I wasn’t even two months old when I got hit. It was violent. Unexpected. I was just starting this new cycle of life in this little body and was already confronted to death.
On December 6th, 1989, a few days after her first born celebrated her first month on this earth, my mom lost her close friend. Hit by a bullet. Shot straight at her. She was the one in front of the class, delivering her final presentation before finishing her bachelor degree, when Marc Lépine entered the room with one target in mind: women in the faculty.
All the sadness, all the grief, all the fear a young woman who had just delivered could experience on that day, I felt it too. How could I not? She was my life at that time, breastfeeding me, all warm love and warm milk. Alone in our home, she got scared, and I got scared too. Life out there was dangerous, she had to protect me.
So she did, until I grew up and got old enough to be able to protect myself. I never thought about it much, never felt the heavy weight of that fearful day. I was a happy child, I was one of the lucky ones who get to be loved by their parents, their teachers, their friends.
Then it happened. Rather sooner than later for me. That blooming phase when the young girl transforms herself into a young lady. I was still in sixth grade, and already starting to look like a woman. When I got into high school, I couldn’t hide it anymore. I was slowly becoming a woman.
It all came back. The unconscious is powerful, so powerful. The shared emotions, carefully stored in my cellular memory, reappeared suddenly. Without knowing why, without even realizing it, I got scared. Became anxious. I had to protect myself in order to survive. From what? I couldn’t tell. I just knew I had to.
I had to create my strong, own unbreakable armor. My body was my barrier. You would not get to my heart. Slowly my breasts, my hips, disappeared. I was an Amazon, a life warrior. I knew the world was dangerous, that adult life was dangerous, and I was ready to fight.
It took years, Landmark, and a few more years of therapy before being able to finally let my guards down. On January 2017, I was ready. My resolution was simple, yet quite radical. Dive into life with heart wide open. Get bruises on it. They will heal, and make the most beautiful scars.
After all those years, I am realizing it is the only way to go. The recent attack in Quebec city is just another reason for me to go in with an even wider heart. I believe deep down there are only two emotions guiding us in life: fear and love. When we act from a place of fear, we get divided, we get lost. The only answer to fear is love. Building up walls will not protect us. It is love, above and beyond everything, that can save us. We have no choice. Fearless love is what we need.
Go ahead. Shoot me. I’d rather die loving fiercely than live for a century being afraid. Fearless love is our remedy.
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” — Mother Theresa