I woke this morning to snow! I love the look of snow. And the smell. There is a cleanness to snow. And beauty. It covers all the dirt.
Which is sometimes how I think about hope.
As I’ve been out and about these past few days and chatted to people and ask how their New Year is going so far, the answer I usually get is some version of, Good, I am hoping for a better year.
Hope, according to psychologist Marc Breckett, can often be used to cover up our primary emotion of despair or anxiety. Not that hope is bad! I love hope! But not, as Breckett suggests, to avoid dealing with more challenging emotions.
But, when has pretending ever worked?
Whatever is going on, is ok. Yes, easier said than done, a dear friend reminds me. Because feeling good feels better than feeling bad. But feeling fake good only feels good for a while. Because the snow eventually melts and we see what is underneath.
Ok, the metaphor doesn’t really hold because our challenging emotions are not dirty. But we often see them that way. Emotions are just emotions, some are welcomed, some are brutal, but they all make up our glorious landscape. So rather than pretending or denying, maybe the work is in learning how to feel it all, and to find those safe people and safe practices that help us hold the difficult emotions and difficult times.
Because we all have them. And all we really want is to speak our truth. And be heard. And seen.
Not just for the pristine snow, but also what is underneath.