It is July 4th – a time to celebrate the revolution that sparked the need for a new kind of government – a republic - “of the people, by the people, and for the people” as Thomas Jefferson penned to begin the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
I just finished reading 1776 by David McCullough, a well researched history of the dark and difficult days when General Washington who had never led an army into battle took a group of untrained, undisciplined farmers, teachers, fishermen, lawyers and doctors – anyone who could be recruited to fight for independence – and feeling completely unable to carry out the challenge before him, persevered. What was his secret to remaining calm and showing up even when all looked hopeless? Even as a reader centuries later and knowing the way the war turned out seven years later, I was ready to bet on the English.
Hope was the key. Washington and his closest friends and officers all became deeply discouraged tn the fall of 1776. It took only one victory to begin to turn the tide. Then another… then another. Hope returned, and lead them to take bolder risks and inspire others to join them to fight with all their might against great odds.
Grief is like that sometimes. In the dark days of loneliness, and the feeling that “My life will never be normal again.” or “I’ll never know happiness again,” we often become discouraged and lose hope.
There is a song I’ve shared with some of my clients, “Just hold on. The light will come!” Sometimes we have no idea when or how that light will come. But there will be a time when we feel moments of happiness, our laughter is real, and we may entertain the feeling that we’re glad to be alive and can glimpse a purpose for our lives.
Be well, and look for the light.