Just Life

Hope | July 2019.

the first tea olive blossoms in our yard … from a quick walk with Holly this afternoon

I sat at my desk this morning, thinking about what I was going to write, marveling once again how this OLW has been such a gift … and in unexpected ways. I added two more “HOPE quotes” to my journal this month:

The power of hope is greater than greed. ~Pastor Steve’s daily meditation, July 4

Patience is hope in action. ~Fr. Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart

But the message that really hit home for me comes – again – from Fr. Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward. In the last few chapters, he paints a picture of the second half of life … the half that I am working to embrace and in my good moments, settle into … in my best, with grace.

These lines (taken from a chapter titled “A Bright Sadness”, see Falling Upward pp 118-119) speak directly to what I’ve been feeling in response to the division that’s being actively cultivated in our country (and our world):

We all become a well-disguised mirror image of anything that we fight too long or too directly. That which we oppose determines the energy and frames the questions after a while. You lose all your inner freedom.

You try instead to influence events, work for change, quietly persuade, change your own attitude, pray, or forgive instead of taking things to court.

I purposefully stepped away from the media this past weekend and I could feel the mirror dropping away. I felt lighter defining myself in terms of what’s positive (family, Sabbath, community, good food) and not in terms of all the negative.

I know I have great privilege in being able to do that … the “negative” isn’t personal. But still, I refuse to let it define me. I will not be that mirror image.

I’m still figuring out where I can influence, work, persuade, change, pray and forgive … but I’m hopeful. and that seems like a big deal right now.

Again, much thanks to Juliann for hosting our monthly meet-ups. ♥

12 Comments

  • Honore´

    Jesse Jackson said it” Keep hope alive!” We each have a responsibility to respect and treat one another as we wish to be treated. I don’t see your caring and questioning as negative and you / we all have the right and the responsibility to denounce the vitriol. We can’t stop what someone says but we don’t have to accept it.

  • Sarah

    I really understand what you mean about having the privilege to be able to step away or step back from the negativity. It’s something I’m grappling with in the larger scheme of privilege. But I’m hopeful (see? I’m using your word!) that the recharge I get from stepping back can give me more energy to step up and support those who can’t turn their back when it gets to be too much.

  • Kat

    I struggle greatly with “privilege guilt” especially when so many are under almost constant attack. I love what Sarah said about stepping back to be able to step up more for those who can never step back.

    I love your bits of hope that help you though your day/week/month! They are indeed powerful reminders that hope is there if we look for it!

  • Vera

    I really like the first quote. Stepping back can be a powerful influence and “quietly persuading.” Like that idea a lot.

  • Carole

    I hear you on the privilege thing as I know there are many who are constantly attacked and can’t step away. I’ll admit I’m struggling to find hope with the politics of right now.

  • Kym

    Excellent quotes and thoughts, Mary. I struggle with “privilege guilt” as well. Stepping back is the only way for me to keep myself centered, yet I know I can’t stay back. It is a challenge to find hope these days . . . but it’s there. XO

  • Debbie

    For me, taking time to step back is what enables me to move forward with a positive action to one of the many negative things happening in our world right now. I need that quiet, meditative time to pray and reflect in order to make sure my response is for building up, not tearing down…and sometimes I am so angry that I want to tear down! At the same time, I have to hope that things will get better.

  • Bonny

    It’s indirectly related, but I got a huge shot of hope when I read The Day the World Came to Town. The people of Gander set a shining example of how it is possible to treat all people without exclusion and rejection. Sometimes we just have to step away from the constant hatred and racism, but when we re-engage, I love that there’s a book that shows that treating everyone with loving kindness is possible and can be the norm.

  • Patty

    Oh the privilege of stepping away. We are indeed lucky. I think the stepping away helps me as well take the time to look and see how to be better and how to do more. I also just finished The Day The World Came to Town and, like Bonny, was blown away by all the good. I wish it was easier to find these days.

  • karen

    Oh this speaks to me, I turn away from the news and I feel so so much better, maybe I’m sensitive or too empathic? I don’t know but I despair when I see something that I feel is wrong and I cannot do much about it. Then I turtle shell myself and feel better doing my knitting, listening to my knitting podcasts, talk to my family. The key is balance and I need more self care than being in the know.

  • Margene

    I have only to look at my neighbors and friends to find hope and love. Not engaging in the pure politics of the moment is good for my soul but better for everyone in my life. If I’m not upset and angry then I can only pass on love and kindness to others. Love and kindness are full of hope.