Real Hope for Uncertain Times
Our Innate Capacity
In a time of deep division there is a need for remembering what hope actually is. The collective trauma and suffering of this pandemic is bringing a lot to the surface. The call to our deeper selves is to awaken to the possibility of a better world.
Hope aligns us with our potential to be there for one another. It really is this simple Think of a person you admire or a leader who has transformed society by embodying love. This kind of person unites others and awakens hearts. We remember that we can trust our innate capacity to connect and recover our vitality.
Injustice, illness and isolation are the hallmarks of this time. At the same time we see kindness, creativity and a willingness to be with one another more than ever, even if it means from a distance. We have slowed down and learned to smile with our eyes while wearing masks. We notice our elders and seniors more. People are writing letters to those in quarantine or jail.
Just opening to the possibility that we can collectively care for one another transforms us. Depression is described as a loss of life force. Feeling cut off is a natural response to overwhelming trauma. We come back by going slow and opening to others.
Many cultures focus on the collective rather than the individual. This is strengthening to everyone during times of difficulty. We need one another to be at our best and to recover fully. A spirit of ‘we are in this together’ has given many hope.
Belonging and acceptance is what people long for. This longing is the sacred thread that can light the way after a difficult time. We are wired to remember that we are part of something greater than ourselves. It is literally in our DNA.
Including others in this longing is a developmental step for each person and for society at large. The possibility that more people are tuning into this collective longing is the hope that we can tap into now that we have been thoroughly shook up for a year.
What is Real Hope?
Real hope is not about fulfilling individual wants for a separate self. This is what traps us. Real hope is much bigger than any one person but it starts with each of us. By bringing kindness to ourselves we begin the process. The courage it takes to be with another as he/she/they go through tremendous difficulty begins with being courageous enough to sit with our own suffering. Learning to not turn away gives us access to vitality we can seem impossible. This gives us more real hope. It wakes us to who we really are.
There is endless amounts of scientific evidence showing us how hope works for reducing pain, improving immunity and stimulating a quicker recovery from illness. Our attitude and openness to the possibility of healing influences the outcome. This is the placebo effect and it works in ways you’d never expect. Just because it is placebo does not mean it is not real. We measure it and we know it to be predictable.
Real hope makes a difference. Trusting the goodness inside ourselves is the starting place.