I’m not going to talk about politics in this blog even though the three emotions I want to discuss—anger, despair, and hope—stem from that arena. My focus these days is how we should deal with these feelings, because regardless of divergent beliefs, we must find a way to work together in this country.
We have to rise above anger and direct our passionate feeling toward goals that will help turn things around. My emotional button is triggered by seeing people hurt, especially the vulnerable. I’m well aware, however, that anger alone doesn’t produce positive results. It is calm, thoughtful actions that do that.
The emotions of despair and hope determine the quality of both our present and our future. I’ve felt despair a few times in my life but usually only for hours, maybe days. When it descended, I quickly decided it was not a feeling I wanted to live with. It also felt like giving up, something I never choose to do.
Then there is the sometimes elusive emotion of hope. Those who know me won’t be surprised to hear that hope has been an integral part of my life for almost eighty years. Even after my mother died when I was thirteen, I was determined to work hard in school, in the hope that I would move past my sorrow and build a good life for myself, in honor of my mother.
The reason I’m blogging about this is that I’ve talked to many distraught people over the past week. Good, compassionate, kind people who are feeling lost and confused.
I decided to take some quiet time to examine my own feelings, knowing that I could only help others if I reintroduced hope into my own life.
I won’t lie. It wasn’t easy. I even began to wonder if someone in my past might have been right about me. Years ago, a young man whose life was a mess and who I was trying to help accused me of not living in the “real world.” I understood what he was trying to say, but my world was real to me, so I didn’t pay too much attention. Now, however, it occurred to me that maybe he was right. This was not a reassuring thought.
I tried different things. I returned to working on my new novel. It was a good distraction, but when I’d take a break and turn on the TV, real life would take over again.
I took walks, ate sweets, talked on the phone and on Facebook, meditated and prayed. Everything worked for an hour or so.
As the days went by, however, I began to regain perspective and remembered that I believe everything happens for a reason, and a tiny ray of light began to emerge. It glimmered and flickered, finally staying for longer periods of time. I read an inspirational piece that talked about forming a network of light. The moment the word, “light,” entered my thinking, I began feeling that peace that passes all understanding.
My TV is now off more than it is on. When I get the familiar negative feeling, I quickly turn it off or change channels. I’ve found that reading about events impacts me less than seeing and hearing people on TV. I’m not burying my head in the sand. I know what’s going on. I’m just trying to become more of an objective “observer.”
I don’t know what the future holds, personally or globally. I only know that I don’t want to spend whatever time I have left on this earth in a state of anger, despair or hopelessness. I want to regain my strength, look for ways to soothe the fears of others, particularly children, and choose a life of hope.
I would like to reach out to all of you reading this blog, regardless of religious or political affiliation and invite you to join my friends and family in our “network of light.” I believe you will find that hope and renewed strength will follow. And our work can begin.
Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon: http://ow.ly/HXHE3
If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to http://www.libbygrandy.com.
Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy