I was sitting in my little studio guest house, weeding thru the jungle of emotional land mines after my husband left and feeling the raw pain of rebuilding my life, when the phone rang… My sister said,
“Someone opened fire at an elementary school in Connecticut, children died.”
I started crying uncontrollably, I didn’t understand what was happening and thought of my daughter at school. How could it be that the world felt so out of control- My world felt so out of control? The changes were shaking me to my core. In a heartbeat, lives were changed from goodbye kisses, I’ll see you after school; to never filling lunch boxes, making macaroni necklaces and learning this weeks spelling words. All those tender, overlooked moments… gone.
I didn’t know those people across the country, but I knew that in a heartbeat my life was connected to theirs and that the best comfort I could give them was to stop everything I was doing, go within and hold vigil in my heart. I knew to be love in the face of madness, Grace in the face of torment, life in the face of death. That defining moment was a year ago today. It was another moment in our world of the countless crossroads where hate and anger push up against peace and grace. And, the precarious tug-of-war between who could stand the strongest; Fear or Love.
When I heard about one Mother’s quest to choose forgiveness when all evidence pointed against it, I knew Hope and Love had won this round. Her name is Scarlett Lewis and her son, Jesse, was one of the slain at Sandy Hook. An excerpt of her book, Nurturing Healing Love, shares her crusade of courage:
It left the parents and family members who lost children and other loved ones that day to endure a grief so grueling and profound, a life sentence of sorrow and suffering so insurmountable, that surviving the heartache seemed impossible. But this is not a story about a massacre, although that is how my journey begins. It is a story about how we can face, endure, and survive the seemingly impossible, and find courage when we think we have none. It’s about choosing love instead of anger, fear, or hatred, and standing your ground, like Jesse did. And it’s about how all these choices can change your life and even the world we live in. That is why I chose to write this book—to share with you a message that Jesse shared with me: through nurturing, healing love we can mend our hearts and enrich our world. Although my story has many moments of sorrow, it’s not a sad story—it’s a love story. It’s about my love for my sons, my family, my community, and God. So please bear with me through the difficult times because, after the tears, most of all, this is a mother’s journey of hope, healing, destiny, and even miracles.
By no means easy, Scarlett Lewis chooses compassion over contempt when she faces moments of rage toward shooter, Adam Lanza, and has stated, “Pretty early on, I forgave Adam, because I know that’s the right thing to do – you don’t want to walk around with rage in your heart. But I found that rage is more of a process. Details would come up about Jesse’s last horrible minutes, and I would feel rage, and I would have to forgive all over again. Then I would remember we’d bought candles for his seventh birthday cake, and I’d feel so angry, and I’d have to forgive yet again. I’ll probably always battle with that anger and forgiveness.”
You can purchase a copy of Nurturing Healing Love and all proceeds go to The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, Its mission is to create awareness in our children and our communities that we can choose love over anger, gratitude over entitlement, and forgiveness and compassion over bitterness.
In all the moments of sorrow and devastation, there is a choice beyond. It’s a choice of either being trapped in anger, or set free in forgiveness.
As Always, Ignite Your Light and Let it Shine Bright!
From My Heart to Yours,