But hope for everything……
As the New Year approaches I would like to share my thoughts on the drive that keeps us moving forward into new beginnings. Inspired by the return of the light to those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere I am once again reminded of the power of hope; that most elusive of the triad ‘faith, hope and love.’ St. Paul tells us the greatest of these three is Love, but I believe it is the intricate pattern that all three weave together that matters.
Ever since I was little, birthdays and Christmases include a moment of deep disappointment and sadness. Once again the reality has failed to live up to my expectation. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned not to attach too much value to these moments of darkness and to refocus my attention on what IS, rather what isn’t. I used to be told; “If only you could try not to have such high expectations. Then you won’t be disappointed either.” That felt like a fate worse than death
Expect the worst and hope for the best
Until I understood the difference between expectations and hope. For example, if I expect our wonderful musical La Viviana to be ‘discovered’ next year, I put the power and the agency of that discovery outside myself. Someone else will do ‘it’. Or not. And so disappoint me. But if I carry a deep intention inside me, a ‘hope’ that guides my actions to achieve the dream, it puts the agency squarely in my own hands, while allowing me to remain open to the outcome.
Expectation shouts, “I want it my way,” and walks with its friends called ‘cynicism and naivety’.
But Hope whispers, “What will be will be,” while actively funneling a positive attitude filled with love, acceptance and faith. In relationships love alone is sometimes not enough. But it can survive when it is boosted by this bright light of hope. A way forward. Faith in the future. It survives when our intention is to look at wat IS and not at what isn’t. This is when the triad of faith, hope and love work at their most powerful. And work it is. Expectations expect the others to do the work, Hope expects us to do it ourselves.
Hope can be like a candle burning deep inside our soul, feeding on love, and holding on to an attitude of faith in what will be.
The interplay of darkness and light
While Hope itself is indestructable, as powerful as the light, our access to it can feel blocked, like stormclouds hiding the sun. It hurts when we allow ourselves to be cut off from this inner ‘knowing’ that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. Hope is seeing that tiny sparkle of light, even if only in your imagination, and finding the courage to move towards it. But you have to want to see it first. What gets in the way is the rage of disappointment, fed by expectations, the stifling disconnection fed by cynicism, and yes, even the naive optimism that builds on ideals that are not rooted in reality
Living in the very north of europe for the past seventeen years has made me increasingly aware of the role of light in our lives. It is no surprise that many cultures, many civilisations, long before our own, all celebrated various interpretations of the return of the light. It is so very symbolic for our own human journey that experiences times of great darkness where only the hope of a new dawn can keep us going. The daily cycle of day and night, the opposites of winter and spring serve to remind us that life, personal, interpersonal, and even trasnpersonal, are cyclical. Disappointment does not accept the dark, it seeks to bully it into submission. Cynicism doesn’t accept the dark, it elevates it to a deity that is just as naive as the deities of idealogy. Heroism is about surrendering to the fact that darkness and light go hand in hand, that nothing will ever be perfectly perfect, and yet accepting that we are slowly evolving to our imperfectly perfected form.
Despite the daily diet of war, famine, terorism, lost airplanes and grieving familes, through the birth and death of civilisations, we are on a slow but steady march towards a global family where we are all equal, all provided for, and able to be interrelated. We’re not going to hell in a handbasket, as the wonderful expression predicts. The world has never as safe for as many people, which is not to say there isn’t still very much work to be done!
So my hope for 2015 is that I will remember to operate from a place of hope, and a place of faith rather than fear, disappointment or cynicism. To internally weave the intricate tapestry of Faith, Hope and Love, uniting to influence my interactions at all levels; from the most private internal relationship that I have with my self, to my intimate relationships, to my wider circles of friends, colleagues, and neighbours, be they local, national or global.
Have a wonderful, hopeful 2015!!