I’m here to check in with my One Little Word, Surrender. Thank you to Carolyn for hosting these monthly checkins. I love having this gentle accountability to keep my word in the forefront of my life. Today I’m writing about my emotional response to the shootings in Uvalde, TX. I’m letting you know here in the introduction, just in case it’s something you’re not ready to read. I completely understand that many of us are still raw and vulnerable right now.
My goodness — this month was a doozy, wasn’t it?
Between all of the news, mass shootings, and general heartbreak in the world, my little family spent most of the month very sick and challenged with new difficult behaviors related to autism. I’ve spent most of the last couple of weeks either frustrated and in tears or completely numb and hopeless. I often thought about how surrendering could be helpful – this radical acceptance of the moment and taking the time to determine what matters most right now. It was hard to put into practice.
And after the school shooting in Uvalde – I am heartbroken. And the news about the timeline and the delay of getting help to those children? And the fear they were experiencing in the moment? And the pain? I am a puddle of tears right now, just typing that out.
How can surrender help me with THAT?!
Looking back to last week, I thought about how so many of my internet friends leapt into action, contacting their elected officials and demanding change. I wish I could have done that; I wish I could have been someone so outraged and was able to do something. Anything.
Instead: I cried. I cried for days and days. I thought about my own fourth grade classroom and how I never feared for my own safety there. I thought about my own almost-9 year old and how lucky I feel to have him home with me all day, tucked into our small life. My 7 year old who bravely faces the world every day, going to his special programs with a smile on his face (mostly). My spunky 4 year old who barrels through her brothers without ever worrying about anyone hurting her on purpose. And I thought about their tiny bodies and how vulnerable they are to the world.
I thought about growing up in Texas and the gun people I know. How entrenched the culture is and how it feels impossible to penetrate. I am so glad to not be active on any social media platforms because I don’t think I could handle all of the arguing.
I’ve spent the week surrendering to my own feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and sadness. And that’s okay, because that’s exactly what I needed to do. Those feelings won’t always be in the forefront of my mind. They are already beginning to shift towards something else more action oriented.
If there’s anyone who needs to hear it right now: there’s no right or wrong way to respond to what’s happening. Giving yourself time to process your emotions and understand what’s going on is just as valid as any other response. It’s okay if you don’t know what to do right now, your next steps will clarify with time. We don’t need to hide from our emotions about this; emotions can be painful and scary, but they won’t last forever. And when the tears stop, you’ll be ready to take action in ways that make sense to you.
If you’re looking for a place to donate, I’d like to suggest my favorite organization: World Central Kitchen. They have volunteers in Uvalde and Buffalo right now who are providing food to communities in pain. And of course, they’re still pivotal in the Ukrainian relief effort. A documentary about their work just premiered on Disney+ if you’re interesting in learning more.
This was a painful post to write and I’m closing the comments on it. I hope you understand.
May we all have the best possible start to our week. If you have today off for Memorial Day in the US, I hope you have a relaxing and quiet day! I hope to be back on Wednesday with a little update, but don’t be surprised if you don’t see a post from me. I don’t have a ton of knitting or reading progress and these extra Monday posts are often difficult for me to manage time-wise. Take good care.