Privileged, I sat and listened to seven different people today, varying in ages and colors and backgrounds and struggles, all sharing the clouds in which they find themselves. I saw myself in them today, all of us looking for the one way of thinking about it or labeling it or diagnosing it that would set them, set me, set all of us free. If that one thing was found, they could get the right medicine or the right outlook or take the right action or make the right choice to fix it all.
“Fixing it all” is of course the goal they hurried in with, and the goal I hurry in most places with. It is, of course, the goal that all of us most often run into the cloudy situations with. Tell me the one thing that will fix all of this.
We scramble and wrestle and our ears turn red and our voices raise and tears fall and our heart rate takes off. Everything in us is trying to churn together to locate, isolate and intervene on that one thing.
Our inevitable not finding it leads to our heartbrokenness, growing frustration and often to our hopelessness.
And there is in the places where we sit quietly, listening to the clock tick, watching the moth walk across the window, feeling that part of our sock that isn’t fitting right, we begin to let go the illusion of the one thing. And we take a breath, and we see that in the middle of the cloudy struggle, there is still a ticking clock. Still across the window a walking moth, still a tangled sock buried deep down in our boot.
And in those moments, we realize the cloudy struggle isn’t all that is true. And there, our hope begins.