This picture was taken this morning near my home. Yesterday, we had severe thunderstorms. Heavy rain, thunder, lightning, and gusty winds for the vast majority of the day and night. The skies were in turmoil and full of intense energy. This morning, however, the sky is back to its equilibrium. Blue, serene, calm, full of light, wispy white clouds dotting the expanse of blue canvas.
I stood for a moment under this calm sky, contemplating what it had looked and felt like yesterday. Complete chaotic explosion of energy. Now all was calm and beautiful. It was hard to reconcile this in my mind.
And yet, this is the usual cycle of nature and life. Of energy flow. Of growth and death and disarray and calm. Ebb and flow. After every burst of commotion, a moment of calm cleanses the surroundings.
Standing under this glorious sky, I contemplated my own sense of ebb and flow. I pride myself for my undying sense of hope. At the same time, I struggle with chaotic energy bursts. I vacillate between the serenity of my hopeful worldview and the negative energy that sometimes creeps into my psyche, often as the result of a particular stressor or trigger. Most often, I am able to push through a challenge and find hope rather quickly. Yet lately my sense of hope is being overshadowed by stronger feelings of distress.
If you follow my blog, you’ve most likely seen the pattern of more intense pieces lately. Suicide is Not a Choice, My Journey of Acceptance, a Poem about Melancholy … rather heavy material, indeed. Yes, each of these pieces is sprinkled with glimmers of hope. It’s difficult for me to write any words without at least a few of them being hopeful in nature. For these recent pieces, however, adding in words of hope has proven more difficult.
Even as I write this piece, I am actively searching for inspiration that will spark my usual strong sense of hope. I have a wealth of resources that I access on a daily basis – writings, quotes, pictures, self-reflection, nature, social media outlets, friends, colleagues, articles … yet none of it seems to be having the positive impact that I expect. Usually something inspires me to reframe my thinking from despair to optimism. Now, it’s not coming as easily. My search continues without much improvement in my overall outlook.
I do believe hope prevails. I do believe that there is enough beauty in the world to take the pain away. I do believe all of this.
I just don’t feel it with my heart and soul at this moment.
So maybe the search is unwarranted, right at this moment. Maybe I need to be present in my feelings of discomfort and confusion. Allow myself to feel the pain and go through it completely. Perhaps my expectation of finding the hope again right now is premature and unrealistic. This particular episode of discomfort maybe needs to be just a little longer than usual. Right now maybe patience is more warranted. Sitting with the discomfort. Allowing the energy to move as it needs to, not as I would like it to.
Gazing out at the vast sky was incredibly helpful this morning. While I was still struggling with my discomfort and internal chaos, the serenity around me felt comforting. The consistency of the ebb and flow of nature was exactly what I needed to see.
I will make an effort to be present in all the glorious examples of life around me. The brilliant blue sky, the magical night sky and Super Moon, flowering trees, steadily running water through a nearby creek. I may continue to feel the internal confusion a little longer, yet if I’m patient and allow myself to go through my own process of energy flow, the hope will come back. I truly believe that.