The months are slowly marching on and we are expected to keep marching with them. And
many of us will, even though we’re not sure how we will do it, and thats fine. My prayer is that
we do so while saying out loud that this is hard, we are grieving, we are scared, we are
exhausted - all in the middle of being very grateful to be alive. I want us to be ok if all we did
today was put one foot in front of the other and move from one chair to another. If all we are
able to get done today is walk outside to try to breathe some outside air, then thats ok. Many
of us are not comfortable with talking about loss and grief, anger and uncertainty. Others will
make us feel uncomfortable when we aren’t acting like they want us to. Don’t let anyone tell
you that you should be ok. Honor yourself and try to sit with not being ok....and lean into it...
because thats the only way that ok might show up on the horizon. And we will all be there to
greet each other whenever we arrive.
Exhaustion, confusion, uncertainty…2020…..then 2021….excitement…..relief….. then …still 2021, NOW, more uncertainty, exhaustion, confusion, fear, even more this time…what to do, how to cope. Just when we thought it might be a bit safer, it’s not. Fear lives in the future and calls to us, causing our minds to be out of control while we try to control everything and never succeed. But please know that there is something we can do..all of us.. we can create a self-care plan for ourselves and our family. We can’t control other people or the covid virus but we can make good decisions about how we are going to try to live, and do our best to stick with it. We can practice slow breathing when we get upset or fear starts to take over; we can hold each other tightly and let each other know how much we care. We can work hard to help each other calm down when we can’t stop thinking about how hard things are. And we can do everything we can to keep ourselves healthy. We must stay focused on what we can do, not what we can’t. There is some peace in coming to understand what we can do and being okay with what we can’t. All we can do is try. Let’s try together!
Life turns on a dime. In the blink of an eye, life changes with no notice. That’s what this Covid thing did to the world. And to us! And to you! It shook us up. It turned us around and upside down, and pointed us in so many different directions that we couldn’t think, or plan, or do anything the way we used to. Everything was different. And we were scared. AND NOW! We are still scared and that's ok. Some things are returning to a new normal….we are supposed to just pick up where we left off and live. How are we supposed to do that? Here’s the thing! NO ONE knows..And thats also ok. So for now, with schools open and some folks back to work, try putting one foot in front of the other a minute at a time. And if that works, try it again. And if it doesn’t work, take a deep breath, and walk in another direction. You will figure it out..because you always do…even if you stumble in the process! We will get through this together.
Parenthood! Motherhood! Fatherhood! Parent! Mother! Father! Caregiver! So many WORDS are used to describe this important role and they can mean different things depending on who is saying them. Being a parent doesn’t always carry with it knowing what to do. Most of the time, we do what we know and we know it because it’s how we were parented. Sometimes what we know isn’t the best thing to do. It might not be the wrong thing to do, but there might be a different way to do the things we do with our children that will make life better for them might help them learn better, grow better, think better. We might be scared to be a different type of parent; our friends and family might get angry with us, or talk about us, or give us a hard time. Doing something different takes courage…so as you learn a different way to do something, try not to think about “how will I do this from now on?” Instead, try to do it one hour at a time, and then one morning at a time; one night at a time, one dinner at a time, one bedtime at a time, one school day at a time. And they turn into days, and then weeks and months and years and before you know it, you are doing things differently, and it is all turning out ok! Now don’t you feel better? We will be sharing some different parenting tools that might be something you want to try out! Stay tuned!
These days, when we have the chance to talk to someone, the question, "How are you doing?" might come from either of us. A writer named Omid Safi suggested that maybe the better question is, "How's your heart?" meaning, at this very moment, as you take this very breath, please truly share with me: what's in your heart right now?
I encourage us to really think about this as a way to help us express and thus process and thus heal in the midst of it all. So, on this day, as we work on wading through difficult times, I am asking us all, for the sake of our children and ourselves, to consider "How is our heart?" Because our hearts are hurting, tired and so scared of so many things. That's trauma, and we and our families, regardless of what our family looks like or how we think our family is doing are all living with trauma! And while life might get better, it will get hard again, hopefully not this hard, and it is important that we show our children how to travel through times like these. The are watching us. We owe them more.
Shawn M. Lacy, J.D.
Love to Langa Board Vice President, Shawn Lacy, is a Trauma Competent Trainer for Lakeside Global Institute, where she has the opportunity to share trauma principles, concepts and strategies with professionals and para professionals in various Pennsylvania communities. She comes at this work with a background in child advocacy, child welfare, early childhood education, behavioral health, human resources and leadership and organizational development.
Contact Love to Langa
PO Box 104 Gladwyne, PA 19035-0104 United States,
South African Office
Phone: +27 (0)76 745 3384
We're a US-based non-profit organization. We empower leadership within impoverished communities and we empower children to learn.