own lives, our own purpose, our own impact and fortitude.
I believe that how we operate in the middle of chaos, and how we treat others is the most important thing. Someone called me a professional victim last week, another called my writings and videos sob stories – lines in their cyber bully posts – I was called many things, and untrue, invalid and hurtful things were written – but those stood out to me most. Why? Because it’s a form of victim blaming, it is bullying, and what they referred to is how I heal, part of my coping mechanisms – and they are how I hope all of us can heal – by sharing our stories, sharing our love, and being as vocal about our pain and our wellness as we can – so others don’t feel alone and can find their voices.
Let us not forget that mental health is of the utmost importance during times of stress and trauma and grief and loss and all the words that resemble an aftermath of emotional disaster. How can people find it in themselves, in their own life bubbles to throw rocks at other people with words, or ignite insignificant hate campaigns of their own, when this world of ours is in such turmoil? Why is it that the nooks and crannies are now looking so similar to the big hate we see in the world?
Hate permeates, that is for sure – but my hope is that you all begin to refocus your energies on the grace and love you can provide, not the drama, not the popularity, not the wordsmithing of someone else’s pain – focus on how you can come together with those in your life, how you can forgive, and how we must move forward in the solidarity conviction that hope and healing and the resilience of the human spirit can bounce back after anything, when given the opportunity to join hands with those that define themselves only by what they can positively impact, not by envy or hate.
A declaration of authentic love and soulful rebirth. Re-identify yourselves, both metaphorically and literally – by holding olive branches instead of guns.