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Monday, August 3, 2020

El Paso Shooting and Memorial Visit

Update: On this anniversary of the Walmart shooting, I thought I would reprise what I wrote last year.

This post has been percolating in my consciousness since August 3 when the El Paso shooting occurred. As a spiritual woman I see my role as one who promotes, holds space for and encourages change through non-violence and Love.

In the days after the shooting I wrote this:

I vowed I would no longer post political things on Facebook. I vowed I would try to minimize my exposure to the hate and vitriol that is spewing in this country. I vowed I would hold space in my heart and in my mind to anchor in more Love and to create a space for change. And yet here I am. I must give voice to this tragedy that has befallen our community. While I do not live in El Paso it is 30 minutes down the road. I have sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends that live in El Paso. 

On Saturday, August 3, 2019, there were frantic text messages as roll call occurred to make sure our loved ones were safe. Some were in lockdown in other stores or restaurants nearby. One was in the bathroom of Walmart grateful she didn’t have her children with her yet I know traumatized forever.

My husband, a retired Navy captain, came to me with tears in his eyes after watching our niece Stephanie Valencia on CNN speak in the aftermath of the tragedy. He said the pain in her eyes haunted him and then he said “I am a retired Navy Captain. I served my country for 26 years. I was the Captain of a warship in the Persian Gulf and I no longer feel ‘at ease’ in my community. I feel as though I have a target on my back.  It feels unsafe to be brown in this country.”

I am here not to spew and add more hate to the dialogue but to speak to a higher purpose. I believe at this point this goes beyond political affiliation or ethnicity or religious affiliation but speaks to the very core of who we are and who we choose to be as humans, as souls having a human experience. It is a time for searching our souls. And no one can do that for us. It is a soul-searching that each one of us must undertake. No government entity, no group can do this for us. It is a personal process between you and your Creator.
We must search our conscience and then act from that place of alignment with the Divine that resides within each and every one of us. It is only in this way of individual responsibility that we become united in the wholeness of what is possible.

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