The news this morning is horrifying and full of fear, and yet, it is all too familiar. How many times have we spent our mornings in tears watching the news coverage of yet another mass shooting? Honestly, I feel physically sick. I’m sad, I’m angry, and I’m grieved.
The shooting at Aurora happened the day I had Lucy. I sat up in the wee hours of the morning watching footage and feeding my tiny baby who had only been in this world for twelve hours. I remember feeling fear and horror sitting in that space between innocence and pure evil. This sweet baby girl was born into a world full of hate, anger, and fear. How in the world could I protect her? It felt surreal being cradled by life while I watched so many enshrouded in death.
Since then, I’ve learned something about fear: when I start to feel afraid, I tell myself to change my energy to love. Love, compassion, and kindness are always the antidotes to fear. Always.
As humans, we have a choice. We can capitulate our existence to a spirit of fear, feeding into the narrative of despair and hopelessness. But this does us no good.
I know this first-hand; my entire life, I have lived in a state of fear – of irrational things, of real and present dangers like what we have witnessed. It never served me well, though, except to diminish my joy and hold me captive to fully loving and experiencing life.
The past couple of years, I have opened myself to every feeling and experience that this life has to give, and I’ve seen that choosing love literally negates fear.
I am able to sit with my energy, examine it and its source, and make the choice to project love, empathy, and compassion rather than fear, anger, and defensiveness.
In the wake of the past several months – Charlottesville, hurricanes, threats with North Korea, mass shootings – it would be easy to give into our natural instincts to live in a state of trauma and fear. Let’s not do what’s easy. Let’s do the soul work necessary to choose something higher, something better – love. Look around today at people who are showing love, whether it’s doing random acts of kindness, taking care of others, serving others, and exuding kindness.
Say it with me today:
I will rise above the fray on social media – that soul-sucking, tit-for-tat, back-and-forth that pulls us into a vortex of negative energy.
I will be observant and focus on the good that people around me are doing today and every day.
I will reach out and tell people I love them.
I will tell fear it has no place in my heart, and I will see it for the lies it spews and choose to open my heart anyway.
I will turn off my TV and love those around me.
I will not give into a narrative of despair. I will actively choose hope and love.