By now we have all got used to the stories of hate and violence that fill the nightly news and our newsfeed.
It’s heartbreaking. It’s unsettling.
As I watched the news last night, I saw the video of an innocent man being shot by a police officer. I had been avoiding this video because I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want to feel it. Then I heard the voice of a young girl telling her mom it was going to be okay. Tears openly fell down my face.
Could it be me? Could I be the woman in the car? Could that be my husband and my child?
I turned off the news to head to dinner with two of my favorite guys. Taking advantage of a rare night with just Christian and Cole, we had dinner on the water and stayed up until midnight playing monopoly.
But it could have been me in the car. It could have been my husband and my child.
It wasn’t me. I’ve experienced hate. I’ve been victimized. But it has never touched my children. How lucky am I that on a 100 degree day I can sit by the water with the breeze keeping me cool while I sip on a summer drink.
I have a choice to make. I can choose guilt or I can choose gratitude. The magnitude of the tiny moment isn’t lost on me.
This morning more hate filled the news. Police officers lost their lives. Their wives and their children are grieving.
My biggest concern right now is can I run faster at my next race. This feels trivial. This feels self endulgant.
Again I can choose guilt or I can choose gratitude.
In moments of strength, in moments of grace, I can choose gratitude. I can choose to continue to grow. Running faster at my next race has nothing to do with running faster. It has everything to do with exploring my potential as a human. It is about overcoming pain and pushing through discomfort. It’s about conquering doubt and self-hate.
It’s the complete opposite of self-endulgant. It’s living.
One day it could be me. One day tragedy can show up on my door.
We all need something that roots us to our world. We all need something that shows us our strength and our potential. For me it’s running. It’s raising boys to be compassionate loving men. It’s enjoying dinner as a family. It’s playing monopoly. It’s running my next race.
Today I’m choosing gratitude over guilt. I’m choosing to feel alive.
But I’m not settling. I’ve had enough of the hate and the fear and the violence. My heart is searching for a way to ensure everyone can also make the same choice to feel alive. Where can I lend my voice? Where can I give my heart? What can I do to bring about change? This is an answer I can’t seem to find.