It All Comes Down To. . .
What we feel about life in general and events specifically. What happens around us does impact how we feel and how we respond to what occurs on a daily basis.
Late last Sunday evening, a horrific event occurred half way across the country to folks most of us don’t know. I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t feel much at all when the Monday news flashed across my gmail that 50 people had been killed and an astronomical number wounded. Curious I opened the article to see the what and where. Even as I read the account of another mass shooting; this time in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America, I didn’t feel much of anything other than “here we go again”!
In fact, I made the comment to friend that it felt strange to take the event in stride, simply because it seems it’s the usual rather than the totally unexpected. His comment. . . “perhaps we’re becoming hardened to such things!”
No never, not me. . .
That was my first thought. Never me, I wouldn’t become hardened to such a horrible event. But then again, maybe I might.
My gut didn’t churn and I didn’t rant and rave about the bitter hatred that’s dividing our country and citizenry as I would normally do in a similar situation. I didn’t shout obscenities and call the alleged perpetrator all the nasty names in the book and some that only I could think to use.
In fact, I didn’t feel much of anything emotionally. I felt sad for the loss of life and angered by the first conspiracy theorists out of the gate before the smoke had cleared from the scene, but other than that . . .little to nothing!
Could I, Could We?
Could I actually have come to a point in life where the demonic actions of others wash over me like a Spring rain? Would I turn from the first news reports to the mundane work of the day without an additional thought?
Worse yet, would I not feel any emotion at all? Not anger, bitterness, rage or a twinge of despair that we have arrived at such a point in our corporate history?
Friend’s words stung. Not because they were a personal indictment, but that they might be true of our society in general. While we might not be “hardened” to such events, we certainly may be less impacted because they come faster, with greater frequency than at any other time that I can remember. And if true, what does it say about me? About others with same or similar reactions – or lack thereof?
Did you ever?
Did you ever sustain an injury in which you didn’t feel the pain for a few minutes? Or even a few hours? Wham, we’re injured but it doesn’t hurt until after the first “wham” hits. Much like the first sting of grief. We don’t feel it at first. The pain and utter suffering come after the shock of loss disappears.
Life is like that sometimes, In fact, it’s like that much of the time. Even joyful moments don’t impact us deeply in the moment. It’s the memory of their sweetness that lingers and imparts that sweet smell of joy over and over again.
The same is true of pain. Pain of loss. In the case of the bitter division present in the country today, loss of a sense of innocence. Loss of the sense that we are safe between two major bodies of water that protect us from the evil that lies off shore. Loss of an ability to hide in our imagination pretending that evil exists only in books or on film.
It gets worse before it gets better. . .
Each day this week, I’ve grown more morose. Easily angered in one moment, then near tears the next. Overworked and stressed – yes. But that’s nothing new. Overworked and angry – that’s new. Each demand on my time felt as a personal intrusion about which I feel like a keg of nitro ready to explode. Each attempted breach of personal integrity a source of intense anger that seethes beneath the surface only because I was raised not to give into such seething.
Over the years, I’ve learned that painful emotions get more painful before they begin to heal. As I attempted to explain first the lack of feelings, then the explosive feelings and finally the feelings of heartache and pain; I realized that I have entered the healing stage.
The truth is. . .
The truth is not pretty, yet it is helpful to the healing process. Yes the horrific events happened half-way across the country to people most of us don’t know.
And yet we share a common humanity that draws us into their suffering as if it’s our own.
The truth is not pretty because these kind of demonic events will continue until the hearts of men and women are healed of hatred fed by those who traffic in hatred for personal gain.
The truth is not pretty because with each event, we will become ‘numb’ for just a little longer. We’ll feel we have become hardened longer than we want. And chastise ourselves for feeling nothing when our hearts tell us we should feel something.
A ray of hope. . .
In any highly negative life occurrence there is always a ray of hope. We don’t often see it at the time, because our humanity is limited in scope. But something in the midst of the debris field glimmers with possibility.
It has been said that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When the pendulum swings too far off the grid of human decency; it has a tendency to return equal distance to the other side. Finally, it will settle somewhere near the middle to reside with a sense of equilibrium
As long as there are humans populating the world, evil will not disappear. But as long as there are humans who take up a ray of hope that evil need not define us, or our surrounds; evil will be called what it is. And tolerated less and less.
It all comes down to goodness.Goodness that resides in the hearts of men and women for whom the healing process involves taking up action against that which would kill and maim.
As I sat to write, it occurred to me that with each key stroke, healing of emotions only moments ago raw with heartache have begun to heal.
With that realization, let us take an action to begin the healing process for those whose loss of innocence is so much greater than our own!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building a Community of Christian Business Women
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