smoorelovin_PrayForParis

In light of Last week’s attacks in Beirut and Paris, I’m taking today to reflect on some things that come up more and more often these days.

After 9/11, my friend was having a discussion with another friend who happens to be Muslim. He said, “When those terrorists attacked America, they attacked my religion too, they attacked my God too.” Here we are again, after another horrific act of terror, with people placing the blame on 1) a religion and 2) a group of people who are attempting to escape a world where attacks like Friday’s are commonplace.

These sweeping categorizations are so harmful to the healing process. The US was torn in two, with people afraid to leave their houses for fear of being persecuted for their religion. A group of mourners in France publicly shut down anti-immigrant protesters. Acts like these are what we need.

Joann Sfar, a cartoonist for Charlie Hebdo said, “Friends from the whole world, thank you for #prayforparis, but we don’t need more religion. Our faith goes to music! Kisses! Life! Champagne and Joy! #Parissaboutlife.”

This is such a powerful thing to say. When you let the fear of, “what if” take over your every day, terrorists have won. The people who want to rip your feelings of security out from under you have succeeded. Feel what you feel, acknowledge the sadness and overwhelming grief that these tragedies deserve and then come to peace with the fact that you are probably ok. Fear is a good thing in the appropriate circumstances. It helps us guard ourselves and those we love, but if we live in fear all the time it loses it’s helpful effects. If you only live in fear you miss out on all the beauty that you are surrounded by. You miss out on all the things that *fear* is supposed to keep you from losing.

My heart goes out to everyone who was affected by the recent attacks. The families that lost loved ones in Paris and Beirut, and the families that lose loved ones every day as terrorists manipulate their way into the lives of those they turn into weapons.