Stare it Down

Jaycee Dugard was in the news again yesterday. You may recall that she was kidnapped at age 11 and spent the next 18 years in captivity, where she bore two children of her kidnapper.

In one account I read, she said that she tried to convince herself that her mother was better off without her.

How heartbreaking!

Little Jaycee was coping as best as she could, and we all try to find the silver lining in the cloud. Even if (especially if?) the silver lining does not reflect the truth, our hearts go out to a child who is doing what she must to get through tough times.

Thankfully, Jaycee grew up, in both years and maturity. Now dealing with the aftermath of her captivity, she says of tragedy,

Why not look at it? Stare it down until it can’t scare you anymore. I didn’t want there to be any more secrets.

That’s much healthier, isn’t it?

Growing up consists of learning to face heartbreak squarely. It means having the clarity to call evil what it is and stare it down. We don’t need to find non-existent good in it, much less pretend that the good outweighs the bad. We don’t need to assert against all evidence that “everything happens for a reason.” We don’t need to blame ourselves, God or karma. We stare it down until it loses its power. Then, we pick up the pieces and move on.

Hurrah for Jaycee! She is truly free.

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