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Oct 18, 2019
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Not Normal – Mass Shootings and the Emotional Devastation It Brings

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My function is to try to carry to you a glimmer of sunshine in your day. As boldly evident, there may be a lot darkness; and whether or not I write about behavior change, perspective, communication, or try to crack smart; that goal stays my North Star. To remain true to course, I try to steer freed from politics (though those that know me know that I’ve very robust opinions).

At this time, I can’t be silent; it could be morally improper. Furthermore, truthfully, I’m additionally discovering it close to not possible to stay hopeful. That isn’t me.

We’re chewed up but once more by horrific, tragic, terrible, horrible, unconscionable, outrageous tales of extra mass shootings. This time, the names of the cities are El Paso and Dayton. (Gilroy, barely per week previous, appears a distant reminiscence.) I record solely cities, as posting the victims’ names would heartbreakingly take extra column inches than allotted print area.

I – and I think about, you – really feel like I’ve been rammed head-first by way of a meat grinder of feelings unwelcomed, undesirable, and uninvited; mercilessly whipped by a cat o’ 9 tails in a sinister torture scene from a B-quality horror film. We’re pin balls bouncing by way of shock, concern, disbelief, powerlessness, grief, anger; desperately making an attempt to reclaim steadiness and serenity, solely once more to be rocketed off towards our wishes into the emotional sewage. It’s a nightmare from which we can’t pinch ourselves awake.

Whereby we try to protect our broken psyche in denial and say – extra a prayer than a truth – it can’t occur right here; that too is what the individuals of Orlando, Las Vegas, and Poway most assuredly believed. It might be Outdated City Eureka, the Walmart in Ukiah, or the Tehama District Fairgrounds. Repercussions are already rippling by way of society: A motorbike backfires in Occasions Sq.; terrified individuals run for his or her lives, inflicting a stampede. Gross sales of bulletproof kids’s backpacks have doubled. I do know I am not the one one who seems to be for the closest exit once I sit in a quiet restaurant, or forces down a twinge of concern because the lights decrease in a movie show.

Whether or not or not bullets ring out, we’re already victimized, residing in a real-life Edvard Munch portray, screaming to the cosmos, solely to have what seems to be silence as the reply.

I’m struggling; that’s obvious.

However as with Pandora’s field, I have to imagine hope nonetheless exists. I can’t – and won’t – let go of the assumption that on the core of humanity is certainly that: Humanity. Among the many carnage, we witness heroes sacrificing all to avoid wasting strangers. Passersby run towards the disaster to rescue kids, later saying “anybody would have completed the identical.” (I am unsure that is true.)

We’re horrified NOT as a result of these despicable occasions symbolize who we’re however as a result of they most undoubtedly DO NOT. Ought to we ever settle for these mutant, abhorrent, aberrations as commonplace, then that undeniably is the hour we should pack it in, give it up, and lock the doorways.

Be afraid, and indignant, and confused. Really feel the bile that comes with violence. Grieve and mourn the harmless victims. Cry into your pillow and pound the mattress.

However, when these emotions fade, if just for a second, reject to be silent. Pray. Maintain vigils. March. Demand our leaders “Do one thing.” Don’t give in – even for a second – to those that say that is commonplace fare.

However greater than these, dig deeper inside to seek out the compassion we so want for others on this journey, particularly strangers. Know they too are grieving. They too are frightened. Attain out. Be part of arms.

We all know that is going to take time. There isn’t any panacea, no tablet to treatment all. But, as true because the horror of that to which we stand witness is the understanding that there isn’t any approach that giving extra love and compassion to others will make this worse. It could be a truism, however it’s correct. Solely love can conquer hate.

We are going to get previous this – not rapidly sufficient – however provided that we do it collectively.

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