I had planned a post last Friday on how we celebrate advent in our house. After the events in CT, I wasn’t at all interested in that, and I chose to focus elsewhere.
I wanted to hug my child, play, and when she went to bed, I wanted to just let it all in and cry. Cry because people lost their babies. Cry because those teachers were so brave. Cry because I felt powerless and scared. Cry because as much love as there is in the world, these things happen. Cry because I don’t understand.
Since then I’ve felt every emotion you could imagine. I’ve felt sad, grief, anger, judgmental, and love. All of it.
The opinions started flying around on Facebook about how to solve this or what to do about guns, mental health, and parenting. Some of them were helpful, some of them got nasty, and some of them made me uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because I was able to see that it’s all so complicated that everyone is a little bit right, and no one really knows how to ensure little children are never senselessly murdered again.
Where do we or I even begin?
Here’s where I am:
I’ll start by just being in those feelings of vulnerability, powerlessness, and uncertainty. I’ll find a way to be in those things, because those are a reality of all of this. Those feelings are a part of being in this life and also of being a parent.
I’ll start by finding the places in me of love, compassion, understanding, hope, friendship, character, and light. I’ll set an example for my child of allowing others to believe differently than me and of respecting their opinion and mine. I’ll treat people the way I want to be treated, and when someone sends out hatefulness, I will either find a way to return love or walk away until I can.
I’ll listen for the truth in myself and in what others are saying. I’ll have discourse, and I’ll talk it over when appropriate. I’ll consider things, and I’ll speak up or act when I truly feel it is right.
I will find a way to live in love and not fear. I will be grateful.
All of this will be not be easy for me. I sometimes struggle with being reactionary and getting angry. When I am not what I know I should be, I will need to apologize.
Changing the world feels hard right now, but I know I can start by doing some hard work on myself.