Have you ever thought about your relationship with hope? Do you have hope? Do you dismiss hope? Are you hopeless?
It’s okay to hope, there’s no life without hope. Think about it, there’s hope, which leads to possibility and there’s hopelessness, which leads to spiritual death. It might seem dramatic, but also very real. I’ve experienced it. I experienced the benefit of hope, and the devastation of hopelessness. But most importantly, I’ve learned how to shift gears when I catch myself sinking into hopelessness.
I don’t believe we can avoid hopelessness altogether, and to me, all hopelessness means is fear took over. If and when we let fear win, there’s no victory, no end in sight. And then people become afraid to fail out loud in front of people, they don’t want to feel embarrassed, they don’t want to be vulnerable, they don’t want to experience shame for chasing their dreams and maybe being judged as arrogant or not worthy. But the thing is, once again, without hope, there is no life. When we’re willing to face those moments of hopelessness and get back to hope–we’ve won.
Whether you hit the goal or get the money or the body, relationship or whatever it is that you’re striving towards, what if that’s all irrelevant? What if it’s as simple as than that? In any given moment, the goal is to win hopelessness with our hope.
And if you’re afraid to commit to hope, what do you have?
You’ve abandoned yourself when you’ve abandoned the part of you that has access to hope, 24-7. And I’m not talking about a Pollyanna-type fantastical, idealistic version of hope. I’m not talking about a head-in-the-clouds naivety. I’m talking about real hope. I don’t care how hard it is, there is hope. And if you can’t hope for anything else, hope for the energy to shift that darkness to light. You have access to that.
What I asked myself when I had cancer and couldn’t walk or hold my baby – could I be free?
Freedom is one of my core values and it’s easy to think you can’t be free in a situation like that. But the honest to goodness truth is, I did get free in that situation, and hope was something that became tangible to me. It’s ethereal. It’s not anything you can see or touch or have any evidence that it’s going to work; however, I somehow knew that as long as I stayed connected to hope, I had more life left to live.
The only thing I had control over was emotional strength and my connection to hope. That was about it. I quickly realized it wasn’t up to me to cure my cancer. I was either going to live or I was going to die. We’re all going to die; we just don’t know when.
I’m not suggesting that this is easy, but what if it is this simple?
We’ve all just been through a global pandemic and our lives got dumped upside down. I don’t care who you are, you’ve been rattled. You’ve been impacted and it’s been challenging at best. Over the course of the past few years, it’s been hard, in different ways, in different circumstances for each of us. Are we being the version of ourselves that we want to be? Is our life set up the way that we have always dreamed of? Are we fulfilled? Are we bored? Are we going through the motions? Are we giving up?
Are we resigning into a state of hopelessness because it’s been so difficult?
These are all questions that we’re living out day to day, whether we’re thinking about it or not, we all have parts of our lives that are working well, things that we want to keep. I don’t care who you are, we have parts of our lives that are ready to grow or that we’ve outgrown or that are just no longer serving us.
If you’re still alive, there’s still hope.
And if I was going to live and if the energy was going to shift and I was going to get better, what was I going to do? I’ll tell you what I did do, I started fantasizing about being well. I would literally think about it and talk about it in the present tense. Almost like it had happened before.
I wasn’t well, I didn’t look well, but I didn’t identify as sick or dying and I never gave up hope, which gave me access to my imagination and to flirting with possibility. Let yourself think way outside of the box and let your heart start to lead you in seeing and imagining better and better. Imagine how you want your life to feel, how you want your life to look, how you want your life to go, hope for it and don’t give up, no matter how hard it gets. And eventually you’ll get there, or you’ll die trying.
Yes, there will be challenges, obstacles, difficulties, and heartbreaks, but with hope you’re still more powerful than any of those circumstances. If you can imagine it, there’s something in you; if you’re still alive, you can create it.
I want that for you, to live in hope.