Unchained by Sara Stansberry
“Wow! I loved that Christina Grimmie.” My daughter was giving me her take of the evening’s events as we made our way to the car. “I want her to be my new best friend.”
We all agreed there was something quite special about the talented 22 year old. She had a presence on stage that was open and inviting. I wanted her to be my new best friend too.
I have a friend whose nephews make up the band, Before you Exit – BYE was touring with Christina Grimmie and had a stop at a small venue in Orlando – which made for a great opportunity to support them.
I suggested we go back in and try to meet Christina stating this would be a great time to do so. “She’s here, right now and we know the people in charge of the concert – I can just go back in and ask them.” The thought was mortifying to my daughter’s teenage brain – what would she say? My son was tired and so we decided to leave. On the way home, we found Grimmie on iTunes and listened to her music.
I had written this post in my head that night, as the lights were flashing and the base was pumping so loud beneath our seats you couldn’t even hear yourself think. I was so happy for (and proud of) these young people who were unabashedly chasing their dreams. My plan was to juxtapose them with those who never do – and open up the topic of why, as a people, we’re so afraid.
We arrived home and my phone began blowing up. I had posted my location that evening (something I almost NEVER do, BTW) and the news of a shooting was making its way around Orlando.
I answered to my concerned friend:
Are you guys ok?
Yes, what is going on?
Sara, someone just shot Christina – they just walked up and shot her after the show.
The news was just getting out, but no one had any details at that point. It must have happened as we were making our way to the car.
Tragic – senseless.
This morning (a little more than 24 hours later), I awakened to news of another incident. A mass shooting at a nightclub in downtown Orlando.
What the hell is going on?
The pain we intentionally inflict on our fellow human beings is staggering to me. This is something I will never accept or be OK with - none of us should be. We hurt each other with the majors – weapons, airplane missiles and the invasion of each other’s bodies. And we do it with the minors too – shaming, criticizing, and acting out in our anger and abuse. The majors create physical harm (and death). The minors lead to emotional and spiritual death – a fate that is equally devastating but not quite as easily seen.
When will we learn, as a society and as a culture, we are not each other’s enemies? When will we learn that mental illness is just as real as physical illness? When will we value the healing of our minds, hearts, spirits and relationships more than we value money, prestige, power, and possessions? More than we value our own comfort?
Do me a favor, and love today. Just pick one thing that would normally bother you, one small thing in your life and choose to sow love into it instead of hate – instead of frustration – instead of apathy or indifference. If you don’t know how to do this or what this might look like for you – (that’s OK. Sometimes I don’t know either), then ask your higher power (or whatever it is you believe in) to show you.
This one small act could change your life.
I’d love to hear your results in the comments below – or leave me a message via this site.
Here’s to making it great.