Oftentimes I find myself completely hopeless. I reach the bottom of my hope bag, and there is nothing there. Nothing. Not the slightest sign of the light at the end of the tunnel. Not even the smallest manifestation of the possibility of a brighter future. And I just sit there and simmer endlessly in self-pity, thinking that there is nothing more disgusting in life that feeling sorry for oneself, and that just quick-sands me into an even worse mood.
Then I stop. I make an effort – that seems extenuating at times – to count my blessings. I sit down and make the mental list of all the positive things in my life:
1. My daughter, who is a blessing in herself, because without her I know exactly how many feet under I’d be dwelling into right now.
2. My parents, who relentlessly and colossally believe in me despite the many times I’ve proved them wrong. It is a faith in its own that has no end.
3. The fact that I still enjoy things like writing, and reading, and that I can get up every morning and show up at work, regardless of the heavy bag I carry on my back. I am still alive.
4. My faith in God. At times, it’s the only thing I have to hold on to. And believe me, I HOLD ON!
But no matter what I do, there is always something or someone, that inevitably will drag me down to reach down again into the bottom of my bag, and I realize there is no hope. And I start then another type of counting, the counting of all the negative things. The undesirable conversation with my ugly self that so readily lists how everything can go wrong. And the cycle repeats itself.
But this year – and this is not in any way, shape or form, a resolution – right at the very beginning of it, I read something that made me pause the cycle and begin to understand how this works. The phrase came from someone who I admire more than she even thinks I do. I see in this girl the strength that no one has shown me in my life. And she said it with these simple words:
“Will power is a muscle. It’s finite. And always renewable”
I was floored. When a woman like this woman, whom I think to be the real life form of Wonder Woman says to you something so powerful and so clear, it makes you stop. Listen. And renew.
Yes, H.O.P.E is a four letter word. It means nothing if you don’t give it life yourself. Fuel it, feed it, renew it when it dies, make a mental workout on it, fall in love with it. Keep it moving.
H.O.P.E. is a four letter word. It’s up to you to bring it to life. Write up your own definition.
*Photo credit: http://ivoh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Hope2.jpg