When the whole world feels enormous and overwhelming and in turmoil, I reach for this mantra from Our Lady of Wild Women, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who writes:
Do not lose heart. We were made for these times.
I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But … that is not what great ships are built for.
And when the whole world feels enormous and overwhelming and I feel isolated and alone and like I’m the only person who’s ever struggled with this particular issue and no one could possibly help me, I reach for friendship and connection anyway, and I remember this story:
This guy’s walking down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep, he can’t get out.
A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up, “Hey you, can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts up “Father, I’m down in this hole, can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a friend walks by.
“Hey Joe, it’s me, can you help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.”
The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before, and I know the way out.”
Do not lose heart.
You are not alone.
We were made for these times.