For the last few weeks I’ve found myself crying. A lot.
And let me tell you. This isn’t about the election OR the outcome. Listen to me…MY DESPAIR ISN’T ABOUT THIS ELECTION so please don’t make it about that!
No…it started long before.
It pretty much didn’t matter what I was doing. The tears appeared.
So I made a decision (and this was, friends, several weeks PRIOR to the election) to go ahead and cry. To cry hard. To curl-up-on-the-couch-in-the-fetal-position kind of cry. To look-at-myself-in-the-mirror-and-watch-the-tears-appear kind of cry. To drive-in-the-car-and-play-sad-music kind of cry.
I talked to my family, my friends, my colleagues. “Am I going crazy?” “Am I depressed?” “Am I losing my grip on reality?” I have spent nearly as much time trying to determine the cause of my crying as I did…crying.
And finally, I figured it out. I have been mourning…mourning my loss of hope.
Hope for my nation. Hope for compassionate leadership. Hope for my children. Hope for my children’s children. Hope for the bullied. Hope for the poor, the suffering, the disenfranchised. Hope for the underserved, the disabled, the voiceless. Hope for our creatures, this land, the environment. Hope for wo/man/kind.
For someone like me who has literally made a living…heck a life…inspiring hope…losing it is like dying. Seriously, it’s like dying little tiny deaths every day.
Two years ago, I had reached a similar kind of despair. After working on Capitol Hill for two years on a project (the name of it was Run2Lead) designed to address our highly polarized nation, I had to pull the plug on it. “Whatever you do Molly,” one Congressional staffer shared with me. “Do NOT use the words peace or compassion here on the Hill. You’ll get written off right away. Those words don’t work here.”
She wasn’t kidding. I was written off.
I drove home cynical…a heart filled with despair and a tank low on hope.
After several weeks of wandering around my house, and acknowledging my frustration with the current state of my beloved America, I decided, rather than waiting for hope to come to me, I would go find it!
I rented a Mustang convertible and drove from Charlotte, NC to Las Vegas, NV and interviewed hundreds of Americans about what they believed was separating us from each other…in essence, what was stealing our hope. I wrote extensively about my conversations. I experienced more joy than I thought possible. I changed. I grew.
I came back overflowing with hope.
After hearing the despair, frustration and anger from all sides and all people this past week, I decided to revisit my writings. At the time I called them the Red Boot Ride Ramblings.
And now that I’ve read through these materials, two years later and at another point of despair and inflection, I am again…filled with hope and a new call to action.
The Red Boot Ride Ramblings are my unedited journal entries from the ride.
So, let me just get to the point. If you are despairing about the current state of our nation…the Presidential election, the bullying, the violence, the anger and separation between us, please consider joining me every morning, for a while…right here. The writings that follow are very close to their original form. I’ve made a few changes to accommodate the typesetting, but other than that, these were the words as they came through me at that time.
I will highlight these essays on this page (and my Facebook page if you are over there as well) by labeling them “THE RED BOOT RAMBLINGS.”
Read along and know that you are not alone. We are not alone. There are many more of us who yearn for a joyful, united, harmonious America than those who do not. It’s just hard to find each other sometimes.
We begin tomorrow.
I love you.