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May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009

Topic:keeping hope alive!

  It seems as though things continue to come in waves. I notice waves of people I know losing jobs and homes, going through divorces. Things seem to settle for awhile and them another wave comes rolling in, tearing apart the fragile sandcastles we have worked so hard to build over our lifetimes. It seems as though when I watch the people around me, that no one is quite "safe" from this. For some, they see this continual crashing of the waves, tearing down of the castles that have been built as something bad, something to fear and try to hide from. For others there is a strange calm surrounding them.   Generally what I have observed is that those who are impacted by the waves, those who's delicate castles were destroyed seem the most calm.Like they realize after "the worst" has happened that life goes on. The loss of a job did not mean their life ended.=A0 The loss of a home did not mean they cease to exist.  The loss of a marriage did not mean they are alone or unloved.  The loss of any of these things did not mean that all joy is gone. In fact some people have managed to find the simpler more fulfilling joy in their experiences. Some people have found themselves with a fresh perspective and a better outlook after " the worst" happened.
  Those who seem to fear the most are those who have not yet lost anything. The anticipation of what a loss may look like is emotional and psychological torment. So much so that many of the people who are grounded in this fear are more unhappy than those who have experienced the losses first hand.
    This observation speaks to the power of hope and the power of intention. This has been a theme that has been hard for me to see, hard to name.  The message I have been getting is the importance of the tiny bit of hope that resides within all of us. It's small and it's unattached to exact outcomes.It says " everything will be ok in the end" and our job is to trust it. Too often though we feel that hope and then say " if hope exists then things will turn out exactly as I want them to", regardless of what is in our own best interest. I saw a speaker yesterday talk about hope in regards to a medical situation. He discussed a quote from a cancer surgeon that outlines the depth and variation of hope, it broadens the scope of what hope can be.
 "Hope is important, but we have been limited to the kind of hope we prescribe...our idea that the only kind of hope is for a cure limits what we can offer. There are, in fact, many kinds of hope: hope for a good period of life ahead, hope for enriching relationships, hope for control of pain, hope for a strong sense of care and support"- David Spiegel

  This struck me as applying to the message I had been receiving regarding hope in these tough times. It is a wonderful endeavor to have larger scale hope for the best case scenario. Hope for society at large. To hope that the economy turns around, to hope for our version of the best outcome for every situation we encounter. However, there are times that "bad things" happen as a way to lead to greater things ahead. As a way of clearing out something that is old and outmoded to make room for something greater.
  Most of the time when the clearing happens we can not see that there is something better on its way. It is only afterward, when the dust has settled and the new has emerged, that we look back and think " that was the best thing that could have happened". In the moment we think our world is crumbling. By only focusing on our outcome and not having little bits of hope for the small things along the way, we limit ourselves.Hope for a good day, hope to see the sun shine, hope to spend time talking to good friends, hope to receive a hug from someone you love. Its these small hopes that drive us in the right direction. Help us get through the times when everything is clearing away. Its these small hopes that help open up possibilities. Its these small hopes the cause joy in our day to day.
  Too easily we put everything into the large grand outcome we want and we miss all the reasons to celebrate along the way. We get to that destination and when things do not go exactly as we hoped, we say "see I knew it wouldn't workout, nothing ever works out for me". Meanwhile there were a million reasons to feel joy, and to feel hopeful that were missed, simply because our vision was to limited, too hyper focused to see them. We maybe even could have something better than what we are hoping for if we had been open to celebrating the small joys that lead us to where we need to be, effortlessly.
 The message is about a shift in perspective.=A shift in the way we view our circumstances. We, in the end control our happiness, not the world. The poorest people in the world, people with horrible disabilities are sometimes, many times happier than the richest, most beautiful people who seem to have "everything". Why is that? The people with nothing  of material value, the people who have to struggle physically day to day have learned to celebrate the little things.
 A final quote to illustrate the part of this message that I find hard to put into words can be best summed up by the words of Vaclav Havel " Hope is an orientation of the heart...The more unpropitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is...Without hope it is impossible to live in dignity and meaning, much less find the will for the "hopeless enterprise" which stands at the beginning of all good things"

 We are standing at the edge of something good. Those who can feel beyond the fear feel something big coming. A shift, something deep changing in our world. The change feels good in the end, where ever that is, but there are growing pains associated with the process of getting from where we are now to that point. The vehicle that will get us through is our hope. Care for that hope and feel its flame burning within you everyday, especially when you feel beaten and let down.
 A few of you have asked me about having these in a blog format so that they can be more easily viewed. I am working on trying to get them put into a blog form on my website. I am running into a few bumps (probably thanks to Mercury Retrograde!) I am hoping the blog format will make it easier for me to do posts, for people to read old posts and for more people to access these posts and share them with others. I am sure the kinks will be worked out with in the next couple of weeks (:

 With Love and Truth

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