Looking For Rays of Hope

“Be raw, be you and be ready to risk it all when it comes to pursuing your dreams.” — Valeria Hinojosa

I’ve always been one to be transparent and honest in my blogs. Trust me, it doesn’t always win me any popularity contests. But then, I was never very popular to begin with, so I’m not losing out much on that account. However, for someone who wants to make a positive difference in the world, I do care what people think about my writing.

I lost several subscribers after my last blog. Maybe it was talking about prayer or maybe it was just folks overwhelmed with emails. Fortunately, I didn’t take it personally because I too have signed up for lists I’ve later left as my inbox became overcrowded. I have to trust that the right people will be drawn to my message and I need to remember: if my words have an impact on even one of you then I’m creating a ripple effect of good. And that counts.

I’ve been blogging for two years now. Bouncing around topics like fear, uncertainty, confusion, clarity, frustration and love. I started this journey with an intention to be an inspirational speaker and writer, then backtracked to being happy with my life as it is now. I’ve struggled to figure out my unique message and how to support myself for the long run.

Mostly I’ve felt this incredible pressure to figure it all out. How does one balance being happy in the now moment with the reality of an uncertain future? Am I copping out by not working harder to fulfill my original intention? Did I make a mistake by not staying in a traditional job? What direction should I be taking for my life?

The questions go on and on … and as the pressure mounted, so did my tendency to distract from figuring it out. Our world offers up so many delicious distractions so we don’t have to think too hard about our purpose or role here. It’s so much easier not to address difficult questions. Especially when the answers to those questions aren’t forthcoming.

Then everything changed, but not the way I would have wanted. I might lose some more readers over this one, but I can’t stay transparent without talking about what is real for me. This new struggle — this growing sense of hopelessness and depression — if I don’t address it, then I won’t find a way to get through it.

And now, more than ever, I must find a way to break through it.

You see, my ideals of love, kindness, compassion and wanting to inspire the world to awaken in love suddenly felt inconsequential in relation to what is happening in the division of America. Instead of being able to stay committed to bridging the gap, I’ve somehow fallen into the pit of despair. My message of showing up each day with loving kindness seems like it’s not enough. I took my head out of the sand and I can’t seem to put it back in again.

I am not political. Or should I say, I was not political. Yet, I keep remembering Pastor Martin Niemoller’s poem:

First They Came

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

I still want to believe the most powerful thing we can do is to treat ourselves and each other with love. I still want to wear my rose colored glasses and think positive. I still want to believe, “what we resist, persist.” I still want to be hopeful and positive.

But I’m finding it’s more and more difficult. And I no longer think just turning off the news, staying away from all the political postings on Facebook, or looking the other way is the answer. Unfortunately, as with the other difficult questions of my life, I don’t know the solution.

What I do know is this growing sense of feeling hopeless about the future of our environment, health care, education, and my ability to do anything about any of it. I can only imagine that there are many others who also feel this deep sadness and depression about what is happening here in the United States of America. The bottom line is the feeling of being powerless.

If you haven’t figured out by now, I’m a pretty far-left liberal. If you are not, then that’s okay. I’m openly curious and tolerant for views different from my own. We don’t have to agree to get along. I will beam as much love your direction as I do any other direction.

I have friends and family on both sides of this divide. I know folks who are actively marching to demonstrate their concerns and others who are refusing to look at the issues and just hoping it all goes away. I have family who cheered the Executive Order regarding pushing through Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline as an answer to prayer. I’ve seen Facebook posts praising Trump for following through on his campaign promises.

Are you still reading? Because I’m tired of writing this already. I don’t want to polarize or create further division. I don’t want my blog to become political. However, as I said earlier — at this point in time, the political has become personal.

I’m one of the 18 million people who will be uninsured should ObamaCare get repealed. I don’t have the kind of disposable income to have a Health Care Savings Account (at this point the proposed alternative). I am an environmentalist and would rather see a wall of solar panels built than a wall at our borders. There is so much going on right now with new policies and political appointments that I can’t even keep up with it all.

I am looking for the rays of hope to carry me through this period. I am seeking a way to return to my center and trust that everything is happening for the highest good of all. I am in desperate need of being reminded that at this time, what I set out to do in the world is still important. Maybe even more crucial than when I started.

In the last few months I’ve really honed in on the message I feel is the most powerful one that I can provide. This is our power to create ripples of change in the world. I’ve started randomly telling people: “Keep on shining your light in the world” … at the gas station … at the grocery store … at the drive through window … everywhere I go.

Our lights need to shine brightly now. Although I’ve felt mine dim, I’m determined to rekindle it. I won’t give up and I won’t shut up. I will look strangers in the eyes and beam love wherever I go. I will keep on keeping on.

I can’t put my head back in the sand and ignore what’s happening around the world anymore. Maybe calling my senators to express my concern didn’t seem to influence their vote, but that doesn’t mean I should stop calling. I won’t add to the anger or hatred, but I will speak out for what I believe.

I will keep encouraging every. single. person. to stand up and hug your neighbor, be kind, be tolerant, and be love. Let us rise up from the pit of despair or hopelessness and remember we can and do make a difference.


As always, thank you for being a part of my journey. I share freely so that I may assist those who can relate to what I’m saying. We are not alone — each connected to one another in our own unique and individual ways, a part of a greater cosmos beyond understanding. I am committed to this connection — to unity, to growth, and to love. This, I know.

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Shannon Crane