It is a blessing to be part of prayer circles and gratitude circles, yet it can be overwhelming when there seems to be so much need and crisis and fear in the face of trying to remain positive and upbeat. My natural instinct is to try to encourage others when they are facing obstacles that seem insurmountable. It is impossible to comment and respond to every post one sees on social media expressing such dire need and panic-stricken feelings of being out of control of what’s happening in life. And, certainly, there are circumstances going on that we cannot control, that put us in precarious situations often without notice. So how can I – or anyone – help these requests?
The overriding idea, thought, emotion, and feeling that comes to me is to offer Hope. I know that, when mired in the dark and hopeless muck of life, we don’t really want to hear some Pollyanna spout, “Just think positive and all will be well!” We want concrete answers to help us move out of the pain. Sometimes, it is as simple as finding something to think positive about, no matter how small. Sometimes, it is as simple as expressing gratitude for something small to begin with and then move to bigger things. But, sometimes, we can’t even reach up high enough to capture a positive thought – they all seem like lies, and to be grateful? Don’t make me laugh!
Almost everyone can empathize with the feelings of loss, pain, fear, anguish, hopelessness, and any assortment of tragedies. But there IS something more. It is called HOPE, which is the cornerstone of Faith and the foreshadowing of positive thinking and gratitude. It may be tenuous, it may hide in the shadows of despondency, it may appear to wear an invisible cloak, but it is ever present, with every breath. I know this because I live this. Hope for change, for advancement, for moving out of the pain and despair of conditions you can’t control. It exists. It is real. No, you don’t always know what it looks like, you may not be able to put a name or face/image to it, but it is right there in the middle of your blood, swimming between the red and white cells, pushing through with each beat of your heart to send signals to your logic-locked brain to just let go of the fear. If you don’t think it’s possible today, then just wait. If you wake up tomorrow, you will know it’s possible.
Just thinking about Hope will give you some relief, because if you are thinking about Hope – even in a fanciful, disbelieving way – then you are not thinking about your problem. There is magic in it. Its power is subtle yet stronger than sunlight breaking through darkness, much like the power of unconditional love and forgiveness. It can make you feel breathless with anticipation, headily expectant because once you allow Hope to take root and sprout, you will know Answers will come. Maybe not in the way you think you want them; maybe not in the way you think they should. But Hope is your permission for the energy to change directions. With Hearts Open, Peace Emerges, that wonderful healing feeling that things can change and healing can happen, and acceptance of things as they are is the first step to the stairway upward to something better. Even if you have to crawl up the stairs, clutching the handrail, Hope helps you do it, because you know that, at the top of the stairs, the light is brighter, the air is clearer and sweeter, and you will be able to see in all directions, not just into the dark corners of your fear.
So, for everyone experiencing heart-wrenching experiences, or even milder inconveniences that pile on top of each other, know that you are not alone, and that HOPE is alive and well within you. Feel it stirring, feel it trying to reach up and out – allow it to move through you! You will find inspiration, you will make connections, or you will overhear the exact information you need, whether in person or via television, radio, or otherwise. You will meet the right people, you will get the promotion, and if you don’t get the promotion or the job, then you will get a better one! If you don’t get that house, that car, that school, or that partner, you will get a better one! Hope will never leave you but you must allow it to be real in your life. Don’t accept anyone’s criticism that Hope is in any way weak or paltry. Hope is greater than any fear that can come against it. Hope is the container of Faith, and when you have Faith, you have everything because it allows you to lay down your worries and know the sweet freedom of relief and release. Your evidence and witness through Hope can be the inspiration someone else needs to find their own strength to make it through. You have no idea how many people you could help just by expressing Hope. Some call it letting go and letting God. If that works for you, then go with it, but you don’t have to call it God if that doesn’t feel right. Just call it Hope, and never give up.
Let go and Hope.