Making A Way Out of No Way

Sometimes events in life feel uncontrollable and bad news seems to be the only news. The feelings can be loaded with a weightiness that can seem very present and real. In the throws of anger or sadness, it can sometimes feel as if there is no escape. Where is the way when it seems like all paths are blocked and one is stalled in a place of emotional chaos? These types of questions do not have easy or painless answers. 

When thinking about or experiencing these types of challenges, I often reflect on an African Diaspora proverb: “Making a way out of no way.” This proverb speaks to the hardships of oppression and how it often would appear that “no way” is possible given current life circumstances and experiences. The saying also speaks to human resilience and how folks have the abilities to heal, strive, and overcome even in the wake of what might feel impossible to overcome. This approach to life holds a balance between strength and vulnerability. There is room to acknowledge how life can at times seem unbearable and like constant fight; and there is also an acknowledgment that there may be opportunities for personal, interpersonal, and community change within connected relationships. Psychotherapy may be one place to hold both strength and vulnerability, and it is also a place to explore the “many ways” that might offer hope for creative change. These apparent dichotomies can feel separate/distant at times; however, there is room for balance.