[I’d rather be hopeful than optimistic]


“Your wrestling feels appropriate to me. This work pushes against our desire to have it easy. Sometimes easy is nice and even necessary, but I’m not sure easy is the best way to live. You have strong desires and they run deep and compel you forward. I suspect you will continue to wrestle and fight. I see this as good process. Be paying attention to the spaces where it is time to rest, the spaces where it is time to submit, and the spaces where it makes sense to run into the burning house. All of these will come into play. Let your desire speak, and your ethic for justice will offer hope to many…”

These are words written by my A.I. at the end of my ethics paper from this summer term..

Tim Reber, I love you.

These words give me hope that I might actually be able to do the work of therapy.

That I may sit with clients while they tell me their stories of how they came to be who they are now. 

That I may be a part of the dreaming process for them to discover who they want to be.

That I may be a part of the planting process without seeing product of flowers blooming.

That I may continue to wrestle with myself, discover who I want to be, lean into my desires, and see it all as good, even when it feels really, really shitty.

Optimism feels like seeing a silver lining, and I think we’ve been programmed to see that silver lining at all possible costs; push past or even ignore the hurt happening now instead of giving grief its due share of time and space in our lives in order for a sliver of that god damn lining to be seen.

Hope feels more like believing that goodness still exists in times of horror; believing that there is light, even when I am surrounded by darkness; and knowing that this work is possible even when I already feel exhausted by the weight and responsibility of it.

So today I have hope. I hold it gently and pray it stays awhile.

Tomorrow… well, tomorrow is a new day.



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