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Hope in the Darkest of Times

This morning, I am late writing today’s note to you. I have two choices. I could feel guilty that I forgot to write it on the weekend, guilty that I am holding up Casey and her work of editing and queuing up the newsletter. I could berate myself that I watched a movie last night instead of writing, but the truth is, writing was not even on my radar last night.

So…beating myself up? Yeah…I could do that. I can do it really well. But you know what? It takes a LOT of energy to do that and nagging myself just does not feel much like an act of self-love anymore.

The other choice? Wake up and move forward and write the newsletter…just skip the ‘beating up’ part! And trust. There was a reason I had forgotten to write yesterday and that reason was not apparent until I opened my email inbox this morning. Now I understand. Trusting is like that. You don’t know until you know.

I used to judge myself as a ‘responder’ to writing, that somehow in being a responder to another writer’s work, I was not ‘original.’ Judging goes hand in hand with the beating up…it is unproductive and energy draining. I have less and less time to judge myself or to beat myself up. So if YOU judge yourself or beat yourself up also: 1. You’re human and 2. You can observe it and move on. Trust me. If I can do it, you can too.

I am inspired by other people’s writing and so my first response is to…respond. Maybe the conversation happens first in my head, but once in my head, I want to share the thought. Maybe someone else will think about it and they will pass it on. And so on and so on.

Which brings me to today’s response to an amazing blog from The Thinking Moms’ Revolution. It’s about hope. Hope in the darkest of times. A time when it would be so easy to beat oneself up and judge oneself, but instead, here is a committed group of parents who keep moving forward, bringing so much light into my life personally and into the world in general. They offer hope for those who desire and choose recovery for their children’s health.

And their story reminds me of the Christmas story. A baby, born on the darkest night of the year, with mom and dad, whose only assets were likely a donkey for travel, hope, and trust. Oh yah…and a stable for the baby’s room and a manger that would hardly pass health and safety inspections in our day and age! A barn? You had your baby where? Never mind that everyone needs to be accounted for on a government census for tax purposes—and that everyone needs a tetanus shot! (Sorry. Got carried away there!)

But seriously? Who knew that this baby would become a light for the world? That a small child would so radically change how we think about life, about love, and about our world?

As cliché as the statement is, our children are the future. They will be the ones to care for us as we age. They are the ones who will create the systems that care for the frail, the aging, the sick, the weak, and the lonely.

What are we modeling to our children? Will we model self-judgment and self-abuse, or will we show them acts of loving ourselves as we are loved? Who showed us that kind of love? In the Christian tradition, at this time of year, it was that little baby born into a stable. The parents were likely clueless as to what was in store for them—raising a child who would become a man who radically changed the world, a man who lived and was love.

Trust. Hope. They had to have trusted and hoped, don’t you think? Even at the end of their baby’s life (since our children will always be our babies), maybe this is what Mary pondered in her heart. Moms do that… We ponder a lot. We ponder the significance and meaning of a child’s life and, sometimes, their death. Moms are mighty that way. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart…ever.

All of us deserve second, third, fourth…infinite chances to love and to be loved…unconditionally…forever. This is the hope. That whatever our state of health or stage of healing, we are loved. We trust each other to be love for one another, especially for our children and especially in the darkest hours.

How can we be light? How can we be love? How can we ‘be’ love and light, especially in the midst of exhaustion, weariness, extreme health issues, neediness (our own and others), and tears? How does love look in the midst of anger, tantrums (not just the realm of children), and tremendous grief?

Reach out. Trust. Move forward. Hope. Forgive. Risk. Love.

Today I am inspired by The Thinking Moms’ Revolution’s most recent video. It gives me hope that, in the darkest hours of the worst kind of illnesses that our babies and children face today, there is recovery of health. For me, watching this video IS love. Have a look. See what you think.

Merry Christmas!

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