Not Losing Hope

My Mom and Sister in 2013

My first meditation teacher was my mother. She taught me to meditate in 1971. I was the only young woman I knew who, when confronting a problem, their mother would say "Have you meditated on it honey?"

Over the last nearly 50 years, I have not always meditated consistently, but for the most part I have meditated every morning. And there's one thing I know for sure, I am better at dealing with whatever life hands me, when I meditate.

Since the election of 2016 something unpleasant appears in the news every single day. Never in my life did I believe that so many U.S. citizens would have such ugly intentions. I have spent the last three years feeling shocked and angry. Mom died in 2015 and I can hear her voice saying "All that anger is only hurting you." And she's right. I know she's right.

Even though her body was failing, she had a clear mind up to the end. A couple of months before she died she asked my sister and me to promise her we would not lose hope.

My sister Pam and I were still in our Obama optimism bubble. Mom kept saying "Things are going to get bad. Promise me you won't lose hope." Pam and I would look at each other and wonder what she was talking about. The U.S. had elected its first president who was not white and was about to elect its first president who was not male. But we knew it was important to Mom so we promised.

Mom died a couple months later and my sister died suddenly a month after the 2016 election. When I think about what Mom would want for me, I absolutely know she would say...

meditate every day
be grateful
don't lose hope.

My mom was a good teacher. The first two things come easily for me. The third thing...well...

I am trying Mom. I'm really trying.