Do you remember?
I imagine you do.
In fact, I bet we all remember what we were doing when the planes flew into the Twin Towers. And probably what we were doing when the shooting happened at Columbine High School in 1999.
But how about some of the other school shootings over the past few years? Do you remember?
When I first learned about the Sandy Hook Shooting on December 14th, 2012, I was at the airport in Florida, waiting to fly with my then 12-year-old nephew and 9-year-old niece back down to Bolivia. They’d flown up as “unaccompanied minors” over Thanksgiving, and I was flying home with them as their “guardian” and spending time with my sister and the rest of her family over Christmas.
I saw the story on the news at the airport and froze –mouth dropped open, throat closed up, tears in eyes, classic faint response– and then worked hard to keep the kids busy and active while we waited to board our plane (so they wouldn’t see the news on the thousands of TV’s spread throughout the airport.)
It was all I could think to do in the face of that devastating tragedy: protect the children.
But there have been SO many shootings at schools since then. And shopping malls, synagogues, churches, and more. And to be honest, I couldn’t even begin to name them all or remember what I was doing when I first heard about them. Can you?
That is a huge problem.
Here’s a List of JUST the Schools:
We should be outraged!!
But instead, most of us feel hopeless. Or worse, beyond hopeless, way over on the other side, into apathy.
What can we do? It’s so easy to be overcome by a sense of hopelessness, and feel like there’s nothing you can do. But there is!
It won’t solve everything, of course.
But don’t forget Clarissa Pinkola Estes wise words:
So what can you do? Take action. Stretch out to mend the part of the world that is with your reach.
Taking action wakes us up!
1) Call your senators and representatives and demand (politely, it’s their staff who take the calls) to know why they are stalling on the gun law bills.
Not sure what to say?
Here’s a script I stole from a friend (who stole it from a friend …):
“Hi, my name is _____.
I’m a constituent from [STATE], zip code ____.
I don’t need a response.
I’m concerned about the lack of a senate vote on The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, H.R. 8 and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, H.R. 1446.
I strongly encourage Senator _____ to please support a vote and the passage of these two acts.
Thank you for your hard work!”
“Right now, our team is finding a way to turn this heartbreak into action.
Every penny we receive this week will go to provide support and help protect our families and babies from living like this, and dying like this.”
She does good stuff in her organization.
3) Take care of YOU and your loved ones. Calm your nervous system. Here’s one tool.
Subscribe to my 25 Day Kindness Challenge here. I wrote this several years ago, but it stands the tests of time and sorrow.
Don’t sit glued to the news. It doesn’t help, and it can hurt. (I wrote about that here.)
Feel frozen? Triggered by your own history? That’s completely understandable.
70% of the world population experienced psychological trauma at one point in their lives! 61% of adults in 25 states (so the real numbers are certainly much higher) experienced an “adverse childhood experience” or ACE.
Reach out for support.
My new program, “Unlock Your Sacred Soul” helps women get the ground back under their feet FAST when they feel like they’ve been upended by a big loss or change. [Apply for your “Get Grounded” Strategy Session here.]
I’m sure there are more actions you can take if you do a little web surfing. But these suggestions can get you started. The important thing is to ACT.
Prayers for the Brokenhearted
And finally, if you are heart broken, here are two prayers from Mirabai Starr’s wonderful book of prayers: Mother of God Similar to Fire.
I find these prayers to be comforting. I hope you find comfort in them as well. [I’m sure Mother Mary won’t mind if you call on Mother Earth or Kuan Yin instead –or as well. We need all the positive Mother energy we can get in the world right now.