Strained Optimism



I’ve always considered myself a realistic optimist. A person with deep gratitude for the tragic beauty of the world and humanity. This has always been a strained position to hold. A stance that feels against the cultural stream of nihilism, dissatisfaction and self flagellations. Often this struggle has left me depleted and I have a history of chronic depression to show for it. I now understand that these moments of despair simply mean that I have lost my footing in the cultural stream and have been swept away into the world of powerlessness, and fear. I, in those moments, am unable to get proper perspective of the human condition, to understand that imposable things happen every day and that magic is real. I’ve seen them, I’ve manifested the most impossible wishes, to many to count, to many to write down. I have experience that best part of humanity in my mothers unconditional love, in a strangers kindness, in my paint brush.

Well today was definitely a struggle to not get swept away. The media is full of end of the world headlines, facebook is a buzz with the worst of human struggles, my mother, a chronic pessimist was quick to confirm the misery of human existence and I feel the tug of hopelessness.

I give myself a moment to surrender to despair (just a moment) and then a I remind myself of the desperate need for the dreamers of this world. The visionaries, the artist, the hopeful. God the world needs us! What I know is that the world is what we believe it to be and if I look to an outside voice to define my world it would no doubt be a horror. But I believe in human kindness, and generosity, in the deep beauty of this world. I believe in the power of love and art and I imagine the best parts of us, all the micro kindness and miracles, add up to something big. Something that is as powerful a force as any war or disaster.

What I know is that what you focus on expands and I pray that our collective hearts start focusing on our beauty and our worthiness. That is liberation. That is an optimist’s salvation.

After Transformation

After Transformation

Everything has been leveled to the ground. I took the leap in service of spirit and landed wings a little battered but intact and grateful for it. I’ve left the job, moved across the country, shed the old skins and the new one is still soft sensitive and vulnerable. I have burned to ash by the heat of transformation. Now what?

I seem to be in a hurry to stand on solid ground again but I feel like I’m fighting against gravity. The divine forces seem to have another pace for me. I just knew I would have it together by now that after the flam I would be reborn as a more confident, strong, wise me but what I feel is as a child, sensitive, shy, hesitant. fearful. So what does this teach me about transformation?

Transformation is a process and each of us has a unique path through it. There may be some peak event where the fire burns brightest and everything you know gets burned to a crisp and you are in the throws of change. But the process of integration has it’s own rhythm and pace. Can I listen to my compassionate self, the wisest part of me and trust the process? Trust that courage will return, that new friends will be made, that I will find my niche? Can I tolerate the discomfort of my own newness?

My mantra is in the rebuild of my life is to lay each brick carefully so my house can be strong and made with care and as every artist knows quality takes time.