First, I want to thank every single one of you who responded to last week’s missive telling me your questions. I can’t WAIT to show you the amazing interviews I’m brewing up for you! (If you haven’t received a response yet, I beg your patience; it’s been a nutty week.)
Is there anything worse than feeling like what you’re doing doesn’t even MATTER?
You knock yourself out to make your kids’ favorite meal, and they ask why they can’t have pizza.
You keep slaving away at your To-Do list, but it just keeps getting longer.
You put together an incredible presentation, but they only give you two minutes.
You call and you donate and you write letters and in spite of all of it, completely ridiculous shit goes down in your government.
Well then what’s the point? What difference does it make? Can we just go back to bed now?
I know that many of you are feeling this way.
Frustrated. Burned out. Exhausted.
So here’s the question. If it seems like nothing you’re doing is making a difference, is it really worth continuing to expend so much energy?
Darlings, I’m here to say YES. Yes it is!!!
The most dangerous thing that can happen is that we give in to a sense of futility.
To give ourselves over to a sense of hopelessness.
To believe that nothing we do will make a difference.
To accept what is unacceptable.
To become numbed out.
When we start to believe that bullshit, that’s when we give away our power. And that’s when those things will indeed be true.
We don’t have the luxury of that, my loves. Shrugging our shoulders is for other times. Times not like this one.
We have to take care of ourselves. Because we need to be strong.
We have to take care of each other. Because we need each other.
And all this must begin within us. Way down deep. We cannot take something out into the world that we don’t have. When you try to do that, you’re only parading around the illusion of the thing. When we try to beam out something we do not have within us, it hurts us and it doesn’t help anyone. So we have to find places to fill up.
And many of us are finding that these inner wells are running low. So how do we fill up?
This used to be easy for me. But I’ll tell you the truth– it’s been a struggle the past six months. When I moved away from Portland, I said goodbye to all my trusted sources of comfort and nourishment. I have some amazing new ones, like my beloved husband and our kids, but I am still looking around for things that fill me up. Portland was brimming of those things– flowers, rain, mist, big trees, old friends– and I haven’t found replacements yet for those rich sources of nourishment.
But other things are always available to me.
The sky. Books. Music. Film and great TV. Essential oils. My own heartbeat. Trusted people, no matter how farflung.
It’s essential that we tap into those sources of strength– whatever yours may be– and we keep replenishing those inner wells.
We go fill up and then we take that out into the world and pour it out. You pour it out with your kids, and your work, and your family, and your friends, and your neighbors, and you pour it out into action and art and compassion. And then when you’re empty, you go fill up again. There’s a rhythm to it, like breathing. In, then out. Most of us tend to skimp on the “in” part.
You might have to dig so deep for hope and nourishment right now that you’ll be surprised to find yourself digging out on the other side, ending up somewhere you never expected.
When you feel hopeless, and everything feels futile, look around.
Notice that humans are ridiculously resilient. I mean, stubbornly, outrageously so.
Notice that there are still things in the world that can make you laugh really hard.
Notice that things are growing.
That people are making art.
That babies are laughing.
We notice these things not to become complacent, but to remember why it all matters.
It does matter so very much, dearheart. And you are part of all of it.