What a week.
I don’t have all the words – or even many words at all. And the words I have feel…scrambled. At best.
At the same time, I recognize that words fall short in all of this anyway.
Maybe there aren’t words. There’s…just us. And that’s somehow enough and not nearly enough at the same time (depending on the choices we make in this moment).
This I know: I consider myself abundantly blessed to have had a handful of conversations in the past few days that have all at once heartened me, challenged me, opened me up to really listening, and simply encouraged in me [and others, I hope] the space for thoughtfulness, by which I mean care-full and genuine consideration.
All the writers are writing, all the artists are creating, and, at the same time, we seem to share a not-knowing-ness. I get the sense that most of us are carrying certainties which are counterbalanced by the tremendous weight of uncertainty.
This weekend, I have felt fearful.
But that’s not all.
I’ve also felt
Hope. (Yes, still more hope.)
(This list is neither exhaustive nor in any significant order…)
I want (NEED) to lean into all of these feelings – to allow myself to experience them fully and completely. (A friend of mine calls this “feeling all the feels.”) And I want to actively work at “holding space” for others to do the same, as difficult as that has the potential to be.
Our feelings are real. They’re strong. And they’re as diverse as we are. They’re very often uncomfortable. AND they’re not going anywhere until we work with them.
We can’t ignore them. We can’t put them in a closet or sweep them under a rug or contain them in cuffs or jail cells (it pains me to write that). We can’t avoid them because they belong to “others.” We also can’t hold onto them – in the tension of our bodies and the recesses of our subconscious – for that is literally the stuff of trauma, holding the feelings in instead of processing and releasing them.
Somehow, we have to let the feelings move out of us and into shared spaces in order that we might sort through them. As a collective. We must make space for moving through them together. It’s the only way.
(This is the stuff of vulnerability, which is Brené Brown’s wheelhouse, in case you need a resource for further reading…)
I’m holding on to hope. While I work to “feel all the feels,” I believe our greatest potential lies in uniting behind that single reality we must actively co-create – HOPE.
It won’t be easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. There will be lots suffering (there’s been so much already – and there’s more to come). And if we can hold space for our own suffering and that of others, we have the potential to make a new future for ourselves.
Please feel. Please express. Please be real and honest and allow others to do the same.
And please hold onto hope.