“The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveller than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.” – Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Fall of Atlantis
Life can surely throw its twists and turns at you, though you should never give up hope. There you are bumping along nicely when bam! – Some obstacle or adversity rudely shows up unannounced on your doorstep. I’m sure you can relate, as that is just the way our journey goes sometimes. Life can surely change at the drop of a hat. One thing that helps me remain hopeful and optimistic is accepting the fact right now that not everything in my life is going to go the way I want it to…and that’s alright.
The acceptance that you will face some obstacles, walls, negative emotions, people, etc. should ease some of your stress. If you walk around in fear of “what’s next?” you will have to bear unnecessary weight on your shoulders. If you adopt a hopeful and optimistic heart, you’ll be able to breathe easier and anticipate a more pleasant future.
Hope has what it takes
Hope is much more valuable than we give it credit. It is like a soft burning flame that can never be extinguished, withstanding the wind and rain to glow impervious to external elements. In other words, hope has what it takes to get you through anything.
Hope is similar to optimism. The ability to believe that things will work out in the future will help you to relax in the present and not have a complete meltdown when something less than desirable comes your way.
- Hope believes that you will get through it.
- Hope remembers all the times in the past that you made it through.
- Hope teams up with faith and believes the impossible.
Hope and emotions
I will admit that when tough times arrive, emotions can come alive in full vigour. When the boss tells you that the company is downsizing and your position will be terminated, when your son gets expelled from school, the partner decides he does not know if he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, the doctor gives you a bad report and your dog has gone missing, emotions are ready for a roller-coaster ride. This is quite understandable, but if you have hope deep within you, your thoughts will gravitate toward the positive and your emotions will be more positive.
For example, if Jack tells Amy that after three years of a serious relationship he just does not feel like she is the “forever” girl for him, Amy has several options. If she has not already decided to have an optimistic and hopeful outlook, her thoughts will swing to the negative. She will be thinking thoughts like, “Oh my god! What am I going to do? I gave him everything and he does this? My life is over! I will never trust anyone again!” Such thoughts could easily cause a nervous breakdown, cause serious depression and perhaps cause her to reach for something to kill the pain.
On the other hand, if Amy has made a habit out of carrying hope in her pocket and wearing optimism as her cloak, her thoughts may be more like: “Wow! Well, this is certainly a painful thing to hear and my heart is sad, but I guess Jack is not the man I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with. I’m sure that things will work out regardless and when the time is right, I will meet my life partner.” Though Amy may still have some emotions like sadness rise, she may not go into a meltdown because she has learned to live with hope and optimism as her dear friends.
Maybe there is a lesson to be learned
Sometimes when things look bleak, you are invited to master a lesson greater than you expected. This is when you can rely on hope to get you through. For example, if you lose your job, perhaps you are to learn some lessons during your transition of looking for another job. Perhaps you will realise you actually hated your job and will find a career path that makes you feel happy. Or maybe you’ll realise that you want to start your own business. Be willing to look at your circumstances and look for something you can learn.
Envision a positive future
During tough times do your best to envision a positive future. In fact, many times what you mentally see is what you are going to get. Call it positive thinking or the law of attraction – either way what you mentally think about and visualise 9 times out of 10 is what you are going to have served on your plate. What do you want your present and future to look like? Close your eyes and visualise it and be optimistic that you will get exactly what you see.
Be unattached to outcomes
The world is full of those who have overcome incredible obstacles, failures to become successful and happy. Perhaps they know a bit about staying unattached to outcomes because they understand that not everything will go as planned. They understand that when one door is closed, they will look for another door. They understand a little bit about hope and optimism.
Allow life to weave her magic and become a bit of a magician. Commit to a life of optimism no matter what the circumstances. Optimistic people have made a decision to raise the beacon of hope when times get tough. You can become more optimistic as well. The next time something does not go as planned, simply take some hope out of your pocket and declare that “It’s going to be alright. I believe the best in this situation” and chances are it will.