Our reactions. Our hurt.

This past week has been tough for us as individuals and as a country.

The horrific tragedy in Orlando has made many of us stop and reflect – to think deeply about we can personally do to make a difference.

Some of us have found ourselves angry. Some scared. Some emotionally overwhelmed. Some of us have shed tears. For many people, this week has brought a combination of emotions and reactions. Here are a few thoughts:

1. People need to stop teaching “tolerance” and instead teach LOVE. Love ACCEPTS you for exactly who you are. Love cherishes you for who you are.

2. Be honest about what we cannot relate to. I can not fully feel what my LGBTQ family and friends are feeling. Why? Because I have not been treated the way many of my LGBTQ family and friends have been treated as they grew up in this culture. What I can say is, “I love you! You are valued! and I am deeply hurt.” And I can ask, “How can I be of support?” I can be present.

3. Listen. I’ve read posts from sooo many people sharing their truths this past week. We need to listen to each person – to gain a greater appreciation, understanding, and compassion. One comment on Facebook was by a friend who was asking everyone to stop trying to find a quick solution. The pain is just too much right now and she was asking everyone to let her be in her place of pain. Her pain of knowing as a person in the LGBTQ community, she does not live with the level of safety many of her heterosexual friends do. Her words stuck with me. I have found listening this week to be meaningful, enlightening, and sometimes difficult.

4. Honor and Remember. Focus on the gifts each of those 49 lives have been to our world.Watch Anderson Cooper help each of us learn about the victims of this heinous crime.http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/13/us/anderson-cooper-reads-orlando-shooting-victims-names/

5. FEEL. Allow yourself to feel fully and acknowledge those feelings. To suppress our truth is not healthy. Journal, blog, write a Letter to the Editor, talk with friends, talk with a counselor/therapist/faith leader. I turned to my personal blog where I wrote about feeling at: http://todaysdiscoveries.com/why-i-cry/.I actually wrote the piece the day before the shooting and then added the final line upon waking up hearing the news. Suddenly, to “feel” meant something different. You can see the full poem at the bottom of this post.

Please know you are loved. You are of great value to me and this world. Thank you for being you!

With love and gratitude,
Mike Domitrz
Founder & President


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