The Integrity of Discouragement and Despair

© 2000 Michele Toomey, PhD


July 20, 2000

Heaviness of heart is not something we long for, and the painful feelings of hopelessness is something that we dread. Yet, there is a truthful place for both. There are times that discouragement and despair are the only freeing feelings we have. Anything else is pretense, wishful thinking, or disconnection.

How then can we find solace in them?

How can we feel safe?

Both solace and safety can be found in the integrity of being intimate with ourselves in our time of suffering and need. We can embrace ourselves and in so doing, embrace discouragement and despair. This embrace has the potential to warm, to comfort, and to reassure. "We are safe when we are true." In this safety we don't have to fear what we are feeling, only be intimate with it and ourselves.

From this intimacy comes a certain sense of well-being. As discouraged or as depressed as we are, we are at peace. We are all right. We are at one.

There is no enemy here. There is no need to fear or solve. There is a sacredness in the oneness with ourselves. There is a gift in being true to what we feel. Tenderly we cradle our discouragement and despair. Rocking ourselves with care and holding ourselves with love, we can rest in our own arms with a sense of peace. Once again, allowing negative feelings to have their rightful place, allows us to reap positive results. Inside out yields outside in. Yes! We are liberated by being caught. Caught can yield liberation! We are very wise even as we are discouraged. We are lucky! Even as we are unlucky. Figure that out, ye seekers of proof!

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