Building New Paths: Turning Fear & Anger into Hope

I’m basically a terrified person.

I wasn’t always. But when something terrible happens in your life that you never expected – never dreamed could ever happen – ends up happening, it suddenly seems possible that something terrible could happen at any time. And the possibilities feel endless.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons I became a writer. To somehow channel those possibilities. To make sense of them. To calm my fears with fictitious resolution.

Recently, a lot of things have plagued my mind: climate change and environmental protection, Covid 19, racism. One of our sons expressed concern that I might grow paralyzed by fear.

And I realized something. I’m not paralyzed by fear. I’m angry. No, I’m enraged.

Because what’s going on isn’t unexpected. It was predicted. All of it.

Was it inevitable? I don’t think so. It could have been rerouted if the path had changed.

And here’s the thing. It can be rerouted NOW.

But paths can’t change themselves. New paths are created by footsteps. Lots of footsteps…walking together, step-by-step, rejecting the previous road.

Sometimes there are markers to follow.

YAOTL Marked trail

Sometimes we can team up with friends.

Bunny row

Sometimes we need to start a new path on our own.

YAOTLWoods

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m still afraid, but the anger is grounding. Refreshing. Empowering.

And I’m starting to see some change. People who’d grown silent are starting to speak out. Those who have been yelling into what must have felt like an abyss are finally being heard. Despite the threat of illness, millions are pouring into the streets to protest.

Paths are being carved. With feet. Hands. Hearts.

Some are walking, some are running. Some are screaming, some are singing. Some are talking, some are writing.

Most importantly, some are listening.

With these new paths come bridges that connect us on both physical and philosophical levels. With these bridges come empathy. And with that empathy, a glimmer of hope.

Come with me…we’re making progress, but there’s still so far to go.

Let us share our stories, promote change and help heal the world.

Oh, and if you join a protest? Please wear a mask. Like I said earlier, I’m basically a terrified person.

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