Living with Hope

Good morning! May you have a fruitful day, filled with the hope of living.

Several searches today had to do with hopelessness, and wanting some inspirational quotes about hope. While I do not have quotes, I do have a general way in which I talk about hope, and that is what I wish to share with you today.

Webster defines hope as a desire accompanied by expectation, a feeling that what is wanted will happen. Perhaps hopelessness occurs over the expectations we hold, and when they are not met, we become disappointed. Not knowing how to deal with or even recognize the fact that we are disappointed, we feel hopeless instead.

Let’s look at that a minute. We can have hope that things will turn out a certain way, and that’s where it needs to end. We hope, and then we let go of the outcome, willing to become pleasantly surprised if our hope is met. To add an expectation to the mix only invites disappointment to come when our hope is not met.

So, it seems the trouble lies in our expectations. I think this is so. Often, our expectations have to deal with how another will treat us, or how a situation will turn out. The fact is, we have no control over either – not how another will act nor how a situation will turn out. So, our expectations become unrealistic and we set ourselves up for a shattered hope, and out of that grows hopelessness.

We can avoid that scenario from happening by dropping our expectations. Just let them go. If the thing we hope for does not occur, then we can be disappointed and it does not go into deeper emotions. We do not need to dip into the realm of hopelessness. Instead, we can move forward in our lives to the next situation.

For example, I auditioned on Thursday for a chance to speak on someone’s stage for 20 minutes at a large networking event. This would be a wonderful opportunity for me to get my message of hope out to lots of people. I hope I am one of the six selected out of 35. And I truly hope for this. If it does not occur, I will be disappointed, yet, it will not crush me and I will not believe that life is hopeless, or I am hopeless, because I do not win.

Instead, I will acknowledge my disappointment, talk about it to a couple of people, and move on to the next opportunity when it comes along. In fact, I will create new opportunities to speak by taking action. This is relatively new behavior for me, as I spent most of my life hoping and expecting things to occur that didn’t, and when they didn’t, I became despairing and hopeless, bitter and cynical.

In present day, I realize that sometimes, what I want is not intended to be, that another opportunity will come along, something else that I do not know about currently. And I move forward. This attitude is new in sobriety… I learned to live this way in sobriety. It is a softer and more gentle way to live, believe me.

I can have an expectation and be bitterly disappointed or hopeless when it doesn’t occur, or, I can look forward with hope and when something doesn’t happen as I had hoped, I can look forward to the next opportunity to come along. It is my choice; I choose the latter as a way to live. I choose to live with hope in my life.

How about you? What are the expectations you are placing on your hope? Can you learn to hope and let go of the outcome?

 

 

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To Have Hope In Hopelessness

To have hope in hopelessness… Ah, yes. The ever-illusive hope. The crawl from hopelessness to a semblance of peace and calm inside. The search term which struck me from yesterday was “to have hope in hopelessness.” There were actually two queries related to finding hope from hopelessness, so I thought I would address one way in which to do that.

Hope is defined as a feeling that what is wanted will occur or happen; it is desire accompanied by expectation. It is that state in which we all wish to live, as our desires and expectations are met. In this case, the desire is for peace-of-mind. You keep your hope because you expect your desire to have emotional peace will be met.

What happens when it isn’t? What happens when you slip into hopelessness? First of all, it has been my experience that you don’t just “slip” into hopelessness. In my journey, hopelessness came after repeated and seemingly endless desires that were not met. Being continually let down

Hopelessness is the state of having no belief that things can get better, the belief that your situation is impossible to solve or deal with. It often slides into despair, which is utter loss of hope and the resulting dejection that occurs. Often, when you are in despair, you think about dying.

I got to a point of utter hopelessness and despair about five or six years into my sobriety. I could see no purpose in having had to endure what I did as a child, other than to make me miserable in my life. I had sustained PTSD as a result of the chronic abuse; it went undiagnosed until I was 53 years old, so I lived with it all that time.

I saw no purpose in my childhood experience, no way that it added to my growth or evolution as a human being. I wanted to die. Afraid I’d fail in my attempt at suicide, I started praying to God to let me die. I became despondent when that didn’t happen.

So, where do you go when you are feeling hopeless, despondent and despairing? In my case, it was over a bad childhood. If you are a Vietnam Veteran, it may have been the degradation of your honor, based on how you were greeted and treated when you returned home. Whatever the cause, hopelessness is devastating and erodes your spirit, your very soul.

