I don't want a photo of a gun on my blog. Or anywhere my eyes can see. The image of a gun has me shaking my head in sadness. It makes me angry that we've let ourselves be so sick as a human species. And once the anger is felt for a few moments, great grief enters. It burns my heart to think of what's possible with humans -- how we can learn to communicate through conflict, to heal old wounds -- and yet how often we resort to defensiveness and violence.
As a kid in Catholic school, I decided religion wasn't my thing. But God is. Because God is Love. And Love is definitely my thing.
Love is what makes life worth living. It's the most powerful force in the universe.
Love is universal, spanning above and beneath all religions, swallowing them whole, together. Love is beyond religion.
Words can get messy. No single word is adequate to express things as powerful as Love or God... yet we do our best, since we are creatures of relationship. And communication is the hardest part of relationship. And a lot of how we communicate is with words.
After the recent shooting in Orlando, Florida, I wished I had a magic wand to ban guns from the planet. Nowhere do they belong. I feel this in my heart of hearts. Humans are capable of learning to communicate with wisdom and maturity; guns should not be necessary. If we want to hunt and eat non-human animals, there are other ways.
Love doesn't kill. Guns don't kill without someone pulling the trigger, either. But dang, can't we do better, people?
If nothing more, this is a plea to each of us. EACH OF US. To humble ourselves, to open our hearts and exhale our defensiveness, so we can become more effective communicators. We are all learning to be better communicators. Let's stop pretending we're not. Every time we choose to slow down and be curious in the presence of conflict -- instead of being defensive -- we open up a space for Love to come in and speak through us. It's absolutely not easy, and it is a significant part of the required work of being human. If not in this life, it'll surface in the next.
I don't want to argue about this. I don't want to be right. I just wanted to share my heartfelt words on my blog. They're not meant to judge anybody.
Out beyond ideas
of right doing
and wrong doing
there is a field
I'll meet you there
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, is a lifelong letter writer, a mother, freelance consultant and eternal fan of Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street. This deeply personal blog and our recorded talks and workshops are devoted to one of her great passions: illuminating the beauty of the human spirit.