I see you struggling, as I am, to make sense of the hopeless narrative that continues to proliferate, particularly in light of the events that have taken place in Charlottesville, Virginia. How do we make sense of insanity? We can’t.
So this is how I choose to actively and intentionally pursue Hope in the midst of my emotional struggle in trying to make sense of the senselessness I see around me.
I Begin the Practice of Surrender and let go of the notion that I alone can affect systemic change to the hate of one group toward another; I let go of my discomfort in vocalizing my perspective for fear of being swept up in the political nature of this storm. I then sit with the discomfort of letting go of my powerlessness and reorient myself in quiet reflection through Stillness. In the quiet I allow my Grief to surface and I mourn for the pain and strife I see reflected in the images of anger, hostility, and fear that were broadcast out of that tumultuous confrontation in Charlottesville; I grieve that I continue to feel as though we are stagnant in our pursuit of a collective humanity. And, I breathe.
I get Honest with myself and consider: What is my reality in relationship to this hopeless narrative? What is my perception of my reality to this hopeless narrative and where do these two perspectives differ? Where does judgement, anger, hostility, or fear reside in my own heart? Where do I place blame in this narrative and why? How do I keep myself from knowing my own true reality in relationship to my contribution to the narrative?
Then, I invoke the Practice of Curiosity and begin the hard work of self-reflection. I consider how I came to believe my reality and where my perception came from. I ask if I am willing to change my perception of this reality and most importantly, I consider if I will risk doing what’s uncomfortable to change my perspectives, not knowing the outcomes or what I might find.
I go back to the Practice of Stillness and breathe in quiet contemplation and I fetter out anything else that needs to come into the light before I get to the hard work of Forgiveness. I will very likely be challenged to forgive an offender: someone or something who may have shaped my perceptions or informed my beliefs. But, my freedom comes from having the courage to forgive myself for my contribution to the conflict, even if it’s an internal narrative that I have not expressed openly, but energetically. Through the freedom and restoration of forgiveness I can claim my Resilience, acknowledging and reintegrating another part of the whole person I am Called to be and feel grateful. And it is from this state that I can be a part of the solution and not the problem.
My Joy comes from knowing that the Practice of Living Hope is available to all of us drowning in the hopeless narrative that is manipulated and proliferated around us. That we have the opportunity to choose to actively and intentionally pursuit HOPE in the midst of adversity and struggle.
My wise friend Mahdi once told me that the intersection of ignorance and pride is fear, which manifests into toxicity that creates total chaos. The senselessness that we saw in Charlottesville was that intersection of ignorance and pride. When we Begin the Practice, we choose to no longer be ignorant and we are forced to confront and eliminate our sense of pride.
I began the Practice of Living Hope when I was willing to acknowledge and correctly inform my own ignorance which promptly humbled my pridefulness. You will Begin the Practice when you acknowledge the intersection of your own fear in response to the suffering that continues to emanate from Charlottesville.
This is Living Hope.
You are loved!