The last two years have admittedly been difficult. Individuals from all walks of live have experienced varying levels of difficulty regarding sickness, financial challenges, occupational difficulties, and social interactions. In my estimation, I would not seek to compare nor weigh which difficulty was greater than the other. Individuals for a number of reasons confront difficulties in different ways but what is clear, individuals experience suffering.
Suffering impacts the physical, emotional, and internal self. An individual in the experience of suffering faces the dark night of the soul, taking the moment or long moments to assess him or herself. I may not like what I see within myself. The thoughts swirling in my head may be negative working to pull me further down into this seeming ocean of difficulty. At the same time, I may find within myself a determination which I did not know existed within me. It is this second revelation I want to offer as a precious find.
Suffering is hard. It is rough and such items can act as a serving instrument to reveal what is underneath. The rough and rugged experience of suffering acts in service to our individual lives to reveal what has always existed. What can be revealed is determination, patience, boldness, or a number of other human characteristics which exemplify the beauty of the human soul.
Life is hard. It sounds so cliche but I believe it is important to acknowledge your anxiety, your tiredness, and frustration. I completely understand all of these emotions because these are emotions I have wrestled with in my own life. So you are not alone. You, like my self, are fellow travelers on this difficult and hard road called life. A life filled with disappointing politicians, social situations which have divided family members, friends, co-workers, and even the oldest of religions are not exempt. These are difficult times in our state but I need to tell you even in the oppressive atmosphere which weighs heavily on our hearts and minds, I believe better things.
Believing better things means we need to have courage. Courage is acknowledge the hardness of our situation but also having the courage to stand up and meet these hard situations head on. We have to stand up, walk out, and meet these concerns of tyranny, oppressive governments, divisive motivations and meet them with courage. These need to remember our names and these shadowy experiences need to know first hand these dehumanizing attempts to restrict our flourishing as human beings will not go unchallenged. So I believe better things because it not only requires courage but also hope.
Hope that what is near to human beings is not the dark, oppressive, and anxiety inducing experiences which seek to order life but hoping in a future in which the light of our courage and the hope there are more individuals who want to be free and live and love outside of coercion and shame. A courage and hope the shadowy places of the human experience will not prevail but what will warm the faces of your heart and mind, as well as mine, is the bright day in which we can tell future generations, “I was there. I was there with courage and hope and we won the day.”