The world can be a harsh, dark place. People can be cruel and do unimaginable things. Actions can be so hard to rationalize and understand. Human nature can be destructive. In counseling, we often times hear the darkest part of people's lives. As therapists, we're careful to compartmentalize these things in order to avoid quickly burning out... but sometimes stories you hear will just sit with you long after.
Now as a mother, I find it even more challenging to separate the sufferings of others from our daily experiences. I want to protect Dylan from everything painful, everything bad, everything evil. I feel this physical tightness in my throat and chest when imagining her pure, joyful self being exposed to the blackness of life. I want to guard her from bullying, a broken heart, hatred, death, sickness, the world's injustices. This is the reason I had no desire to pursue being a child therapist... I want to save and protect each one and I know that's impossible.
So when I hear these tragedies... all I know to do now is hold baby girl that much tighter all throughout the day and hope to teach her what it means to be good. I don't want her to strive for perfection; there is growth and acquired character in shortcomings. I don't want her just following the rules. I want to model and reinforce for her what it means to choose to be compassionate, have integrity, empathy, consideration and understanding for others, ambition, perseverance, and most of all... having faith in our God and a place that makes no sense to us now... but will later.