The transformational leader, international author and singer-songwriter based in L.A., Rikka Zimmerman, is a woman of many talents and ambitions. Monday, June 12, is the first anniversary of the shooting at the hand of one man in Orlando, Fla. that killed 49 people in a gay nightclub. On that same day, Zimmerman will hold an online Global Forgiveness Ceremony to commemorate the lives of the 49 who perished a year ago in Orlando. Zimmerman's goal will be to seek comfort and support for the Orlando and Manchester victims who recently lost their lives. She has also written a special song, dedicated to the June 12 victims, called "Come Together," which can be streamed in the music box below. Her new album, The Miracle, will debut on August 3. Find out how special the song "Come Together" and the online forgiveness ceremony is in our interview with Rikka.
AXS: What does "Come Together" mean to you and what do you hope your fans and listeners convey from this special song?
Rikka Zimmerman (RZ): When the news fell of the biggest shooting in U.S. history on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, I was devastated. My heart cried, “This doesn’t have to happen! I know that if everyone knew that they could heal their broken hearts with forgiveness, then everyone would feel that they were loved and no one would be able to harm anyone or anything. I set out to create a song that the world could sing together to stand for forgiveness and heal the hurt that is causing this violent behavior in the world.
AXS: You're also hosting an online Global Forgiveness Ceremony on June 12; how important is this ceremony for you?
RZ: I have worked with hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world teaching them how to choose love and forgiveness. In every instance, when one person in any situation chose to forgive, everyone involved changed. I know the power of forgiveness because I have watched it work in my life and in the lives of my clients. If enough of us chose forgiveness, we could end all of the violence that is existing right now on the planet. This is what I have dedicated my entire life to. It is not only important but I believe it is imperative for humanity's survival. During this ceremony, we will be leading the group through a forgiveness process that will not only transform their lives but the world. This ceremony will teach them the steps to heal and transform their lives and will harness the power of forgiveness to transform the world.
People who perpetrate these kinds of terrible acts have been hurt in their past. They have been a victim of similar violent acts and are now acting out that violence into the world. When tragedies like this happen, your gut reaction might be to condemn and judge the person for what they’ve done. Does that create a different outcome or add more energy to creating the same type of outcome?
What if what every perpetrator truly needs to end the bad behavior is love? What if you allowed yourself to realize that inside the perpetrator was a hurt innocent child that had something similar happen to them and that they are unconsciously doing what was done to them…to another. Would you further condemn that child, telling them that they are bad or evil and don’t deserve to be loved? Will that help the situation from occurring again? No. They already believe that they are bad, evil, wrong and don’t deserve to be loved, or else they wouldn’t have been able to commit the act in the first place. Our only option to end the violence is to choose to love and forgive.
Forgiveness doesn’t condone or support bad behavior — it ends it. Part of choosing love is protecting love. It’s protecting the love in everyone. You can forgive Omar for what he has done and in the same moment claim that this kind of behavior is no longer allowed on this planet. This is choosing love. When you choose love by claiming, “This kind of behavior is no longer allowed in my house, in myself or on this planet," you are including Omar in your intention. You are coming from a perspective that Omar also deserves to be loved and to end the violence for him, too.
We are taught by society to fight for peace. Fighting for peace doesn’t work; it’s not peaceful. It just continues to perpetuate the energy of war. Does that make sense?
AXS: What do you hope to accomplish with your music in light of the recent terror attacks in the U.K.?
RZ: It would be my hope, my deepest heart’s wish, that I could empower enough people to choose love and forgiveness that we could create a crack in the cavern of darkness that allows anyone to harm another. And as that light of love shines through that crack into that darkness of their pain, they glimpse, even for one overwhelming miraculous moment, the truth of how loved they are. And just as they’re about to strap that bomb to their chest or load their weapon, they feel that light of love in their heart, just long enough to make a different choice. It’s time to end the hate.
For more information about the Global Forgiveness Ceremony taking place on June 12 at 7 p.m. PST, 10 p.m. EST, click here.
Discover Rikka's music here.