July 14, 2016
With all of the hate and hurt going on in the world today I was moved to write this post about healing. We are all hurting in some aspects and the wounds have been re-exposed due to the recent events and acts of violence over the last month or so. First the shooting in Orlando, 49 innocent people many who identified with the LGBTQ community were gunned down, the killing of another two unarmed black men by police, the bombing and shooting of an airport in Baghdad and a restaurant in Bangladesh and then multiple cops who were killed at a protest in Texas. I know, unfortunately, their are several other instances that can be included here but I will stop there. All of these events outraged me. I realized these events made people angry, sad, scared, hurt and a multitude of other emotions which caused people to turn against each other and others in outside groups however that does not solve anything. The answer to the hurt is healing…from the inside out and by educating/ healing others.
I hurt for everyone. Everyone that has ever been treated unfairly or ostracized due to factors that are beyond their control. Be it their race, religion, a physical trait, disability, disease, illness or their sexuality. Many of the individuals who are the culprits of the hate we have all been witnessing are hurting too. Many of them were raised to have the viewpoints they possess and as a result do not even understand why theirs views/ actions are harmful. Others may have had a traumatic experience with one member of a particular group which caused them to attribute those traits from that one member to the entire group. Or simply they just do not understand that group’s way of life, never have been around members of that group personally or in someway feel afraid or intimidated by the group for whatever reason. There are other cases that may cause hate but in my opinion these are the main causes. It’s a fact that none of us are born hating anyone…hate is a learned trait. Therefore the great thing is, it can be unlearned. It will take a lot of work to heal and change a conditioned mind. After all we have had these thoughts and views imprinted in our minds for the last 30+ years. So how do we do this? Well I’m glad you asked! We start our own healing by healing others. Have you ever been with a group of people and heard someone call a gay person an inappropriate word and it made you cringe but you didn’t say anything? Or you ever been at a party and you hear a friend call someone a racist name? Or maybe even at an airport and you see a person being harassed because of the way they dress which happens to be affiliated with their religious beliefs?
I am certain we have all experienced this at one point or another. And I am sure we have all been guilty of not saying anything despite how uncomfortable it made us feel to witness those things. With that being said the way to start the healing of a broken and hurting nation is to use that opportunity to educate those individuals in that moment. For example, while hanging in the group and you hear them talking badly about a gay person ask them one or all of these questions: “Do you personally know anyone gay (interchange black, Muslim, etc)? Have you ever gotten to sit down and talk with a member who identifies with that group to see they are just like you but just happens to love the same sex (or be a different skin tone or practice a different religious belief)? And do you not believe people should have a choice to be with who they love (treated equally, fair) ? What if someone told you no matter how much you loved your wife/ husband you could not be with her/ him because her/ his hair was brown? (Or no matter if you follow all the laws you will still be harassed or possibly killed because of your race or religion.) Doesn’t make sense, right? Let people be who they are and love who they love. Let’s embrace the differences of our country and the world.” Believe it or not when people are educated on certain things or questioned in an assertive and tactful manner they become mindful of their ways and thoughts….something that they probably had never been able to do before because they never had the opportunity due to no one ever addressing these questions to them.
We have to also understand that because certain members of these groups commit horrible crimes those individuals do not speak for their entire population. All Muslims are not bad people and all police are not corrupt. Once we can truly understand and internalize these factors the healing can truly start. Also in most of these groups we know who the bad guys are. For example, in the police force I am sure the force knows who the bad seeds are but for fear of retaliation they don’t speak up and because no one speaks up senseless acts continue to happen. And this example can be applied to any group of people not just the police. The good people in this world out number the bad, I truly believe that. It’s just many of us are afraid, hopeless or do not know what to do. But good can conquer the evil. We can be the beacon of light this country needs. We can make a difference. I encourage us all to be the change we want to see.
In closing, if anyone reading this (or if you know of someone) is hurting and is in need of some professional help (Professional help simply meaning having someone who is unbiased, not as invested as a loved one and non-judgmental to help process past or current hurt) and is in need of obtaining some coping skills, gaining closure and/ or accomplishing peace I encourage you to contact a therapist/counselor. The same way we would take care of a broken leg, we need to take care of our mind as it controls every aspect of us and who we are. It is the most powerful thing we have, so I urge you to take care of it. If you do not feel I am the best therapist for you, please refer to PsychologyToday.com to find your perfect fit. If you have tried therapy before and it did not work give it another try with someone else; you will be surprised how helpful a therapist can be in your life. Whether you struggle with daily stressors or something more deeply like trauma, loss, hearing voices or seeing things, severe mood swings or anything in between there is help for you. Just have the courage to take that first step in asking for. You can do it…I believe in you. We are the world…let’s heal together.
Take Care of Yourselves.
Peace, Love & Butterflies,