Monday, November 2, 2009


Today I am thinking about hope. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because it's been a difficult week. Maybe because I am starting to look for work and feeling a bit bewildered due to all the variables we must consider with regard to our daughter, our residence, our income, our tax bracket, etc.

It could also be due to the several stories I heard this morning on NPR that make my concerns look tiny and more-than-manageable in comparison with the difficulties faced by so many others throughout the world.

The older I have gotten, the more I've come to understand the importance and impact of hope. It's the thing that keeps us feeling connected, the thing that keeps us from going under or spiraling downward beyond articulating, past reaching out... locked in paralyzed hiding.

Hope reminds us we are beautiful - in a divine and valuable way. It tells us we are strong. It whispers possible connections between ourselves and everyone around us... weaving safety nets along our support systems so that even the slightest waver catches someone's attention - and they answer our call before we even knew we needed assistance.

Hope is tied to compassion. Our capacity to be compassionate with ourselves and to be open to the imperfections and potential challenges contained in others. Hope allows failure. Hope allows forgiveness. Because it sees neither as a finite answer and believes new questions can always be asked.

One of my assignments this week was to meditate for 5 minutes each day. Such a seemingly small thing, and yet - as our teacher knew it would - it can pose a challenge for those of us unused to making time for such things.

A remarkable aspect of these daily sittings has been the discovery of a deep-seated and very powerful force of hope within. I am still in the process of fully uncovering it... like a deep-sea diver carefully removing wreckage around a sunken treasure. I catch it gleaming... get a sharp sense of how valuable this finding will be... and then my awareness shifts to the hulking metal, the rusty, barnacled shell of some long-forgotten mishap.

It's hard work, clearing away our internal rubble. Painful and murky... with long spans of being left alone in the dark to wonder if the debris we've stirred up will clear enough to see again.

Hope is that shiny little sparkle you catch out of the corner of your eye. The one that makes your heart quicken and your mouth open just slightly so that the corners begin to inch toward smiling.

It's worth it. For those of you reading this and questioning whether to keep going, whether to allow hope a larger space in your heart, whether to continue digging through the remains so you may finally let go... the answer is yes.

May you allow hope to reside within you. May it spur you on to greater action.

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