Josh Radnor, perhaps best known in the States for How I Met Your Mother (the TV show), has a periodic newsletter he sends out. Today’s resonated with me, especially this passage:
There’s no feeling I wish to close myself off to. I’m okay with despair and discontent s long as they’re only part of the story. I’ve no interest in blind optimism wherein I close my eyes and heart to the true suffering in the world. Nor am I interested in lazy, cheap cynicism where I feel the fix is in and change is impossible. I can hold both dark and light, while knowing that the light is going to need a bit more attention, care, and time.
Counteracting that self-critical voice requires daily vigilance. Despair and cynicism are always extending a tempting invitation. But I’ve found the rewards of working those other muscles, of telling myself another story, are immense. It serves as a shield against both individual and collective hopelessness. With hope comes faith and aliveness. And with faith and aliveness comes determination and right thinking. I intuitively know what’s being asked next of me. And there’s an effortlessness in the doing whose byproduct is a new kind of joy, that of being used for a purpose greater than myself.
Patience and humility are two other muscles that could use a bit more attention. And there’s some real relief on the other side of that. For today I don’t have to save the world. Today I don’t have to have all the answers. Today I don’t have to heal all my wounds.