Finding Hope in the Midst of Uncertainty and Isolation
For those of the Christian faith, this weekend is the festival of Easter, which, above all, is associated with finding hope, and also with the spring season.
Yet, this year, Easter is falling in the midst of the COVID-19 situation, with all the isolation, uncertainty and anxiety that all of us, of every faith and none, are experiencing. What does hope mean in our present context, and where do we go about finding hope?
Well, one key source of hope may be finding ways to connect with other people in the midst of the current isolation. This may well be a time when it’s particularly important for us to find ways to reach out and be with others, even if we can’t be physically present. It may be a time to celebrate the value that others bring into our lives, and to explicitly tell them that we cherish the connection with them.
This may also be a time when we want and need to think about the future, after COVID-19. We need to envisage what we want from the future when the season of COVID ends, and to actively hope for it. Finding hope will mean actively take steps to make that future happen. At such times of major life transition, as the author Rebecca Solnit tells us in her book Hope in the Dark,
Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future…. To hope is to give yourself to the future – and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.
To think about hope that “shoves us out the door” is very evocative in this time of isolation! And where will we find the resources and the inner joy and creative will that are the impetus we need for this? In my opinion there is something of great value to be found in another quote, a famous and beautiful paragraph from Albert Camus:
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back
This “something stronger” to which Camus refers is something beyond our regular ego. It is the greater whole of the personality, which Jungians and some others refer to as the Self. That is the reality which makes finding hope a living possibility.
Depth case studies can be an important vehicle to enable contact with the living reality of this greater personality, and an important place to explore the embers of our own individual hope.
Wishing all of you all the good things of this season of hope and renewal,