My heart is still heavy, and I am almost tempted to think that things will never change. The violence in Orlando is almost too much to bear and I find myself feeling helpless and small.

I woke early this morning, before my alarm, and a wave of sadness and fear washed over me. I don’t know why, but my reaction to this latest mass shooting, which combines both terrorism + hate against the LGBTQ community, has left me feeling vulnerable and crushed. Is it more personal, has it hit home more because it was a direct attack on a group that I am associated with? I don’t know, and I don’t really care. All I know is that today, two days after the attack, the tears are flowing. My heart is so heavy.

And yet, in my soul, hidden in the mysteries of the universe, I deeply know, in an unexplainable way that, one day, all will be well.

Still, I don’t understand much about the present moment.

How does one think that more violence is a correct response to violence? How can people believe in a god, a holy being, that does not love every single human being? How can people ever think that any kind of violence against any person, for religion, for retaliation, for justice, for anything is the right thing to do? Why is it so scary to let people live as their true selves? Why are we so fucking afraid to talk + listen to each other? It is all  so far behind my comprehension.

The only thing that I know to do right now, is to continue. Like I talked about in my post yesterday. To continue on living life. Unafraid. Steadfast. Resolved to stay united and to fight hate with love. All that I know to do right now is to continue to go about my daily activities, feeling all of my feelings, crying all of my tears, and, yet, never letting fear or worry or revenge get in the way of creating the life that I meant to live, that we are all meant to live in our own personal ways.

So, there’s nothing else to do except to spread love. And to create a world of justice + peace for everyone. In our own lives, in our own ways.

Therefore, my friends, as always, I turn inward + look back on the week that has just passed. And I choose to see the beauty and hope and simplicity and sacredness that is found in every little thing. I seek them out. It is these little, ordinary things that give me the peace + hope+ inspiration to continue to believe, to always remember that life is meant to be lived to the fullest… that all of us deserve the be able to live authentically exactly as we are.

So, in the midst of a world that is turned upside down, I choose to celebrate simplicity. And, as I share with you a few photos from my little life up in the Nordic country, I encourage and challenge you to explore and look through your own life… to discover those little moments that touch you, that remind you that not all hope is lost. That it is the little things that really matter. Things like nature, family, quiet, food + drink, simplicity, work, darkness, shared meals, art, music, meditation…

Here are some of my simple moments from this past week…

I made it through the last week of school with the students: it was heavy and intense, as I had to send many of my students off to their summers knowing that their lives are very tough…

work window

I am soaking up the rose bush that is blooming outside my window… been wining on it since we moved in last March. And Mother Nature has not disappointed me.home window

My love ran across a recipe for an iced coffee using frozen coffee cubes + oat milk. YUM!coffee iced homemade

The view on my way to work. Looove it.uppsala summer

We had a staff summer party as soon as we sent the students on their way last Thursday. So much fun with my colleagues!

uppsala nature country

An 11 PM sunset as I walked home from the party. There’s nothing like those Nordic nights.sunset uppsala

A night of blogging with my love. xoxohome windows sunset blogging

Saturday, Lina and I visited BrewDog bar in Södermalm, Stockholm. We’ve been dying to get here, and finally made it. Totally worth the wait! brew dog beer

This is the beer I ordered… and yes, it says that it is made of dandelions! brew dog beer södermalm

Cool space, huh?!brew dog beer södermalm

THE BEER. My hippie and craft beer soul was totally satisfied. brew dog beer södermalm

Södermalm scenessödermalm

A birthday dinner for Lina’s uncle with my Swedish familyfamily sweden

And, of course, a gorgeous late night sunset over Södermalm, Stockholm as we travelled home.stockholm södermalm sweden

The pure meaning of god (or whatever you say) is love. And, while I can’t see the ending, or know how long it will take us to get there, I know that love exists. That love wins. And, that all along the way… even in dark, confusing moments like these, and no matter where we live, love is present. So, the only response we can truly have is to send out more love.

There is much that we can do. We are not helpless, though we may feel it at times. Whenever any darkness and pain enters our lives, all we must do is keep living. We keep meditating, we keep working, we keep laughing, we keep enjoying and believing. We keep striving to be better, to live more authentically, to find that place in our soul where we are all connected.

We simply keep going. Because, together, we can – and we will – create a better world, one little moment of love + peace at a time.

Namaste, my friends. The light in me sees and knows and honors the light in you. ☽≏❍↠☾

xoxo. liz.