Don’t Let the Psychos Win: Fearless Living in a Fearful World

The sky was growing dark, and despite the danger of flying pests joining me for a Dunkelweizen and a couple chapters of Harry Potter Book 6, I had flung open the windows to combat the heat radiating from a TV, which had probably been playing PS4 games all weekend.

When you hear a loud ‘pop’ in our town, you assume it’s kids shooting off a firework in the nearby park, but you never think it could be someone who strapped explosives to himself.

The ambulances roared down our street, while the helicopter looked over our little city from above, but I didn’t think too much of it — after all, I live on a busy street. Maybe there was a bar fight, or a man hunt underway. I closed my windows, blocking out the voices on the street, and went to bed.

The text messages started around one-thirty, but my eyes were too groggy to read them. At five, when the dog eagerly woke me for his walk, I began to read notes from people I’ve not heard from in a long time:

“Are you okay? They asked.

“Praying you’re safe!” They said.

“What the hell?” I thought, “I don’t live in Munich.”

With the dog nudging me and salivating all over the bedspread, I got a real-time message from a friend. I shoved the dog aside long enough to see the news on facebook: “Bomb Explodes in Ansbach.”



My heart breaks for this place a dear friend of mine nicknamed “Neverland.”

My first instinct is to sail away to some corner of the world and close my family off from everyone. But the fact is, bad things happen everywhere. You can get cancer, or fall down the stairs in your own home. You can be stabbed on a train in any city anywhere. You can be the target of a mentally unstable person, whether he wields a knife or a gun or terrifying words over you.

There is no control measure that can combat the rare psychopath.

But we can’t walk in fear. Because when you walk in fear, the psychos win.

I have no big solutions that can fix the world, but I can live my life to its fullest, relishing the good moments, and using the bad moments to give more depth to my soul and a broader perspective to my mind.

Do I worry for my children? Of course, but it’s a paradox: by isolating them from the world, they wouldn’t truly be living.

You can accuse me of being idealistic: a modern — day Pollyanna, spreading the sickly sweet message of love while the world crumbles, but that's okay. I would rather live with hope than be suffocated by fear.

I can’t fix the world, but I can raise my kids to live and feel and walk forward in a positive direction.

American expat in Germany, formerly conservative homeschool mom now navigating widowhood; runner, writer, Crossfitter, trying to figure **it out

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