Friday, December 14, 2012

Tragedy, Perfection, Love


Today a terrible tragedy occurred. A man with a gun entered an elementary school and killed twenty children and six adults. When I heard this on the news after lunch, I was sickened. Every hair stood up on my body. I wanted to go get my children out of school and hold them and kiss them and keep them safe. I had just spent the morning reading to the children at Davis' elementary and at the same time, this tragedy was happening at a different school. It is horrible and terrible. It has changed me today.
I went to bed last night in angst because I have spent a lot of time lately worried about improving myself and feeling myself failing. I woke up this morning excited about our book group Christmas party, but a bit stressed about hosting it properly. I had dreamed about it all night and ended the dream in a plane crash where my mom closed the plane windows and advised me not to look outside.
I've been working so hard to be perfect and not let anyone see how imperfect I really am. It's insecurity, I guess. I even quit drinking because I don't want to lose control and make a fool of myself or say something wrong. I want to be so much better than I am and I am terrified that people will see that I don't have it all together or that I'm selfish or stupid or doing something wrong and think less of me.
I put so much pressure on myself to be the best and raise the best and look the best, and stay in control and not let anything slip. I don't want to let anyone down. So stupid. So not important.
What is important is just being alive. Loving. Not letting any moment go by. I think if we all (I) were more forgiving and accepting of ourselves and others, if we made love the most important thing, if we appreciated and enjoyed being who we are and being with the ones we loved, then maybe tragedies wouldn't happen. Or if they happened, then we would know we loved the very best we could and know that it was all we could do.
Guns kill. People are filled with hatred. The world is a scary place and we can't keep everybody safe. We can't be perfect. We can't live in a perfect world, no matter how hard we try. But we can love. We can forgive- ourselves and others. We can hold our children tight and feel the joy in loving. We can feel the joy of being loved. In the face of tragedy, we can choose to move forward in loving kindness.
I think that's all I can do today. I will hug and kiss my loved ones. I will move forward in loving kindess. I'll do my best. But I'm not perfect- and if I fail, that's okay too.