May 3 – Despair

Despair can be a great motivator. Sometimes it takes wallowing in despair to make us realize we need to change. There comes a point where we can no longer live with things the way they are. Despair is hopelessness, desperation. A sense of impending doom, and a fear that things are beyond our power to change. Despair is the rock bottom we addicts hit before making our way back up through recovery.

black hanging bridge surrounded by green forest trees

On the topic of despair, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

“We have known times like these. In fact, the point where we realized that we had to admit that doing too much was no longer something that we did, it did us, and was our personal moment of hitting bottom. Before we completely admitted our powerlessness over our working too much, we despaired, fearing that nothing could change.

Yet we have changed. We have reached the depths of despair and lived through it. We have gone into the abyss and found that God is nothingness too.

We remember our despair, and we are also grateful to it because hitting bottom in our disease has paved the way for our recovery, and recovery is great!”

If we have learned anything by now, it is to be grateful for the bad times as well as the good. For even the darkest times of our life offer lessons that help us move the needle toward the positive. We come away having learned something. We grow and strive. There is always a silver lining if we can just remember to search for it.

In our despair, we learn what it is to be happy. We find a way out of the darkness and into the light. Despair shows us what must change in order for us to find happpiness. It shows us who we don’t want to be, so we can work on becoming the people we do. First, we feel powerless; then we change. This is the gift and the power of despair. It opens all possibilities in our lives at a time when we feel infinitesimal and limited. Despair is the catalyst for change. 

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