What Keeps Me Up at Night These Days

Elisabeth Olyvia Norton
2 min readDec 8, 2017

I’ve always held that people are good. We don’t, for the most part, come out of the womb hating and willing to hurt others. These are things we learn from the fear carried by people and institutions around us.

As I look around these days, I struggle to keep hold that people are good. There appears to be vast numbers of people determined to intentionally hurt others; INTENTIONALLY cause pain to other humans. This is out of my scope of understanding, I was raised by a Mom who intentionally LOVED people. I was taught that every person is inherently valuable, regardless of circumstances. I was shown that people should be loved in reality, not in concept or theory.

My Mother demonstrated that love is a way of being and an action verb, not a pious theological ideal to be conserved and dispensed only to the worthy.

I know that there is a huge cultural surge of fear, and fear begets a willingness to hurt others. The people hating are living in a fear they are being encouraged to act upon. Those of us who love are struggling to maintain while our fear is rising. It is a daily struggle to maintain my deep, fundamental belief that people are good, to continue holding out love for humanity, when I see so many so willing to righteously spew their hate at and intentionally hurt other humans.

It brings me to sobbing tears when I’m alone, the feelings of despair and hopelessness, to the point I can’t breathe. I feel everything there is to feel and then go back in the world to love people as fully as I can. To be as kind and generous as I have capacity to be, holding out that they are good. Hoping they are able to see good in themselves.

But I think it does matter, this holding on to love, creating points of light for people to see through the cultural crap enveloping us. It matters that every one of us who can, find or create a point of light. It makes a difference to the one creating the point and the one seeing it.

Everywhere we can create connection with kindness, with generosity, with love, will make a difference. It won’t feel like it after the moment is gone, but it will add up over time. Things are changing, people are deciding to align with love or with hate. We are choosing how to treat others and what we will tolerate in the mistreatment of our fellow humans.

Every point of light, every connection, gives us courage to stand up against hatred and injustice. It gives us the ‘nads to intervene when we see someone being hurt rather than passively observe it happening. Don’t give up, even when you feel awful. Keep feeling, keep going, keep loving.


P.S. ‘nads = gonads. Men have testicles, women have ovaries, both are gonads. So women, we don’t need balls, we just need to tap into our power (ovaries or not). xo.



Elisabeth Olyvia Norton

Positive Psychology Coach, Writer, Educator. Optimist, edge pusher, & smarty pants. Momma to bevy of 4 leggers, artist & proud science geek. areallybiglfe.com