Finding hope lately has been a challenge.
My memoir, which I’ve not finished writing, has been given an unwanted sequel.
Not by Matthew, my 31-year-old son, diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was eleven. By my sister, Mary Beth, who just received the same diagnosis (although her tumor is different). I can’t give more details yet, but as you might imagine, my own brain is reeling.
The prognosis for my sister is good, as it was for Matthew. But recovery will be long and arduous, as was Matthew’s. My heart is breaking all over again.
As for my own chronic health problems, last year I wrote that I was “open to the possiblity” that some surprising blooms in my garden might be a “sign” that my issues would resolve.
This year, my health is the same, and those plants didn’t bloom. And now my memoir has a sequel.
Finding hope is tough for me right now.
I’m “rumbling with vulnerability,” as Brene Brown might say.
In her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brown talks about the value of digging in to negative emotions–“rumbling” with them–in order to achieve growth. This speaks to me “whole heartedly” (another of Brown’s famous concepts).
When I’m feeling blue or discouraged, I don’t try to push those feelings away. I’ve found the more I allow myself to sit with negative feelings, express them by talking with someone who really listens without interruption or judgement (a rare person, indeed), and to cry or cocoon in my bed, the quicker the feelings pass.
I’m not a follower of toxic positivity–the belief that people should be positive, no matter what.
And I’m not suggesting that wallowing in negativity for days and days is healthy. Those with clinical depression or mental health diagnoses have to especially careful not to get sucked into a negative downward spiral.
But for those normal bummer days, I embrace the fully human state of being sad and discouraged. I accept that sometimes, finding hope is hard. Sometimes, embracing the in-between is what we need when situations are unable to be unresolved.
And I remain open to the possibility that hope will return.Being open to the possibility of finding hope, of happiness returning, of goodness ahead is my key to life. Click To Tweet
I bet by the next time you and I cross paths, hope will be sitting on my shoulder waving at you.