In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, like many of you, I am finding it difficult to process this horrific event. As a mental heath professional, I am trying to help my clients process their own feelings. However, as a mother and a human being, I am having a difficult time doing the same. Unfortunately, there are shootings and mass killings all over the world. This one hit me hard. Is it because the victims are innocent children who were just beginning their journey? Or was it because the shootings took place in an elementary school where you believe your children will be safe? Or maybe it is because I am a mother of two young children.
At first I did not want to know too much information about the tragedy. I felt that if I distanced myself, it would not hurt so much. I thought that if I did not talk about it with others or even my own children, that maybe, just maybe I could pretend it did not happen.
Then I went to a yoga class and opened my heart and the sorrow poured out. I decided that I did not want to pretend it did not happen although I wish it didn’t. I decided that sitting with these intense raw emotions is ok. Allowing me to feel what I was feeling did not mean that I had to be scared of the world. Learning more about the innocent victims allows me to feel more compassion and although incredibly painful and heartbreaking, I am able to connect with others. I am choosing not to focus on the shooter; I will not even name him. I am choosing to focus on all those brave children and amazing heroes.
So as the debate and questions continue about mental health, gun control, who this shooter was and why he did what he did, allow yourself to hold those feeling of sadness for the victims and know in time, there will be healing.
Please feel free to respond with your own thoughts and comments below.