Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I have been fortunate enough to live a life where I haven't been directly impacted by a tragedy.  I haven't lost anyone close to me at an unexpected time.  I have read many stories of people who have faced unspeakable tragedies, gone through unimaginable loss and I can't even begin to imagine how these people carry on through their grief and pain.  They are stronger than I will ever be.

I have grown up in a time, like many other times before me, where our country is at war, where we have been under attack.  Where the loss of American lives both in this country and others has been way too many.  We have many enemies, who attempt to strike fear into our hearts and minds.  These enemies come from both near and far.  They want to keep us from doing things that we love and bring us enjoyment.  Working, going to a movie, attending school, running in a marathon.

Ever since the latest tragedy in Boston, I have been thinking about fear.  I ran a half marathon this past fall.  I never thought in my life, that I would be able to run 1 mile, let alone 13.1 miles.  I was so scared, so fearful before I started that race, that I would never be able to complete it. But I did it and the great amount of pride that I felt in that moment was amazing.  I shed a few tears as I passed that finish line, then I quickly looked for my husband, I wanted to see him and see how proud he was of me.  He sure was proud and it was one of the best feelings I have had. Setting personal goals you never thought you could achieve, and actually achieving them, is an amazing ability of the human mind, body and spirit.

I don't want to raise my children to be scared, to be fearful of what could happen to them.  For every tragedy that happens, there are hundreds and thousands of people who give of themselves, their time, their money, who give to others that are hurt.  For every bad guy out there, you have thousands and thousands of amazing people with huge, generous hearts.  When things like this happen, it's easy to look around and say "what's wrong with the world".  Bad things happen, they always will, there is no way to change that.  What we need to do is not live in fear, to appreciate all the beauty of people that comes out in a tragedy like this.  Our children our most precious asset, its part of who we are to protect them from anything and everything.  It's also our duty to teach them to live without fear, to be one of the people running to those hurt instead of away from them.

For now I can and will shield my children from what is going on, they are far too young to understand it.  It is my goal to be an example of a kind heart, a brave heart and someone who doesn't run from fear, but faces it dead on.  I want to send them out into the world EXCITED to see what it holds because holding them back from the beautiful people and experiences that life holds, would be a bigger tragedy than if I kept them locked inside, where I knew they were safe but would miss out on so many great things. I want them to achieve goals that they never thought would be possible, I want them to see the beauty of the world, because in times like this, it might be hard to see, but it's there.

In honor of being that example to my children and to show them that I will face fear head on, I am making the promise that by this time next year, I will run a full marathon.  I will do something that will be hard, that an enemy has tried to turn into a scary experience, and I will do it in honor of my kids, my husband and all the beauty in the world that they hold.  I don't need to look outside this little family of mine, to know that the world is still a stunningly beautiful place.

This is a quote that I love and I think is very fitting for these circumstances.  I also think it applies to fear.  Fear cannot drive out fear, only courage can do that.  Let's all have the courage to know that this world isn't a bad place, that these times aren't defined by tragedy, but rather how we rise up when a tragedy happens. 

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
 Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here are some pictures of the people that bring light into my life every. single. day.

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