Blog

Mar15
2020

Hope Will Not Be Cancelled

By Jamie Tworkowski

Life was hard enough one month ago and one week ago. For so many, the last few days have been too much. i don’t know about you but i haven’t been here before. This moment feels like a movie and yet somehow it’s real. And how long will things be this way? How do we begin to accept this new normal? Is it possible to be informed but not afraid? What happens if i get sick? What about my parents? What about my grandparents?

For a lot of people, the questions don’t stop there.
“How long will I be out of work?”
“How will I pay my bills?”
“I’ve been looking forward to this trip for weeks. Can I still go?”
“We’ve been working on this event for months. Do we really have to cancel it?”

It is a time of fear and uncertainty, to say the least. Each new day seems to lead to more questions. While i don’t have all the answers, there are a few things i’ve come to believe over the years. i want to share them here.

First off, your questions matter. Your feelings are valid. You don’t need to be ashamed if you feel anxious or afraid. And you don’t have to carry these things alone. Whatever you’re feeling, whatever you’re afraid of, there’s a good chance that millions of people in this exact moment feel exactly the same. To speak practically, this is a moment to lean on the people you love and also to check on the people you love. This is a moment for honest conversations. If you feel afraid, it’s okay to tell someone you feel afraid. If you feel confused, it’s okay to tell someone you feel confused. When we do this, we allow other people to care for us. We also give other people permission to be honest. Vulnerability invites vulnerability.

Second, i went to counseling today. We talked about the tornado that hit a mile from my house in East Nashville last week. We talked about how that feels like six weeks ago because of all the Coronavirus news this week. Counseling is where i process the hardest things in my life. Counseling is where i bring my biggest questions. My counselor sees things that i can’t see. My counselor knows things and notices things in a way that is unlike every other relationship in my life, because it’s her job and because she’s very good at her job.

While it’s only one hour out of my week, it’s one hour that gives me things to think about and work on throughout all those other hours. Whether it’s in-person or on the phone or through an app, counseling works. If you’re struggling, please consider talking to a licensed counselor. TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool can help you find mental health resources in your local community.

Along with uncertainty and fear, we feel disappointed as cancellations are announced. i’m an NBA fan and there are suddenly no games to watch. i’m a fan of professional surfing and the first event of the 2020 season was just cancelled. In terms of work and purpose, i’m a public speaker and all of my March/April events are either cancelled or on hold. My friend Glennon Doyle had a book come out this week and she had to cancel her book tour. SXSW. Coachella. Broadway. Baseball. Soccer.

While the list goes on and on and grows longer every day, we’re going to need some good stuff to lean on and look forward to. Here are a few things to consider:

Conversations will not be cancelled.
Relationships will not be cancelled.
Love will not be cancelled.
Songs will not be cancelled.
Reading will not be cancelled.
Self-care will not be cancelled.
Hope will not be cancelled.

That’s just my initial list. What else? What do you love that won’t be cancelled? Who and what can you rely on right now? What will you continue to participate in?

We’re all in this together. Literally the whole planet. We’re one people all connected on this place we all call Home. May we care well for one another. May we live with more grace and compassion than ever before. May we be careful and wise but also honest on the days we feel afraid. May we always always always know that it’s okay to ask for help. And may we lean into the good stuff that remains.

As for TWLOHA, we will not be cancelled. We may not be able to see you in-person for a bit but we’re still committed to this work. We’ll still be posting blogs like this one. We’ll be active on social media doing our best to offer encouragement and hope every single day. When you email info@twloha.com, we’ll still be responding. When folks reach out looking for help, we’ll continue to connect them to mental health resources. We’ll still be helping people cover the cost of professional help as well. Since 2006, we’ve seen the best of communication and the Internet. That continues even now.

Hope will not be cancelled.

***

When things feel most uncertain and fear creeps in, we believe that is exactly when hope is needed most. We repeat these words as a reminder that the things that bring connection and healing are still needed.

You can purchase Promise or Good Stuff in the TWLOHA Online Store right now. You can also visit our “Fear Won’t Win” page to help you hold on to hope. There are self-care tips, blogs to read, TWLOHA coloring pages to print and decorate, and other things to do at home. And of course, there are links to keep you connected to the help you need and deserve throughout this time.

Leave a Reply

Comments (18)

  1. Marci

    Thank you for saying you saw your therapist. I’m hoping that my therapist is still meeting individual clients in the office…..if not, that makes me feel anxious and sad. But we’ll find a way……Mental Health will not be cancelled.

    Reply  |  
  2. David Greene

    Well said. We have an opportunity. Will we use it well and wisely?

    Reply  |  
  3. Monique

    This is perfect, Very encouraging. Thank you

    Reply  |  
  4. LR

    Thanks. I’m trying very hard to keep things in check. I want to be informed, but the information itself is daunting. So, after I see where we’re at in the world with this pandemic, I come here to TWLOHA to find something to balance it out with. Thanks for providing some amount of certainty at a very uncertain time.

    Reply  |  
  5. abigail

    Absolutely loved it. I sent it to all my students. God bless

    Reply  |  
  6. Lisa Hiegl

    Thank you. I need positive thoughts right now. In my area, the news conferences go on for 3 hours every afternoon, and it scares the hell out of me. I go on here in the evening to get positive thoughts and calm down.

    Reply  |  
  7. Scott Souquet-Bressand

    I’m glad that this is making the rounds on Twitter and other social media and am happy when the proper credit is given. TWLOHA is and has been a huge benefit in my life. Thanks for letting me lean in to this message!

    Reply  |  
  8. Fatima Bustos-Choy

    Thank you so much!!!!

    Reply  |  
  9. Brenda

    My foster daughter self-harms and it was really ally bad yesterday. She has a counselor but doesn’t open up much because she can be okay during the day. The horror of her arms and legs have overwhelmed me. Is there a place I can get help on line?

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Brenda,

      We’re so sorry to hear that your foster daughter is struggling with self-harm. We are glad to know that she has you looking out of her though and that sh is seeling a counselor as well. Would you email our team at info@twloha.com so we can learn more about her situation and offer both of you support?

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  10. Marla Alex

    I’m also a professional speaker with a LOT of canceled work . So I get where you are coming from. My biggest anxiety-provoking moment? Going to the grocery store. We used to be food insecure and to see the empty shelves… Well, it hits a button, even though I know the button isn’t real in this case or maybe it is? I hope not. Thank you for your blog, I’ll be passing it on to my followers.

    Reply  |  
  11. Susan Barker

    Thank you for your words, hope will not be cancelled. Today they are of great comfort. I am very glad that I have found your site. I hope to be able to continue to read your words.

    Reply  |  
  12. Margaret

    This is great, and so helpful that I’ve shared it with our congregation online…hope that’s ok

    Reply  |  
  13. Hillary Chrisley

    Jamie, I found you through World News This Week at Prayer.
    Your truth and hope is woven through a prayer at that site.
    May I use your full statement of “Conversations will not be cancelled…” in my Easter letter to my church this week?
    Thank you for considering this.
    Rev. Dr. Hillary Chrisley
    Glendora United Methodist Church
    Glendora, CA, USA

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Hillary!

      You are absolutely welcome to share Jamie’s words! If you could include attribution, that would be appreciated. All the very best to you and yours.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  14. Waynette D Brock

    May I use your Hope will not be cancelled theme on my page

    Reply  |  
  15. Jennifer

    Hi –
    So where can I buy the tshirt please?

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hey Jen! The shirt is available in the TWLOHA Online Store: store.twloha.com

      Reply  |  
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