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To Begin Again

By Jo Gross

To begin again, to sense a passion for possibility after a long dry spell in which we feel completely withered within, requires unyielding patience. No matter if we stand in front of a blank screen waiting to write or a blank canvas waiting to paint or feel paralyzed from indecision or weakened from failure, to wait for a breakthrough is painful. The post-pandemic world also looms up as a challenge. As the world re-opens, how will we find our way in it? If the pandemic has taught us anything, it has shown us how quickly the world can change, and how important it is to appreciate what we have. Yet, we are somewhat fearful of all that the changes may require, we wonder if we have it in us to meet the moment . . . especially the moments of joy, when so much has been lost.

As we look for something to get us started, we acknowledge our inclination to look in both directions at once. Looking back over the months of isolation, we are immensely grateful for the small things that mattered and that made up our lives. During the old normal times, we recall that we were often in pursuit of the greater things that are thought to make life more meaningful. But during the pandemic, with so much daily pain and sorrow, we became more sensitive to the fleeting nature of life and the little things that render human life so precious. We noticed a deeper regard for our neighbors and a deeper compassion for the disadvantaged and defeated humanity around the world. Some of us feel transformed by this different way of seeing.

In looking back, I hear others expressing appreciation for time to re-evaluate their comings and goings and a heightened desire to live out their days more purposefully.

Perhaps we learned what we are afraid of.

As we languish with a lack of heart to engage again, I ponder and I marvel that our unconscious mind is working all the time and that this lapse of incentive may well contribute to a necessary ripening that renews our enthusiasm and revitalizes our energy.

To go forward, and imagine doors openings and a passion for possibility returning, we look for the mercies of the morning. As darkness turns to light, we are more likely to notice a clearing away of the confusion, the clutter and the complicated that keeps us from what we want to do and who we want to be.

The prophet, Isaiah, reminds us to welcome the morning by saying:

He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

How good to know that our failures and withering spirits are not always as dark as what they seem. When we need illumination and the world closes in, we wait for the perpetual morning because there is always morning.

Jo Gross 5/18/21

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