It is Okay to feel afraid.
I know I do. It's a part of being human.
As I sit in silence, the stillness leaves me wondering what to do moving forward. I know that to understand where we are now, I need to go back and look at what brought us to this place of hostility and rage.
For me, when 9/11 happened, I felt helpless and looked to the government to deal with what I felt was too big for me. I felt afraid and helpless.
When the housing bubble hit, losing my home, left me feeling afraid. For the first time, feeling a total loss of faith that our government could/would solve the problem, as disbelief of the government and financial institutions behavior set in.
Feeling afraid, I focused on my newborn child, because everything else felt too big, too beyond my ability.
As I watched the divisiveness the Affordable Health Care Act and now gun control issues have triggered, I am not surprised that so much anger/rage has incited so much hatred towards those that we deem, "Other".
Where I believe we start is with the truth, so I will go first:
I feel uncomfortable with talk about banishing the second amendment AND I feel afraid of being in an open venue, or theater, wondering if someone will open fire.
I want everyone to have access to affordable health care AND I feel afraid of government control over my body, affecting my ability to make choices I deem appropriate for my body and that of my child.
I want people from all over the world to come to this country, as my mother did, to experience the freedom of dreaming and possibility AND, I feel afraid of those with malicious intentions who do not agree with our beliefs who come through the borders.
I see our country as the intentional beauty of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, AND I know that we are asking Human Beings in DC to do what is beyond their capacity, and it feels really, really scary.
I share this because I truly believe that in our humanity, feeling afraid AND sharing our fears, is what will allow us to see our humanness, the humanness of others and share our commonalities. AND where we start is by seeing that at the deepest level, we are all afraid AND we don't know what to do with the uncertainty.
Start with being honest and be willing to share your fears with another. This is where, I believe, we can start to create a less hostile environment. I believe that in our honest sharing, our commonalities will bring to the surface answers, solutions and offerings that can bring a healing balm to our aching hearts.
I am here for anyone needing a safe place to share: