Love.

I dread the news these days, and my newsfeed too. If it’s not another tragedy or act of violence, it’s someone’s personal struggles staring me in the face. There are mass shooting and horrific accidents. There are sick children and judgements. All the judgements. Everyone that can do better than those suffering. It’s all so heartbreaking.

And I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I want to hide it all from my children.- I never want to shelter them. If I do, they’ll be in complete shock when they stumble into the real world one day.- I do, however, want to shield them. I want to protect their innocence as long as I can and I want to save myself the heartache. The heartache I know will come when I look in their eyes and see understanding of something painful. I don’t want to tell them about evil and violence. I don’t want to explain mortality and loss. I want them to stay pure and feel safe for as long as they can.

So what do I do? How do I let them see the real world and hold onto hope at the same time? How do I protect their innocence while preparing them for life?

I love. I use love as a verb and not just a noun. I show them how grace and understanding far outweigh judgement and blame. I show them this concept in my daily interactions with them and everyone else. I explain to them that some people don’t know how to process pain, and sometimes do bad things. Then I love. I show them how to hurt without hurting others. I teach them about compassion. I give them the opportunity to give and help others instead of only looking on. I love. I try my best to show them how to comprehend loss. I find others who share my outlook to help my children understand the world is full of good and good people. I love.

Will this end all the world’s troubles? No. It won’t bring an end to violence or blame or suffering. But, hopefully, it will bring a few more people into the world that know how to love. People that know love is a verb and we must love each other everyday.

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