It's a simple question that feels impossible to answer.
I am not well: The world is literally on fire. The supreme court has taken away our safety and essential healthcare.
I'm filled with joy: On the trail near my home, wild wineberries are ripe, my kids fingers and faces sticky with their juices.
I go between fired up and hopeless, numb and feeling everything.
We're coming off our third family isolation and quarantine for covid in under a year (I wish I were kidding) and I know these things are true: we are resilient. We are exhausted.
As Mary Pipher Wrote in her article How I Build a Good Day When I’m Full of Despair at the World in The New York Times this week:
...we are a lonely, frightened people who have lost hope in the future. Any psychologist knows that is a dangerous place to be. We risk losing our ability to think clearly or experience life completely. We lose our vitality and sense of direction. We cannot help others. We cannot fix anything.
So what do we do?
She reminds us that even the smallest actions can bring more love into the world and into our hearts. For her, it's channeling her grandmother's strength, facing the suffering, practicing mindfulness, and taking positive action in the world.
For me, the mindfulness piece has been essential - bringing myself into the present and connecting deeply with my kids (who are fairly unshaken by world events or another 10 days at home). Their joy is contagious - if I get out of my head and into my body. They remind me of the simple pleasures of swinging in a hammock or the joy of jumping up and down on the couch to the same song 28 times in a row. How delicious multicolored carrots are. The true magic of staying up late to watch fireflies.
The other piece that has brought more love into my world is being deeply honest with friends about how I'm feeling - that swirling mix of grief, rage, calm, happiness, and more - and letting them help me hold it all. Now, more than ever, we need to lean on our people and let them remind us of the good they bring to our lives and to the world.
I'd love to hear how you are and what's helping you find more love in the world.
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.