Today is Good Friday. And, whatever your religious convictions (or lack thereof), it seems to be an auspicious day for focusing on what it means to give of oneself for others and to maintain a true hopefulness in the midst of great darkness and the seeming triumph of evil.
I want to steer you toward an amazing essay by Clarissa Pinkola Estes entitled "You Were Made For This". There is nothing sentimental or superficial about what she has to say. But it is inspiring in a strengthening sort of way, in a way that energizes and encourages and confronts our complacency. Here are a few passages:
My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times.
In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there.
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.
What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul.
Today, this essay is bringing me enormous consolation because I am in the midst of a great difficulty. Perhaps someone reading this is in the midst of a great difficulty as well. Let us be in solidarity with each other, then, and know that we are profoundly connected in a way that is truly for the good of all.