This past weekend I had the distinct pleasure of being the Keynote Speaker at a charity brunch benefiting the efforts of Saving our Daughters. The event was a huge success and I remember leaving the venue feeling HIGH off of life, purpose and possibility.
The very next morning I awoke to horrific news that an act of terror fueled with hate had taken the lives of over 50 members of the Orlando community and left another 53 in the hospital fighting to recover from their injuries.
The high of elation I had experienced the night before was deflated by the cruel reality that my city was now facing.
As the news unfolded and the stories of the very tragic ordeals that the victims endured broke, my heart shuddered in grief.
In the wake of such a heinous and unbelievable act of extreme violence many were left searching for comfort and answers.
As I watched the news broadcaster read the final text messages of a young man who was trapped in the women’s restroom with the shooter, tears began to stream down my face. The text messages were a testament of love to his mother and a plea to petition help for him and the other individuals who were trapped in terror. My heart shattered at the last message to his mother that read ” I’m gonna Die”.
This incident hit close to home not only because it took place in the city where I was raised, but because it targeted a gay night club that my little sister frequents. Thankfully she had to work on this particular night.
As a success and empowerment coach I am always searching for the light even in the darkest of places. I often coach my clients on discovering the purpose that is buried in their pain. I truly believe that in every hardship, in every valley, in every dark place, in every time of tragedy is a opportunity to discover purpose.
I was reminded of this truth during the gathering of hundreds of community members at local blood banks in the aftermath of tragedy. Hundreds of people had given up their Sunday morning, and had volunteered their time and their bodies to assist the victims who were hospitalized and in dire need of trauma surgery. My heart and spirit were refreshed as thousands of community members gathered at the Dr. Phillips performing arts theater to honor the lives of the victims during a candlelight vigil.
The faith in humanity was expanded as I read the many posts and tweets from around the world in support of the Orlando Victims. I shed a tear when billionaire author JK Rowling acknowkedged a 22 year old victim who had worked on the Harry Potter exhibit at Universal Orlando by tweeting his picture. Even she had joined in the mourning of the city beautiful.
As I reflect on the unspeakable pain that the family, friends, co workers and community members are currently experiencing I am reminded of the universal truth that Love conquers All!!
I am comforted by the spirit of humanity and the power it has to unite and heal.
While we mourn, process and attempt to build from the pain of this incident, may we all begin to transition into a place of purpose by remembering and celebrating the Love, unity and support that has been birthed through this tragedy.
When we ban together in Love we expel and overshadow the hate the evoked such a horrible act.
In the words of the late Maya Angelou “Hate has caused many problems in the world but it hasn’t solved any”
Sending love and light to all my sisters and brothers around the globe,
May we continue to stand in solitude despite of differences.