Over the years, I have developed a somewhat complicated relationship with hope. Through various struggles in my life, I tend not to want to get my hopes up. Too many times, I have had higher hopes only to have a more significant fall into disappointment. Thinking that I can somehow avoid this effect, I have told myself not to hope. Have you ever done this?
One thing I have learned is that this barely protects me from my own emotions as if we could even do that. And I think it has made the struggle more painful. Hope can help. Hope is a good thing (maybe the best of things if we are to listen to Shawshank Redemption). Hope can help you get through some tough times. The other thing I have learned about hope is that it is a process, a choice, an intention. It doesn’t always just show up to get us through. We have to decide to hope anyway.
This quote from Anne Lamott showed up for me at the beginnings of the COVID 19 changes and shifts in my world. It has been on my laptop, and I have read it and re-read it. Hope begins in the dark. Makes sense, right? We don’t need a lot of hope if we are doing well. Hope can show up in the better times in our lives, but it isn’t something we need to hold on to. But when things are dark, we need hope. We almost need it like we need air. She also said that hope is stubborn. Can you relate to that? Hope has a personality, and it can be stubborn, and that is a good thing, my friend! Earlier I said that hope doesn’t just show up, but we can. We can show up. We can just show up. If we show up and try to do the next right thing, the dawn WILL come.
Join me in waiting, in watching, and in working! Let’s not give up!
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work. You don’t give up. (Anne Lamott)