How to Move Forward
My reflections on the recent senseless violence around the country
I’ve been blocking out the news lately. Piles of newspapers sit unread on my kitchen counter. I’ve unsubscribed to news alerts.
Why? Because I can’t function when I stop to process all the horrifying bad news. And there’s so, so much of it. I’ve learned to manage my anxiety and preserve my sanity by saving it for when I can cope. As an empath, each story attacks my entire system.
And so I came late to the shooting in Uvalde, Texas. It is a luxury that I can even choose to postpone processing a trauma that has wrecked families. Communities. Our country. Again.
So many parents like me didn’t have the ability to block it out. It will be their horror forever.
As a mom of four, I am beyond gutted, putting myself in those parents’ shoes. Imagining the fear of the little ones. So how do I wake up on this beautiful day in New York and simply swipe out of the news apps and go back to work? How do I send my kids to school without wanting to keep them in a group hug at home?
We can’t control these random, horrific events. A school shooting. A subway attack, like the man who worked at Goldman Sachs for nine years and hopped on the subway to Sunday brunch and got shot, murdered.
We can’t. I hope leaders everywhere do something to protect us all from gun violence. I am naively hopeful that those in power will do the right thing and help keep our loved ones safe. But can they?
So as we all wake up and go about our Wednesday, know this. All we can do is our best. All we can do is love our children and respect all families everywhere. All we can do is try to make a difference in the world where and how we can. All we can do is welcome the sun each morning and pray for a day without trauma, a day to celebrate the good. The festive graduations. The coming of summer. The joy of a school party.
We don’t know what is coming next for any of us when our lives will fall apart in tragedy or soar in celebration. So we must claim each day for the gift it is. A chance to love. Contribute. A chance to cherish our communities. And hug our little ones tight.
A chance, quite simply, to live.