As I sat quietly and alone in the late hours of Saturday night into Sunday morning, my blank stare into the darkness of my bedroom was interrupted by the flashing of an incoming message on my smartphone. It was unusual for me to be awake at such a late hour, but even more so to have news alerts blowing up my device.

Giving in to the need to be “connected” to the world at that hour, I learned of the horror that had occurred at the hands of man acting in the name of hatred at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

As the story continued to develop, I found myself oscillating between feelings of fear for my LGBTQS community, sadness for the loss of so many lives taken, and those feelings of anger. The anger is what I am grappling with because of the sheer number of incidents involving mass shootings. There have been countless justifications offered up by those who can’t see, or refuse to acknowledge the common thread connecting each occurrence – guns and a misguided heart.

With each tragedy, I hope laws will change. I hope that the “moments of silence” will have a deeper impact on our citizens, or spark action. Taking action is the single most effective remedy to resolving most issues in my experience, but unless one is willing to act, the journey will never begin.

The victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting don’t have a voice in the conversations that will be taking place all over this country, but for their sake and for other victims of past shootings, we ALL need to start taking action at some level.

Love has always been the foundation my community is built on, however the meaning of “love” isn’t fully understood in my humble opinion. I heard a song sung by Tituss Burgess, with a very poignant lyric which reads, “Love is an action, a verb, not just a word…consider how you love.” The song is from a Middle Church Album release titled “Welcome”, produced by Steven Hero Productions, and released July, 2012.

It is my feeling that we’ve lost the ability to fully live as a loving community due to our internalized fears of one another. We express fear for that which we don’t understand or for the unfamiliar, but in an age of improved communication, we fail to utilize these resources.

I know that I can do my part by continuing to speak up and speak out against hate and homophobia – a personal revolution. I’ve never been a victim of a mass shooting, but I have endured a lifetime of experiencing and witnessing bullying at the hands of others. It’s time to stop just tolerating each other, and begin to LOVE and ACCEPT one another. Practice ahimsa (non-violence) and metta (loving kindness) every day. When we learn to love and accept ourselves, we can learn to love and accept others. And that is powerful.

Love is love, is love, is love, is love, is love, and that’s it!

Image: Ganesha is the Lord of Good Fortune who provides prosperity, fortune and success. He is the Lord of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles of both material and spiritual kinds. Pray to Ganesha to remove fear.

[Photo by harminder dhesi | CC BY]
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