I was in a conversation on the weekend with two women who I have a lot of respect for. We talked about the challenges of these times and how easy it can be to fall into despair.
We all have our days, hours or even minutes. It prompted me to wonder, what is an antidote to despair? Hope. And, by hope, I mean looking for the things that fuel us, that shift our emotions so we can acknowledge what we feel but not be stuck there. It serves no one to stay permanently in despair if we can find a way to a different emotional experience. It does not diminish our experiences of despair, but it offers us choices.
When do you experience despair? What gives you hope?
I experience despair when I stay focused too long on the things I can do little or nothing about – the state of public discourse, divisive politics, social media violence.
What gives me hope is seeing nature unfurl its spring growth and colours, the children in my lives, individual sparks of curiosity, clarity and illumination of ideas. Music. Seeing people succeed. Seeing people overcome challenges. Displays of kindness.