Dear Girls,

After a tragedy it’s best to get quiet and just feel. Feel the pain of what’s occurred, and also feel the grace and resilience of the world.

Where there’s pain, there’s also a strong energy of love, a cry of grief, a knowing that it doesn’t have to be this way.

This love-energy gives us strength to get back up, to re-engage with a life that can sometimes feel scary.

Fear is human, and the acknowledgement of fear is essential. But it’s the choices we make while feeling fear that define our humanity.

Pointing fingers at others while calling them “they”, or separating from others while saying “us”, creating boundaries that make some worthy and some unworthy – it’s not helpful and it’s a false sense of security.

It’s a divisiveness that creates more of what we fear. It’s hate disguised as problem-solving, it’s irrational thinking disguised as a solution.

It can be difficult because our brains are hardwired to pay attention to fear and divisiveness, to be hyperaware of threats and negativity. This is helpful when being chased by large animals, but completely unhelpful when it’s a continuous-thinking loop.

Our brains are rigged to notice the negative, but we are also hardwired to connect and take care of each other.

The mirror neurons in our brain help us feel each other’s feelings, they ignite our empathy and remind us of our oneness. We are hardwired to recognize each other, to help each other thrive and survive.

These are super powers, and it’s our responsibility to understand why they exist and how to use them wisely.

It’s so important that we run fast when a big animal runs after us, but we also need to slow down and re-center after the chase is over.

We need to acknowledge and do our best to let go of that fear and anxiety, so we can mindfully begin again. It’s from this place that we build a better world, where we can make choices that unify.

So girls, feel what you need to feel, let your heart break and know that you aren’t alone. My heart breaks, too.

But trust that every time we allow our hearts to break and we come back with love, we become stronger and more capable, we shine brighter and have more to give.

We change the world by using our super powers for good.

 

The Dear Girls blog offers reminders for parents and lessons for our daughters. Type your email address in the subscription box to the right of this page. The list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Cathy is host of Zen Parenting Radio and the author of the award-winning Living What You Want Your Kids to Learn: The Power of Self-Aware Parenting. She is mom to three girls, 13, 11, and 8.