I just had surgery on my nose. It was broken years ago by my ex-husband and has hindered my ability to breathe for years. I wrestled with the best way to travel through the immense pain, both emotional and physical, as I faced this procedure. My intention and goal was to approach the pain and what would come in a “child like” submissiveness, since I had already decided to have the operation, weighing all the pros and cons the surgery would bring to my health. I wanted to give up the fight of resistance as well as any bubbling up anger so that the experience would go smoothly, and I would heal as much and as soon as possible. I had decided to get the surgery, and no use complaining about it. That was at least the goal. I thought I had forgiven my ex, but often when I thought of the surgery, I cried. Obviously I still had more processing to deal with and more feelings about being hit by someone who was supposed to love me.

After a few days of post-surgery recovery, I learned of the tragic news: 20 school children die in a senseless shooting spree. I have a daughter that exact age. I couldn’t help but think—“What is this world coming to?” Violence and moreviolence. The stopping of such violence is of course a must and a problem our government will wrestle with for years to come. Those are issues that something can be done about, with many and varied cries for action.

On the personal level, we each have a choice of how we are going to respond to violence. Whether the violence happens on a national level, as in that shooting, or on a more personal level like my situation, the truth is that we live in a diverse society and we will likely confront violence. Naturally, good defense is a must, but after we protect ourselves as much as we can; how are we going to respond? It is not an easy question because the approach you take will affect your business, your personal life, and all those around you, not to mention your state of mind.

For me, I have tried acknowledging it wasn’t right what happened, doing everything I can to ensure it won’t happen again, and then letting go of the anger as it rises. Letting go of “It’s not fair” and trusting that “There’s got to be a higher good” has not been easy, but has been a way to find peace. It’s the only way I can come to terms with the shooting of those beautiful babies. When I let go, I begin to see beauty—like the heartfelt compassion that has poured out from across the United States. The more intense discussion on safety and how to provide it and the call to trust that most humans have a good nature is needed. So is the knowledge that when things are really dark there is always some kind of light. My heart sorrows for the loved ones who suffer so, but I am comforted that I don’t grieve alone. The whole nation mourns. That fact alone suggests there’s plenty of reason to have hope, and sometimes all we can do is trust in goodness and go on.