I went to bed angry last night, and I woke up angry today.
I went to bed filled with grief last night, and I woke up today weighed down with my sorrow.
I went to bed last night feeling betrayed and let down, and I woke up this morning feeling crushing disappointment.
Last night I felt despairing and hopeless. I went to bed and the mattress sagged with the sheer weight of my heavy emotions. No pillow could rest my aching head; no moonlight shone its cleansing rays into my room, just a dead orange glow from the streetlight on the corner. My dreams were chaotic and fearful. They left my body feeling tense and sore when I awoke this morning.
How, given all of this, will I face today with the fortitude and grace that today requires?
I will count each reason for gratitude or hope that comes my way, each reason a feather forming the wings that will eventually lift me up out of this depression.
One: My morning coffee is hot and comforting.
Two: The sun is shining.
Three: The red-winged blackbird perches on a branch just inches from me. He looks right at me, opens his beak and sings!
Four: I am surrounded by people who smile and greet me and try to make a difference in this community.
Five: A guest stops by my office to say she is looking for Joanna Macy’s book, Active Hope, but hasn’t found it in the book store – and I have an extra copy to offer her!
Six: Many people are standing up for a culture of compassion and justice, not just a culture of the bottom line. I am able to hear their voices, read their words.
I can count all day – each one thing fortifying my emotional resilience.
Each one thing whispering that love is not a lost cause.
Counting my feathers, one at a time: I am trudging under the weight of fears and concerns and dark emotions, until each step is perceptibly lighter, less heavy; until hope and gratitude become air under my feet and I am lifted up.