The Choose Love Movement started with three words my six-year-old son wrote on a kitchen chalkboard, “Nurturing Healing Love.” If the young man that had viciously and brutally murdered the 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School had been able to give, and receive, ‘nurturing healing love,’ the tragedy would never have happened. People that love themselves do not want to cause harm. Pretty simple.
The mother of one of the Columbine shooters, Sue Klebold, said in a recent film, “American Tragedy” that documents her search for a solution to her son’s actions, ‘If it were only about love, my son wouldn’t have done what he did.’ I believe she loved her son, even while he was at home, planning the attack on his high school, mulling over kill lists, and making bombs in his bedroom.
I love my two sons as well. With all my heart. Love however doesn’t prevent pain. Regardless of how much we love our kids, they will feel hurt in their lives. Love and connection help mitigate pain and cultivate resilience that helps us move through hard times.
As important as love, is the ‘nurturing and healing’ part.
Love is felt, and well as shown through our actions. This means modeling, as well as teaching essential life skills that help us to have healthy relationships, self-regulation and manage our hurt and pain so that we’re able to learn and grow through it, rather than having it destroy us and those around us, as is the case of school shooters. Hurt people hurt people.
We all need to love and be loved, and we all experience pain – physically, mentally and emotionally.
Love and pain are two indisputable elements of humanity. We all need to love and be loved, and we all experience pain – physically, mentally and emotionally. As important as love, is our ability to have the courage to face the pain and be strengthened by it. In fact, challenging times are there to help us grow! This is what we teach in the Choose Love Movement.
Interestingly, Sue Klebold came to the same conclusion. The documentary culminates in a classroom with young students where she said her 20 year search for a solution ended. She said she believes mindfulness and social emotional learning are the solution. As the mom of a shooting victim, I do as well. These are the essential life skills that we need to live our best lives and flourish. We’re not born with these tools, but we can learn them, and then have a lifetime of opportunity to reinforce and practice.