By Rev. Amari Magdalena
We are in the midst of catastrophic events, politically and environmentally. Watching scenes of hazardous rescues from flooding waters and uprooted people, animals, houses, trees, and normal signs of life in devastation can be disheartening. Observing a rise in hatred and acts against compassion and humanity are, at times, daunting. Misery, disgust, and fear are strange bedfellows for sensitive, caring people. While change is a constant, it’s true, moments of it catapulted into our daily news and social media feeds, in graphic detail, can dim hope.
One of the definitions of hope is “a feeling of trust.” You may wonder how does one keep trust, faith, and hope alive when so very much destruction is going on. For me, it takes a certain mindset and the ability to see the light at the end of dark places. While there is much evidenced around me that suggests that we as a country and civilization are doomed to failure, I have a clear vision of what may be on the other side of so much devastation. I believe that we will emerge from the chrysalis as butterflies in the last stage of transformation.
Like Chauncy Gardener proclaimed in the movie “Being There” one has to prune the garden at the end of each growing season to allow regeneration to occur in the next productive cycle. We are rapidly approaching the natural season of death as our leaves turn and begin to fall. Already some trees are almost barren. If we could take the position that there is great beauty in the barrenness and know, in our heart of hearts, that spring will come again, we may find solace.
Winter the truly fallow period will surely follow. In that dormant time, if we are attuned deeply to the Creative Source that many choose to believe in, we can become more introspective and retrospective. Going within and quieting our fears, negative imaginings, sense of doom, we are more able to tap into that vast body of knowledge that connects us with the wisdom of all times. I believe that like encyclopedias, Wikipedia, and online research resources, there is a vast pool of knowledge that we can access through meditation. Personally, I’ve often asked people of other times to speak to me through automatic writing. I find it valuable beyond imagination. Some people will be channels, connecting in that way. Others will find solace and inspiration in the writings of hallowed visionaries of our time.
While we are best served by honoring our emotions of grief and sadness, it is equally important that we not stay in those states of mind too long. Surely depression will follow if we choose not to lift up our thoughts after sufficient catharsis. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I highly recommend immersion in beauty. See the wonder of what IS working and how much Mother Nature does provide in visions of amazing exquisiteness. This I find reignites my spirit of hope and wonder.
Finally, be of service to someone. Often when we step away from our sorrows and seek to be of help to another, we feel a great gratitude. Being of service and being useful fosters rising hope and renewed affirmation of goodness. Reach out.
"Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen...yourself, right now, right down here on Earth." Bradley Whitford