Helplessness or Hope? I choose Hope!

Hi, Friends and Co-conspirators in Seeking a Better World,

It’s Rosalie checking in. I was so proud of myself for sending out my inaugural “welcome to my email list!” email on August 11. I was all rocking and rolling and ready to come up with friendly, inspiring, affirming, interesting, uplifting messages every week for months at least. Yay for me, woot, woot!

My next door neighbor’s tree!

That was a Tuesday. Wednesday morning at 6 am I woke up with chills and then a mild fever. It was COVID. Lucky for me, throughout the 18 days of being sick, I never felt horrible, I just had an inconvenient set of symptoms like severe fatigue and foggy thinking. My sense of taste did take a hit last week, but it is fully back on board now. My energy level is not yet fully on board, but is coming back day by day.

I’m not sure if we caught COVID from grocery delivery or restaurant delivery or package delivery or mail delivery or pharmacy pickup. Those are the only choices unless someone came onto our front porch and deliberately sneezed on our doorknob.

I’m grateful I had a mild case; I know that I was helped by being in relatively good health and by being able to afford a whole array of healthful supplements. When I got to day 12 and wasn’t getting better yet, I joined some Facebook groups for COVID sufferers and survivors. There are a lot of people with symptoms that linger for weeks or months, and there are a lot of people with relatives in the hospital, with a lot of uncertainty, anxiety and fear.

Besides the supplements, I guess being pretty peaceful and calm probably helped me get better.

In a way, we are all sitting in a balance between helplessness and hope.

In a way, we are all sitting in a balance between helplessness and hope.

There are so many things that we can’t control, so many ways that the world is dangerous and ridiculously unfair. If I start leaning in that direction, focusing just on what’s wrong, I can easily fall into discouragement and paralysis.

At the same time, there are so many people doing so much good in the world – so much love and passion toward stopping oppression and affirming life. So many people declaring, “I am alive! I matter! We are alive! We matter! Let’s have more life and more safety and more equity, because we matter!” If I start leaning in that direction, I can easily fall into hope and gratitude.

Black Lives Matter. Native Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. Refugee Lives Matter. And of course Law Enforcement Officers’ Lives also Matter.

So I guess my message this week is gratitude. I am grateful that I am alive. I am grateful for my journey toward joy. I am grateful for the people in my communities who have loved and supported me throughout my personal process of painstakingly learning how to let in love and support. I am grateful to be able – now – to sit and sink into a sense of peace and calm. Even five years ago, I didn’t have calm on my speed dial. I do now.

I am grateful for you.

I invite you in this moment first to take a few breaths, just noticing your breath as it goes in and out.

And then I invite you to lean ever so slightly in the direction of helplessness, toward all that is out of our control and all that is ill right now. Notice what it feels like to do that. Then come back up straight and notice your breath. And feel your feet. And wiggle your fingers.

Now I invite you to lean ever so slightly in the direction of hope and gratitude, toward all the passion and aliveness and caring and love that are being expressed around us. Notice what it feels like to do that. Then come straight again and follow your breath again. 

And I invite you to invite your body to move with aliveness and hope – big movements or tiny movements, gently opening to however your body wants to move. Giving your body time and space.

When I went in the back yard to photograph the tree with all the beautiful blossoms, the birds were having a party in this tree that belongs to one of my other neighbors.

And I invite you to take one hand and grasp the other, and pretend that I am grasping your hand, and squeeze, and feel me squeezing your hand and saying “Thank you for being alive! I’m glad you’re here.”

And there might be someone other than me who you want to feel giving you that message too. Think of someone you love and feel them squeezing your hand and saying “Thank you for being alive! I’m glad you’re here.”
I’m doing it too. One after another, in my mind, several of you are squeezing my hand and thanking me for being here.

Because I’m alive and I matter and you are alive and you matter.

Love to you, strength, courage and sweetness,

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