A friend inspired this blog post with the question: How to stay hopeful in troubled times.
For me, this is a big question, and a daily battle. How do I stay hopeful when the world seems crumbling? When the USA is led by a man it seems kind to call a fascist dictator–because he seems somehow worse: a wild in sheep’s clothing, hurtling us into an anarchist terror where the rule of law is bent toward evil. When personal crises come. When loved ones die, and dear ones are sick?
I fight like hell to stay positive. I make mountains out of molehills, but in a good way: I celebrate any progress, small victories, little kindnesses, all love. And that becomes a mountain of strength. I do anything I can to feed my soul, fill my cup, choose less angst and more grace.
It isn’t easy.
But it’s worth it.
There is a well of spirit, of the love of God, inside each of us. It does not run dry. But we can forget, in all the chaos and trauma and upset, that it is there. Pain can become so great that there are emotional barriers to accessing it, psychological ruts around it. Vulnerability, kindness, forgiveness, consciously choosing joy, leads the way back to that wholeness.
I’m reading a book right now, Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson. It celebrates embracing and loving your messed-up self, being open about who you are (mental illness, warts and all!), and explains the thrill of taxidermed raccoons (you read that correctly, yes). Lawson’s joy at her taxidermed roadkill raccoon, Rory, is a perfect example of making happy mountains out of happy molehills.
My friend sent me Furiously Happy in the mail to cheer me up. I have the best damn friends in the world, and I love them fiercely. That’s a big part of the staying positive: my tribe is my strength.
I get excited about sparkly manicures, nice people at work, friends’ publications, my dog’s tennis ball obsession.
And I do all that I can with what I’ve got right now to work for the good. I love. I help. I write.
Maybe it isn’t much.
Or maybe it’s everything.