Orlando – ripples in the water

Events like Orlando create ripples in each of our lives. For me, I find myself feeling that I have been attacked by the events in Orlando. I wasn’t there, but just the attack on a gay night club feels personal.  There was a time in my life where gay nightclubs were a place of safety. They were a place where I could explore who I was and not feel judged. I felt nervous about the exploration but accepted by those around. There was a sense of them and us, a separation from the “normal world”. A separation that felt welcome for a short while, a place where it was OK to kiss a guy, to hold hands and for it not to be commented on.

Even now I feel different to the majority. I don’t very often hold hands with my husband in public. It’s only at gay friendly locations where we would kiss in public. I accept that some of these are my issues rather than the issue of those around me. But you would be surprised how often just the act of holding hands gets looks. So I just find it easier not to stand out. For me Orlando demonstrates the separation from the majority. It reminds me of how some people and groups wish to attack people like me, just for who we love. The stories about the acts of Isis in this area are just horrifying. It is easy to feel better than them. Yet, we all find it difficult when people are different to us, we are all more comfortable around people who reflect us.

So what can our shamanic work offer. It’s very easy to get caught up in the desire to offer healing for the victims, to undertake psychopomp work for the dead. Yes there is a need to do this but the simplest act of all is to stand with people through action. It is working from our hearts, it is working with love every day that makes a difference. It is by taking everyday actions of support and love to groups and individuals who are not part of the mainstream that we can show love. All of us need to feel accepted in the places we live. Events like Orlando can shine a light on how much more work is needed. Too often the words and actions that enhance difference go unchallenged.

I don’t think this should be prescriptive action but action that comes from one’s own heart. Action and prayer are the everyday tools for making a difference.

May love and blessings go to all who have been affected by the events in Orlando.

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