THERE is a quote from ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ that I keep going back to when I need a lift in these uncertain times.
“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy”.
Easier said than done, right?
But it is crucial that we all do our utmost to keep the sunny side out and stay positive during the current health crisis.
Fear breeds more fear and there is nothing to be gained from darkness and despair except more darkness and despair.
Like everyone else, I have had moments of despondency, moments of hopelessness, and moments of anxiety in the last couple of weeks as the Covid-19 pandemic hit closer to home.
Right now, it is the words of 14-year-old Holocaust victim Anne Frank, a courageous, perceptive and gifted young girl, who gives me inner strength.
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains,” she also wrote in her diary.
And sure, it is not always easy to see the beauty around us when the thunderclouds are moving in fast. Panic can take hold and we lose our grip on the things that truly matter.
I am not talking about taking a ‘head in the sand’ approach either. These are frightening times, times filled with confusion and unease. We are all concerned for the health and wellbeing of our families and loved ones. We are dealing with a situation here that we have no control over, a situation that will bring out the best and worst in all of us.
Things have changed dramatically in a short space of time, but our lives still go on.
Life is beautiful. Life is worth celebrating every day. It is a gift and all any of us have is right now.
Despite all our worries and concerns, real and warranted as they are, we must keep hope alive and find the simple beauty in the world around us each day, even if only in some small little way. These are the things that give us strength.
A number of years ago during a very dark period in my own life I contemplated suicide. I saw no hope, only darkness and despair. As Bob Geldof once put it, I felt as though I was in “a universe of pain” at the time. With help from others, I got through this personal crisis and now have so much in my life that I am thankful for every day.
I have learned to look at life as a gift and, no matter what trials and tribulations that come my way, I believe it is worth celebrating and living to the full. None of us know what tomorrow brings.
In moments of pure anxiety in the last few weeks, I have taken great pleasure in my children, nature, music, work, films, books, prayer, food and conversation. The simple and every day things.
Life is changing and changing fast for all of us. Tomorrow is uncertain; now is what we must focus on.
We must all do what we can to stay safe and strong to get through this crisis so we can rebuild our lives once more. We must do what we can to find joy and keep hope in our hearts, because as Anne Frank also said in her war-time diary, “where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”