For a Gloomy Boomer: The One Thing that Makes All the Difference
Find out what can make all the difference!
“You know me as a powerful person, always ready to do my utmost?” she asked. “How can I do that when it’s hopeless.” I listened deeply, poked around enough to know that she had done everything in her power to address the situation, like downsizing, bringing on expert financial advice, seeking out friends like me for perspective. But I had no answers, no solutions, no roadmap. I listened, I hugged her goodbye, but I couldn’t stop thinking about her and what more I could have done.
This morning, I woke up with it—the missing piece. What I realized is this: that no matter how much evidence is piled up against us that we have blown our opportunity for greatness, how much fear we have that we are paying for old mistakes, wasted precious time, burned out trying to get the world to do what we want in order to make life less painful, we always have a choice. There may be absolutely nothing about our external circumstances that we can do anything about. But we can always choose to take the leap from victimhood to forgiveness—of ourselves, others and the world. We can be patient with the present moment and we can always choose to light at least one candle of hope that the future will find some surprising, unexpected way to defy our dimmest expectations.
I remembered a wonderful quote from Olive Schreiner who wrote for many of us in Dreams of the Hunter. Olive provides us with a role model of how someone who is truly defeated by life’s circumstances, can yet find meaning in life.
“I have sought; for long years, I have labored….Now my strength is gone. Where I lie down worn out, other men will stand, young and fresh. By the stairs that I have built, they will mount. They will never know the name of the man who made them. At the clumsy work they will laugh; when the stones roll they will curse me. But they will mount, and on my work; they will climb, and by my stair.”
So no, I don’t have a solution for Martina. But inspired by Olive and all those who despite the evidence have managed to do their utmost simply by taking the leap of faith of viewing their lives as meaningful, I do have a prayer.
Dear God, Life has let me down and I have fallen short of my aspirations. I’m unhappy in the present moment and worried about the future. And yet, here and now, I stand before You making the one choice that is always mine to make: to pay heed to You who always stands ready and able to beckon my spirit to venture forth again.