Listening to NPR this morning, a doctor in Afghanistan said the entire country is very depressed. Caught between our drones and the Taliban, with no justice, no hope, no normalcy, despair is killing them.
Driving home, I thought about how despair and depression threatens so many of us these days – even though we are far from the horror of Afghanistan. The suffering of the world can chip at your heart and you can wonder, “What’s the point?” Nothing seems to helps, nothing seems to change.
This is the voice of despair. Our job is to hear it and see it, and fight it – nobly, craftily, stunningly, and in community – and to never, ever give up.
Today, savor and serve by dismantling despair
If you don’t not feel any today, all the better for those who do. May you be an even brighter light.
Here are some thoughts on defeating despair:
- Do not pretend despair is not in the house – acknowledge it like you would a guest who shows up at your front door – unwelcome, true, but none the less here so unless you are going to hide (crouching beneath the window like I did once from a kid selling candy I didn’t want to buy), be brave and say “Hello, I see you.” Despair does not like to be seen.
- Do not armor yourself against despair for that takes your energy which is needed elsewhere and it gives despair more power. Instead, feel your feet upon the earth, stand up supple and straight, look out into the world, reminding yourself you are far bigger, oh so much bigger, than mere despair, and that you have resources to draw upon, yes you do!
- Savor like Rachel does. She wrote this today at Savor & Serve Cafe:
I made my theme last year “savor”…. and it really changed my life. I hadn’t realized how much focusing on savoring changed my life until I was talking with my husband and he asked me if I was really happy, and I said yes. He expressed shock, since he didn’t understand how I could say I was happy and be dealing with anxiety and depression. I explain how the key was SAVORING bits of life. A TRUE taste of love or babies or a beautiful sunset, sometimes many times a day, sometimes less, had truly nourished me. These little “engagements” with life made all the difference… As soon as I let go of this idea that to be happy meant feeling happy ALL THE TIME, suddenly, I realized I could be… happy.
- Savor like Lisa Rough who said to Rachel at the Cafe,
…if the world were to end tomorrow, I wouldn’t want to go wondering what was left undone. I’d want to go knowing I was engaged in my life, in love with life, and knowing that that’s what mattered most in the end.
- Connect – on line and in the flesh. Despair flourishes in isolation.
- Take action against that which you most fear – any action shrinks despair. Check out these stories the Christian Science Monitor has been gathering for inspiration. Read this bracing post by Peter Shallard. Take one small action and thumb your noise at despair.
I feel your love, your presence, as this mission of mine takes root. It inspires me to expand into savoring life and serving it. Thank you.
Comment here to share what you are doing to bust despair. It so helps to have our little community.