Hope Begins In The Dark
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” — Helen Keller
A young man squandered all his inherited wealth. As happens in such cases, the moment he was penniless he found he was friendless too. At his wit’s end he sought the Master out and asked: “What is to become of me? I have no money and no friends.” “Don’t worry, son, mark my words: all will be well with you again.” Hope shone in the young man’s eyes. “Will I be rich again?” “No. You will get used to being penniless and lonely.” Whilst Anthony de Mello’s tale depicts a bitter future for the young man, there is wisdom contained within the short tale. Life will always have its twists and turns; however, it is no reason to ever give up hope.
There you are bounding along when suddenly, an obstacle or adversity shows up unannounced. I’m sure you can relate, as this is the way our journey goes sometimes. Life can change at the drop of a hat. One thing to help you remain hopeful and optimistic is to accept, not everything will go the way you want it to, and that’s alright. The acceptance that you will face obstacles, negative emotions and people, should ease your stress. If you walk around in fear of “what’s next?” you bear unnecessary weight on your shoulders, which is not how life should be lived. If you adopt an enthusiastic outlook, you are able to breathe easier while anticipating a more pleasant future.
Hope Has What It Takes
“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
Hope is more valuable than we give it credit. It is a soft burning flame that cannot be extinguished, and impervious to external elements. In other words, hope has what it takes to get you through anything. Hope is optimism’s better self, for it endures far more than it concedes. To believe things will work out, helps you settle into the present moment without yielding to misfortune when something less than desirable comes your way.
- Hope believes you will get through it.
- Hope remembers times in the past you made it through.
- Hope teams up with faith and believes in the impossible.
Hope And Emotions
“Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” — Stephen King
I will admit that when tough times arrive, emotions can come alive in full vigour. When the boss tells you the company is downsizing and your position will be terminated, when your son gets expelled from school, your partner decides they don’t know if they want to spend the rest of their 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 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 doesn’t feel she is the “one” for him, Amy has several options. If she doesn’t have a hopeful outlook, her thoughts will swing to the negative. She will probably think: “Oh my god! What am I going to do? I gave him everything, and he does this? My life is over! I will trust no one again!” Such thoughts could easily cause a nervous breakdown, cause serious depression and perhaps lead her to reach for something to kill the pain. Can you identify with this narrative? Have you experienced something similar in your life and turned to hope to get you through?
On the other hand, if Amy carries hope in her pocket and wears optimism as her cloak, her thoughts may be more like: “Wow! Well, this is 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 emotions like sadness arise, she may not go into a meltdown because she has learned to live with hope and optimism as her dear friends.
There’s A Lesson To Be Learned
Sometimes when things appear bleak, you are called 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 lessons during your transition of looking for another job. Perhaps you realise you hated your job and will find a career path that makes you feel happy. Or perhaps you’ll realise you want to start your own business. Be willing to consider your circumstances with renewed optimism and 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 will get. Call it positive thinking or the law of attraction; either way, what you mentally think about and visualise is what will show up in your reality. 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, not everything will go as planned. They understand, when one door is closed, they look for another door. They understand a little about hope and optimism. Allow life to weave her magic and become a magician. Commit to a life of optimism, no matter what the circumstances. Optimistic people have decided to raise the beacon of hope when times get tough. You can become more optimistic too. The next time something doesn’t go as planned, take some hope out of your pocket and declare: “It will be alright. I believe the best in this situation” and chances are it will.