My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people... Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.
when i read these words, written by the american poet, psychoanalyst and post-trauma specialist, clarissa pinkola estes, my heart leapt. her way with words is extraordinary, having been raised in the almost-vanished oral and ethnic, rural tradition. her insight reflects her training as a jungian analyst and her compassion seems boundless. she was born in 1945 and is a fierce, courageous, and sensitive woman encouraging us all to become elders in our tribe.
most moving to me is her encouragement to hope. hope is not a wishy-washy, namby-pamby new age concept. it is one of the driving forces in human existence. it is what mobilises us to grow, evolve and move forward. while we know, from decades of life experience, things might not unfold as we would like, hope is what allows us to focus on the best...the best in ourselves and others.
hope is also a gift of spiritual practice. as we open more deeply to our connection to the universe and the immediate world around us, there is a space for hope to blossom. this connection to Spirit (or whatever you call that energy) can, if we allow it, to fill us with the ability to look forward with desire. spiritual practice, of whatever sort, opens the space of trust. this trust may lie in a higher power or in our own ability or in others. and practice can allow us to express that hope even when events around us fill us with astonishment and dismay and disillusion.
estes also reminds us that we, those whose lives have been filled with the hope of self-expression and self-realisation, have been preparing for this time all along. it is in this vast “plain of engagement” that we can express our wisdom as elders. it is here, in the spiritual desert that we can create a garden. we, who grew up in the hopeful 60s, were “made for these times”. it is our strength and power that was revealed then. we need it now, just as we did then.
we are the grey warriors, the spiritual warriors who can create within our close circle of friends and companions more love, more hope, more amazing events which counter-balance the degradations we see daily.
we have the power. we have the hope.