Reflecting on Orlando

 

I would be remiss if today's post wasn't about the horrific shooting that took place in Orlando. This is not the place where I will be political or debate the Second Amendment. Instead, I want to look at how this impacts us, and in keeping with the Monday theme of fitness/health & wellness, use that topic as the grounding force. 

For me, what was particularly jarring about this event is that it came on the heels of a beautiful, mostly tech-free weekend trip I took to attend the wedding of one of my oldest friends. Surrounded by so much natural beauty in the woods of New Hampshire, where individuals and couples of all races, creeds, genders, and sexual orientations were gathered to celebrate love, it was hard to reconcile what had happened when I came face to face with CNN at the airport Sunday morning.

 This was the first thing I saw Sunday. Not too shabby.

This was the first thing I saw Sunday. Not too shabby.

The more I tried to understand how while I was having an evening filled with joy and laughter, my fellow humans were being mercilessly killed, the more I was at a loss. There is no explanation. But, what I am comforting myself with and trying as hard as I can to cling to, is remembering that there is still good in the world. There is still love. In our friends and family, and often in strangers, we can find hope and a helping hand.

In my law school Mediation Clinic, we learned about the effect that facial expression, body language, and tone can have on those around you and how it can change interactions. Sort of obvious I know, but once you start reading the studies and taking quizzes yourself, it really hits you. So much of what makes for a healthy, balanced life, are the relationships that we have and how we go through our day- are we running frantically, are we eating on the go, are we just following a schedule that someone else has printed for us, or are we stopping to be present in each moment (or maybe it's a combination)? Not every day will be perfect and some days you might even actively choose to just go through the motions, sometimes that's what you need. After I've had a lousy interaction with someone, I will find myself working hard not to spread my annoyance (ok let's be real, it can be anger) to others and it is in these moments that I strive to do small kindnesses. This shakes me out of my mood, and is my way of counteracting the negativity I've encountered. 

 I found this in a Google Image search a very long time ago. I don't know where it came from, but it's pretty perfect.

I found this in a Google Image search a very long time ago. I don't know where it came from, but it's pretty perfect.

I hope that each of us can find a way to continue on, with love in our hearts and kindness on our lips. In the words of MLK, Jr., "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Be good to each other. 

 Seen on the sidewalk. This is what it's all about.

Seen on the sidewalk. This is what it's all about.