My experience on the panel blatantly reminded me that we live in a world that is fighting many demons. There is a lot of real pain, a lot of gut wrenching trauma that innocent children, that good people, are faced with every day. And while it’s easy to think of Jerry Sandusky as a monster — because what he did disgusts me to my core — I feel that there is a sickness, an imbalance at its very core, that runs deep not only in him, but in our society.
I think about a similar situation where someone I know was caught doing something that disturbed me in the same way, something that I thought should be punished. Something I didn’t want to accept that person could ever do. I fidget as I realize that this person’s actions were a coping reaction to a deep trauma, abuse, from the past. My head spins as I think about another friend who was abused by her father. I still cannot come to terms with it and am in awe with how she copes every day. I realize she copes because she has to. She had to heal.
I avoided the daily news about Jerry Sandusky. I avoided it, not because I was protesting the media hype, but because it made me sick and emotional. But, I know that avoiding darkness does not make it go away. It does not help people heal.
I read this article about Sandusky’s pastor’s words to his congregation last Sunday. He told of how Jesus was awoken on a rocking boat as a storm raged around them. He responded with the words: Peace. Be Still.
“Sure, the darkness is deep and the waves are powerful, but this is the time to engage the world, not run from it,” he said from the pulpit. “This is the day of our saving. God always speaks the loudest when the waves are the highest. Peace! Be still!”
Those women on my panel, they did not run from their pasts. They are the victims who will not be held back — who can inspire others to heal and not continue cycles of abuse. They are the light bearers for the future. The ones who share the stories so that we can let the tears flow freely in pain. So that we can release, and then find the inner stillness and strength to move on.
More from Mallika’s Mindful Mom Series:
Mommy, Why Did 9/11 Happen?
Mommy Guilt: How Do You Deal With It?
How Do I Explain to My Kids That the Government Deems Gay People’s Love Wrong?
Mommy Days – Balancing Work and Kids