“Hope will never be silent.” – Harvey Milk
Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve felt frustrated, sad, angry, confused, afraid, and completely overwhelmed.
I also feel hopeful. I choose to feel hopeful, not because of our president-elect or the violence in our streets, but despite these things.
I’m not saying that there isn’t cause for concern. Our country is clearly in crisis. We’ve been hemorrhaging for quite a while, but on Tuesday the 9th we were sliced open. We need real healing and we need it fast!
Hope is what gets us through tough times. Hope is the belief that we will heal; that we can create a loving, abundant, and peaceful future. Hope is also the belief that there is good in the world right now.
I’m not saying that it’s wrong to feel angry. Worry and anger are understandable. It’s been a very rough couple of weeks for our country. We need to feel our hurt and our anger. We need to grieve for what’s been lost. The problem is when anger overshadows hope; when all you can see is the darkness and the problems seem so big that you can’t see a way out of them. But we can’t afford to wallow in anger and fear; we can’t afford to be hopeless.
Hope doesn’t mean you aren’t hurting; it just means that you believe that healing is possible. You may not know how, you just choose to see the stars in the dark night sky.
Psychologist and researcher, Dr. Anthony Scioli, describes hope as not just the belief that a better future is possible, but that we have the power to make it so.
In other words, hope isn’t just wishful thinking.
Hope inspires us to do better. When you’re hopeful, you take action to create something better because you believe that you have the capability to do so.
There is always a path to healing. First, we need to believe that healing is possible. Hope inspires us to take action – to move toward a solution rather than getting stuck in fear and anger. When we stay focused on the obstacles, we can’t possibly see the solutions.
The great thing about hope is that we don’t have to have all the answers. It’s a leap of faith, a belief that we can stop our collective bleeding and return to health. Hope allows us to take action. Even if you can’t see the entire path, you can keep putting one foot in front of the other. The alternative is to quit, to stand still, to believe that we’re doomed.
I choose not to be afraid.
I choose hope.
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