We’re all still in shock after the horrific shooting at Pulse, an inclusive LGBT nightclub in Orlando. As we process this tragedy it’s even more important to treat ourselves and everyone around us with extra kindness and compassion. It’s normal and expected to feel angry, sad, overwhelmed, and even numb in reaction to this terrifying attack and the ongoing news coverage.
One of the best ways to help cope with those emotions is to do something tangible like donating money to the GoFundMe campaign that was set up for the victims or by donating blood at your local Red Cross donation center.
(Dr. Paige took a trip to her local Red Cross blood donation center to do her part!)
If you find yourself feeling increasingly distressed and would like to find a mental health professional near you, check out Psychology Today'sfantastic search engine. It can also be helpful to find comfort with others at your local LGBT community center.
As we look toward the future, it’s clear that we need to extinguish this act of hatred with extravagant acts of love and compassion. More hugs, more compliments, more laughter.
None of us knows how long we have on this planet. We need to jam as much good stuff into every day as humanly possible. Pet a cat. Cuddle a puppy. Tell a loved one how much they mean to you. Reach out to a long lost friend. Make a stranger smile.
Hatred did this. The label we assign to the perpetrator doesn’t matter – religious extremism, homophobia, it all comes down to distrust, fear, and hatred of others that springs from insecurity and self-loathing. The important thing to focus on is how to combat the rage and intolerance that leads to an attack like this with radical love, compassion, and empathy. If we all choose to put aside petty differences and to treat each other like we're all on the same team, there's no limit to how much good we can do.