Recently I have been in a waiting period. I bet many can relate. Waiting for the election to be over. Waiting for a vaccine so COVID will be over. Waiting for things to approach a new normal.
I am waiting to hear back about a job application and my registration transfer which is necessary to work here as a therapist. There have been hurdles and ultimately a dead end on the MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) side, but I am hopeful to find a way forward via the LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) avenue. We shall see. At first I was quite disappointed, but I’ve accepted the complication and began settling into the ambiguity. In the meantime, I’ve been getting to know people in the community through cycling. Out in the fresh air, at a social distance, people are on bikes on remote roads under blue sunny skies. The heaviness of the world seems to fall away. The constant underlying grief fades to the background and for a short time it seems we are transported to another world where COVID and racism and hate don’t exist.
In a recent cycling conversation surrounding racism and injustice, I said something of the nature, “All we can do is hope.” An older, wiser person who I’ve quickly grown to respect and care for implored, “No, we can do more than that. We can figure it out and get to work.” This call stirred me out of complacency. Yes, hope is important, but I believe in that moment I was misrepresenting hope. Because hope inspires action, it catalyzes change, it does not sit and wait in despair.
During these times, it is quite easy to fall into despair. Every one of us has lost something or someone in the past seven months. I am amazed at the strength and resilience of some friends who are enduring through unimaginable grief. I hold them in my heart and pray for their precious spirits.
The sun rises to a new day. We show up to what life has for us that day. For some, it is unending work in the hospital, yet they are compassionate. For some, it is a continuous, gnawing uncertainty of having enough to eat, yet they persist. For some, it is caring for children who are anxious and frustrated in their online learning environment, yet they are patient. For some, it is a restlessness from being cooped up and confined due to COVID, yet they are creative. For some, it is a feeling of powerlessness against injustice, yet they stand.
In our grief, let us not despair, but hope. With hope that better days are ahead, we overcome despair and help our neighbors who are struggling. With hope that love for one another will triumph over disregard, we overcome despair and see dignity in every person and provide for their needs. With hope that our nation has been good but can be better, we overcome despair and advocate for policies that help the poor. With hope, we overcome despair and have faith that Love will endure and guide humanity toward equality and peace.