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never forget.

I always get so emotional on this day.

I was 19 years old. I clearly remember standing in the kitchen at my parents’ house getting ready for work. My aunt called with the news and then my dad turned on the tv to see the horror. I was naïve and just did not understand. I did not understand what terrorist attacks were. Like at all. I mean why? I could not fathom what was happening. I remember the rest of the day being in a daze, a blur and totally anxious.

And trying to explain on the way to school this morning to my 5 and 7-year-old was heart breaking. All they could say is “Why, Mommy? Why would anyone do that? Why do they hate us?” And as my voice cracked, I just said, “Girls, I don’t know the answer.” Because I still cannot understand or fathom. And we talked about leading with love and being kind and making an impact – they were silent for a few minutes, clearly processing what we chatted about.

A few years back, I flew into Washington DC for work on September 11th and I remember that anxious feeling even as I’m sitting here. What if they decide to do another attack on this day, while I’m here. At the time, I didn’t have children, but I remember feeling a small inkling of what fear those affected must have lived in and many unfortunately still do. Then shortly after, traveling to NYC, I felt the same eerie feelings. Walking the streets of Manhattan, I just couldn’t fathom the horror. And although the streets are bustling and life went on after that day, it’s a feeling I’ll never forget. The city, the people… they didn’t forget. And neither will I.

What I do believe is this…

Love casts out fear, always. Acting out of a place of fear is always going to end in tragedy of some sort. When we think deeper on that thought, we will realize it to be true.

When we lean in and remember we are all here on Earth, having the same human experience …just in different ways, different cultures, beliefs, races, genders… when we lean in to love and accept one another, without judgement, and live from a place of peace, knowing that our basic human needs are the same, no matter what, when we pause long enough to focus on the good… then love wins.

…….Not in all cases, obviously, because we ARE all humans, with a lot of emotions and backgrounds and beliefs…and that’s OKAY. No human on this Earth has it altogether and NONE of us are perfect. And to think we are better than another because of their or our own belief systems or theirs, is what causes our country, our states, our communities, our families and ultimately the world to divide.

But when we come together, like we did on that horrific day 17 years, ago, when we put our differences aside, show compassion, love unconditionally, beginning with ourselves, that’s when love wins.

And we have ZERO control over other humans… so the solution … focus on what we CAN control and that is ourselves. Our outpouring of love & compassion.

My thoughts & prayers are with the fallen and may we never forget.

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