February 14, 2011

A Touch of Hope

(For When We Feel There Is None)

There are moments when the hands of time freeze as we discover in complete disarray that a catastrophy has unfolded. It seems our heart both stops and accelerates maddingly at the same time, as the mind races to stay still.

We’d want to move, but we are paralyzed. The weight of what just happened burdens us so heavily that we feel crushed, pulverized. It is a moment of extreme vulnerability, where we have to face the fact that there is nothing we can do to change the course of things.

Whether we ourselves fall victim to the drama or the events happen to close friends or relatives, the effect is the same. The raw truth is devastating, and unavoidable.

And yet, in the midst of the turmoil, at the point where we think that absolute horror is going to swallow us, something unexplainable can happen. Every time, no matter what the situation, at one point or another, an opportunity arises; a window opens.

We need only to listen, to render ourselves available. As soon as we acknowledge our powerlessness and refrain from any urge to try and come strong, reality begins to shift. Letting go of any attempt to get a grip, we can let ourselves slide and be carried away, like a seed in the wind. And this is just how we can be taken to more fertile grounds, to unexpected encounters, to a more hospitable place, to a new beginning.

For it is our weakness, not our strenght, that reveals us for what we are. Incomplete, hurt, vulnerable, flawed. It is the shedding of our ego, our pride and our certainties that makes new space for friendship, love or a simple helping hand.

In such times of sorrow and pain, do not try to burden yourself with the maintenance of an image or the responsibility of being strong and supportive. Accept the sadness, the absence of words. Abandon what you think needs to be done and let yourself be witness to the helplessness of the instant, knowing full well that the next moment can harbor a new hope.

Do this sincerely, and you will never be alone.

Written for a friend at a loss for words.

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