This week, the deadliest mass shooting in US history occurred in Orlando, Florida. Like all acts of murder that occur in this country, it’s left me feeling so much sadness, confusion, anger, weariness, pain, and some other indescribable emotions.
We are in the age of social media, and because of this I’ve seen that our most popular attempt at grief is to share and put out content. Whether it be an article, news story, Facebook rant/debate, or photo, we feel the need to speak. And I’ve partaken in this as well. I’ve been producing and sharing content on social media since I was really young, so to me this has become a natural form of expression. It is for a lot of us.
But what I’ve been noticing the last couple of days is that, for me, our shared content has felt inadequate.
Yes, there is power in words and action. They are necessary for our progression, and we do need to take action to come to the aid of those affected by this tragedy, as well as prevent these tragedies from happening so frequently.
But when it comes to grief and mourning, I think we’ve forgotten how vital it is to be silent.
In every spiritual tradition there is a reverence of silence; of stillness. I believe it to be one of the greatest human mysteries that healing, solidarity, and even divinity can reside in the simple act of intentional silence.
But our world is so loud. Our world is overflowing with content. Yesterday, it felt like I spent almost half the day reading and watching content on the Orlando massacre. But the thing is, all of this content will never be adequate in explaining how my heart, and the hearts of people all over the world, is aching over this loss.
When the news of this tragedy became known to the world, there was an energy shift. And this is something we all know, because we’ve felt it. So after being submerged in the world of content, there came a point where I knew that this would not suffice. I just needed to feel.
I don't make this call for silence as a way of advocating inaction. On the contrary, I wholeheartedly believe that allowing ourselves to truly feel the weight of the pain in our hearts through intentional silence is what will catalyze compassion-based action.
As for me, I’ve done enough talking. I’ve probably said and shared more than I needed to say or share. Now is the time that I sit in stillness. It’s the time that I enter into the energy shift, rather than try to explain it, because ultimately there is no explanation for this senseless event. But I know that in order for me to make the next steps; to give love, take action, and serve; I must first listen to the energy. And I believe that listening to this energy will give me the strength, patience, and wisdom to listen others.