I woke up feeling hopeless and couldn't find my breath...in the face of California's wildfires, in the face of Puerto Rico's lack of clean water and electricity, in the face of such toxic masculinity running our world, in the face of so many fucking guns in this country. I have barely been able to breathe. Hopeless.
I thought about why I felt hopeless, and I assumed it was because I was afraid. Afraid of the outcomes of these terrible natural disasters and of the choices made by so many unconscious human beings. But it wasn't my fear that had crushed my hope. I'm afraid all the time, and I'm hopeful a lot of it.
It was the belief that I had no power within all of the darkness and devastation we're seeing. That I had no power within all of my fear. It's powerlessness - not fear - that leads to hopelessness. And that's good news, because we may not be able to stop ourselves from feeling afraid, but we do have a choice in how we act in the face of our fear.
We are not powerless.
I am not powerless.
I have no control over the fires in California, but I can donate to an organization that's helping victims of the disaster. And that's what I did. Power.
I have no control over the devastation in Puerto Rico, but I can donate (again) to an organization that is helping victims there. And that's what I did. More power.
As far as egomaniacal males and lack of common sense gun control, I can work my butt off to help elect politicians (hopefully many women) whom I believe will bring honesty and compassion and a belief in science to our government. And that's what I plan to do. Even more power.
We are empowered all day every day, if we choose to be.
I arrived at this cafe and bought myself a coffee and gave the barista $5 to pay for the coffee of the next person who comes in. Power in kindness.
I left a couple voice messages with friends I haven't spoken to in a while, just to tell them I loved them. Power in friendship.
I sparked up what became a lovely conversation with the woman sitting near me in this cafe. Power in connection.
We are not powerless. And the world is only hopeless when we're not willing to step into our power and continuously choose hope. That's the other thing I realized. I was looking for hope outside of myself, and that's not where hope is found. It's found within. I will not give up my hope to the darkness in this world. Not when my hope is filled with so much light.
If you're feeling hopeless — and we all feel hopeless at times, especially in these times — then remember the power that lives in your kindness and in your compassion, and take action. Connect with a neighbor or a stranger. Contribute to a worthy cause. Volunteer. Share your creativity. Remind yourself that the ocean of hope that lives within you is ignited by connections with others, and by your willingness to step into your power as a human being with so much love to share with our world.
Please, for all of us, and for yourself, share it.
I love you.