Quite by accident, I stumbled upon a solution. Frankly, I don’t think it was an accident; I believe it happened by divine intervention…  I had an experience that melted away my terrible hopelessness and despair. I had an opportunity to be useful to someone else who was suffering emotionally, someone else who felt hopeless from his years of treatment he received as a child.

After I had been of service by sharing my similar experience and how I had healed thus-far, I realized that, without my experience with childhood trauma and the will to try and get out from under its long-lasting effects, I never would have been able to help this man. I never would have been of service to him.

Suddenly, the experience of trauma made sense. It happened so I could be of service to another. The trauma had a purpose. I had a purpose. It was to help  out a fellow human being. On that day, I believed in a flash that my message is God-sent, and is intended for you who are feeling, or have felt, hopeless in their lives. My message is one of hope that your experiences can be made purposeful if you turn around and help another through their troubles, sharing what you have learned.

Not only did I see in that instant that my history served a vital function; I also saw that my message of hope was meant for many people. Within my message of hope comes the ability to forgive after years of anger and bitterness, the recovery from long-standing and debilitating grief.

You will need to search the corners of your heart and determine what difficult life lessons warrant sharing with another or others. How can you take your experiences and be of service to others? Even just one other person…  I invite you to take action by figuring this out and carrying out that service. It is the most satisfying feeling to be of service to another. It offer them hope in hopelessness.

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From Hopelessness to Hope in Sobriety

Ray of Hope

We have come to the point that we believe in and accept ourselves, and we have done this in part by doing a self-appraisal, a performance appraisal.

To do that, we have had to be honestopen, and willing to look at ourselves, to make changes in our lives.

On top of that, we have gained courage to move forward, and through that, have developed our ability to be humble.

We have learned how to offer forgiveness, and we have begun to feel emotional peace.

Now that we have come to all of these beliefs and realizations, we have learned to treat ourselves with compassion and kindness.

If we have made it this far, to the place that we are beginning to love ourselves and practice all the things I have mentioned, then we have begun to have hope.

We are now moving from hopelessness to hope. All of this is helping our sobriety, helping us stay sober, one day at a time.

It is my deepest wish that you are following along, and are beginning to dawn hope in your heart. That is the purpose of the links in today’s post, to remind yourself of where we have been, and to revisit any, if necessary. May you find hope in the pages.

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Hope Quote – We Have Hope When We Follow Our Dream

Ray of Hope

It is 5:30 am Sunday morning and I have been up since midnight. I just popped awake, and decided to get up. Finally, I have made some sense and order of my inbox.

I sit on the enclosed porch and watch the sky to the east. It has turned a shade of dark gray. The traffic noise from nearby Highway 101 is still… I hear two birds singing. It is a reverent time of the day for me, a time in which I connect to Source.

After accepting yourself fully, hope comes to you. “A ray of light across the bars of my being lights the way… instills hope in my heart.”

You have accepted your dream as a part of who you are, part of your soul, and you have committed to follow that dream. This fuels your hope that your life can be fulfilling.

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It is now Monday morning at 5 am; I have been up since three. And I am wondering how the day slipped away yesterday, such that I never finished the blog post! I am having hope that I can get back on a daily schedule and not forget to blog… lol

Being in a state of hopelessness is a devastating place to be. When I was there at that point, I prayed to God to let me die. I saw no point to life as I was experiencing it.

Then something happened that gave me hope. I discovered my purpose, that my life had a purpose. For me, it is to share with you the message of self-love and love of others, to share about how to forgive so you can make peace with your life.

Today, look for hope through your purpose in life. What are your talents and skills? Who can you serve? When you figure out who you can serve, you will most likely have discovered your dream. And when you do, you’re well on your way to peace.

 

 

 

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From Hopelessness to Hope

Ray of Hope

We have come to the point that we believe in and accept ourselves, and we have done this in part by doing a self-appraisal, a performance appraisal.

To do that, we have had to be honest, open, and willing to look at ourselves, to make changes in our lives.

On top of that, we have gained courage to move forward, and through that, have developed our ability to be humble.

We have learned how to offer forgiveness, and we have begun to feel emotional peace.

Now that we have come to all of these beliefs and realizations, we have learned to treat ourselves with compassion and kindness.

If we have made it this far, to the place that we are beginning to love ourselves and practice all the things I have mentioned, then we have begun to have hope.

