It’s normal to feel shaken after last Friday’s school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. It makes you question everything.
I’m sorry to say I don’t have a lot of answers. Other than to say there are very sick people in the world who do very sick things. But that is little comfort.
But, I believe there is comfort to be found by 1) taking meaningful action 2) living your best life.
Take Meaningful Action
This is a very personal choice. You could find meaning in giving to a charity for needy children this holiday. You might choose to call your congressman or the President and ask what they will do to prevent more shootings. If you have school-aged children, you might reach out to the school and other parents to create a community of support and action around this issue. Or it could be as simple as posting something on facebook or twitter that engages others in meaningful dialogue.
There’s no right or wrong. it’s whatever feels meaningful to you. Whatever gives you a sense that you are doing something to be part of the solution.
Live Your Best Life
As we learn more about what actually happened that day, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by grief and sadness. And this can leave you feeling uncomfortable about enjoying what is good in your life. You might even feel like it’s wrong to celebrate the holidays — like you shouldn’t really enjoy the festivities and celebrations.
That’s “survivor guilt.” And giving up your joy won’t change what has happened. But, you can let it change YOU.
I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. But, this is a good time of year to reflect on your life and where you are. Is this the life you are truly called to live? Are you being your authentic self? Are you happy with the people and relationships in your life?
If you are living your authentic life, then good for you! You are ahead of most people. If you are struggling to be your authentic self or to live your best life, ask yourself — What am I so afraid of? And then — How can I be more fearless?
Now is not the time to shrink. Now is the time to go big or go home. Reach for the stars. Dream big dreams. Go for it! We’re all very aware at this moment how precious life is. And none of us really knows how much time we have.
You honor those who lost their lives by 1) taking meaningful action so you are part of the solution 2) being authentically you and living your best life.
I love this quote from Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
You are awesome and amazing. And the world needs your light now more than ever. Let it shine bright for all to see.