February 12, 2022
This weekend holds a variety of special events to fill our hearts and lift our spirits. We each have our favorite things, so take your pick: the Winter Olympics, the Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day! There’s something for everyone, and my favorite is the Winter Olympics! It has always been one of my favorite things, and as we watched this past week, I noticed the good feels all the way down to my bones. I felt uplifted, amazed, and inspired. These are the feelings connected to the Olympics for me since childhood, and they come back every time.
Each night, Art and I watch the events and listen to the inspiring stories. We share in the exhilaration and heartbreak that come with these competitions – the falls, the lifts, the twists and turns, and emotions riding high. Our eyes often fill with tears as we cheer, gasp, and sigh. We appreciate the beauty and significance of the global camaraderie which stands out in stark contrast to the current political climate. This is one of the best aspects of the Olympics, and it lifts our spirits every time.
As we watched the pairs figure skating, I remembered the stirring Bolero routine by Torvill and Dean that won the Gold years ago. I looked it up on YouTube. It was 1984. I was still in college! It felt surreal to watch that video clip, a flashback in time. I realized that the Olympics have been a highlight for me my whole life. I watched them with my parents and then with my own children. No matter what was going on in the world, the Olympics would come back around and bring us all together to cheer, cry, gasp, sigh, and hope again.
The past few years have been very heavy and difficult for humanity. We have experienced great loss, pain, turmoil, division, and anxiety. Hope is teetering on the edge of the abyss. Democracy as well. We’re not sure what to hold on to when everything seems to be crumbling. In my new job, I talk to people every day who are struggling to make ends meet, facing eviction, feeling hopeless and afraid. My heart swells with love and compassion. I want to give them encouragement, security, and hope. I recognize our oneness and our mutual longing to be held and free.
The Olympics may not solve these challenges, but they remind us of the beauty and strength of the human spirit. They help us all to rise above the mire and stand on higher ground. They give us a glimpse of what’s possible when we come together, break down barriers, and cheer each other on. When our hope is renewed, we can keep on working toward a better world. We can uplift, encourage, and inspire each other. When we fall, we can get back up, just as the athletes do. It's all part of being human. Open hearts and hands enable us to reach out and hold each other up. They help us build deep and solid connections that restore our humanity.
Whatever brings you joy and inspiration this weekend, choose that. Experience your favorite things and share the love. Celebrate the goodness and grace that hold you and extend through you to others. You may be the one that helps someone else get back up and carry on.
Rise & Shine,
Elisa J. Juarez