I forgive myself for my mistakes
I have noticed a tendency in some circles to, at least implicitly, disparage or diminish feelings of hopelessness and despair—feelings that touch on nihilism. I met and worked with a peaceworker in Iraqi Kurdistan who said that she didn't have much hope and didn't believe in God; and yet, she kept on working, even in the face of a tangible and profound violence and a rejection of metaphysical certainty, to document horrors and amplify the voices of the oppressed, read and love poetry, and witness to the possibility of nonviolence. I don't think that feelings of hopelessness and despair are inimical to the cultivation of devotion and a commitment to the notion that there are things that are worth saving, even or especially if the saving act feels impossible. We have to love even in the face of despair, even without the guarantee that love will, in some cosmological or eschatological sense, prevail. It is enough—more than enough—to move forward with our vulnerable and human hearts, our hearts that are softened and hardened and broken open and softened again, and hold to a love without guarantee.