What in the world is going on?? I mean, on top of the constant bad worldy news – draughts, terrorist attacks, corruption, impending economy collapse, impeding war?… It seems that people’s personal lives are in chaos too. In the last week I think I have read more sad personal posts than I have ever in accumulation. They all have something in common, it goes something like this: “Sometimes life just sucks. And that’s just the situation for me right now.”
Another person expressed it like this: “My flag is up. I surrender. One more piece of bad news and I’m afraid the Good Ship Lolipop will go down.”
And even myself… who expressed it like this a week ago: “This week was one of the hardest of my entire life. A [metaphorical] nuclear bomb dropped on my life.”
I feel like nuclear bombs are going off in lots of people’s lives right now. I hope not in yours.
The terrible thing about this that I feel is different than before, is that people are beginning to lose hope and truly wonder if things are going to get better. It has reached that point. People are experiencing a crisis in faith, disillusionment, and simply losing all motivation and optimism. We are feeling hopeless and helpless.
Somehow it doesn’t feel like things will get better this time around. Why is that? Why is now different than our struggles in the past?
We all need a kumbaya moment right about now. You know, a warm and cozy moment where a community with people of all walks of life is free of conflict and worries, all singing in perfect harmony, forgetting about all the troubles in the world.
The word kumbaya has no real meaning, but cynics have eventually given it the definition of: “naive, unrealistic optimism”. Hmm… If we did have optimism during these tough times, is it naive and unrealistic? Does it matter?
I’m a realist. Some may call me a pessimist. And I’m a cynic too. But I’m realizing I need to find optimism, no matter if it is naive or not.
“It is infinitely better to hope for the best than to fear the worst.” – Meher Baba
I’m beginning to think differently about hope lately. I used to think hoping wasn’t good because it led to disappointment, but nowadays I think we need to have hope. We need something to hold onto. We need to not worry. A friend recently told me this: “Everything passes, nothing is eternal, neither the good nor the bad, nor the ordinary. Life is a hue of many colours and feelings.” She’s so right. It’s all illusory. Everything we experience is in our minds. It’s all in our perception.
“Worry is also experienced in relation to the future when this future is expected to be disagreeable in some way. In this case it seeks to justify itself as a necessary part of the attempt to prepare for coping with the anticipated situations. But, things can never be helped merely by worrying. Besides, many of the things which are anticipated never turn up, or if they do occur, they turn out to be much more acceptable than they were expected to be. Worry is the product of feverish imagination working under the stimulus of desires. It is a living through of sufferings which are mostly our own creation. Worry has never done anyone any good, and it is very much worse than mere dissipation of psychic energy, for it substantially curtails the joy and fullness of life.
Among the many things which the aspirant needs to cultivate there are few which are as important as cheerfulness, enthusiasm and equipoise, and these are rendered impossible unless he succeeds in cutting out worry from his life. When the mind is gloomy, depressed or disturbed its action is chaotic and binding.” (Discourses by Meher Baba Volume III Page 121 § Qualifications of the Aspirant: II)
What do we have left? We have gratefulness. There is always something to be grateful for. And we have love. Love that can give us everything that we need to keep going; strength, hope, support. Without love what is the point of life? “Loveless life is most unlovely, only a life of love is worth living.”
So, here is to hoping and holding on, here is to not worrying and being cheerful, here is to finding peace within the chaos, here is to having our kumbaya moment, here is to the “cherry on top” the pile of poop, and here is to love for all, for one another. Together or not at all.
“Live more and more in the Present which is ever beautiful and stretches away beyond the limits of the past and the future.” – MB
(Top photo credit: Tristan Schmurr)