We are now moving from hopelessness to hope. All of this is helping our sobriety, helping us stay sober, one day at a time.

It is my deepest wish that you are following along, and are beginning to dawn hope in your heart. That is the purpose of the links in today’s post, to remind yourself of where we have been, and to revisit any, if necessary. May you find hope in the pages.

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Overcoming Despair in Sobriety

Face of Despair

Perhaps the hardest thing we have to do in sobriety is to overcome despair. It is a most debilitating feeling, and if we are “down” enough, we might be feeling this despair.

Despair is a loss of hope. To be without hope is devastating, a bleakness beyond belief. Often, we drink heavily over our despair, and this only serves to compound it. 

The sound of despair is that of a wail, a keening. If you have ever been there, then you know what I’m talking about. Have you ever been there? Are you there now?

If you are there now, there are things to do which may be helpful. At least, they helped me to dispel my despair.

The first thing to do is to stay sober, no matter what, no matter how difficult the feeling of despair becomes. Then, what worked for me was journaling about those feelings. Brisk walks several times a day also helped, but often, we don’t have the energy for this.

It pays to understand why we are in despair, and that is what journaling can help to uncover. It also helps to get professional help from a therapist. At least, those actions worked for me.

But the thing that helped the most with my despair, was to discover that my life had a purpose. Once I discovered that purpose, my despair went away and it has not returned. For me, discovering that I could help others by telling my story, combatted my despair. I discovered that my life of misery and woe and hardship was worthwhile because it could be of use to others.

Try to discover the purpose of your life. Do some journaling about it and see if something comes up about your purpose in life. Perhaps it is to share your art, or your words with the world. Or maybe your gift is to cook.

Whatever your gift is, find the one thing that makes you of service to others, the one thing you can bring to others to make their lives better. When you can figure this out, then you can overcome despair because you are being of use to another and that is a divine feeling, a divine purpose. You feel complete when you are being of service to others.

 What is your gift that you can bring to others? How can you be of service in the world? When you figure this out, see if that doesn’t begin to rid you of hopelessness, of despair.

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Getting Past Hopelessness

This morning we continue on in my book and reach hope. We have now experienced ways for getting past hopelessness.

Ray of Hope

Ray of Hope

“A ray of light across the bars of my being lights my way, instills hope in my heart.” This is the verse that accompanies the photo on the left.

Hopelessness is defined as having no expectation of an event occurring, being despondent. Despondent implies being in very low spirits due to a loss of hope and a sense of futility about continuing our efforts.

Hope, on the other hand, is defined as a feeling that what is wanted will happen, a desire accompanied by expectation. It is hope which we want to cultivate in order to dispel hopelessness.

We have come a long way in our journey and have learned several tools and ways to act and behave that will be useful in combatting hopelessness. We have learned to surrender the pretense that everything is fine with us and we have discussed awakening to awareness of what is going on around and within us.

We have learned to trust in a power greater than ourselves, and to have courage and humility. Ways to treat ourselves with such things as gentleness, kindness, and compassion have been discussed.

We have become honest about ourselves and heave learned to practice willingness, to commit to the journey, to move forward. Finally, we have learned the tremendous tool of how to conduct a self-appraisal. Through that appraisal, we have come to forgiveness of both others and ourselves. Do you see how far we’ve come?

Now, after going through what we have, we have learned to accept ourselves. All of these things in combination provide for us a ray of hope that life can and will get better for us. Hopefully, it already has begun to do so.

We focus on that ray of hope as we work on getting past hopelessness, allowing hope to grow. We take a deep breath, reveling in this new-found hope, and we allow it to blossom.

Today, take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come, and begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the way past hopelessness to sobriety and inner peace.

 

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Altering Your Mind with Inspirational Quotes About Life

It’s hard to think that inspirational quotes about life can alter your mind. Usually, when we think of mind-altering, we think of substances like drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.

These substances bring us a euphoria, an escape from emotional pain and stress. It is with these that we get away from the demons in our mind, sometimes engaging in their use until we are numb and can no longer feel. This can occur when we are experiencing deep emotional wounds.

At the very least, this behavior of over-indulging can be self-destructive, especially if substances are used for the purpose of numbing. At its best and in moderation, altering our minds with substances gives us a bit of a respite – a breather, so-to-speak. Is this not the same thing we would all like to feel when we get stressed from the daily trials and tribulations?

Instead of using substances, consider that we can alter our mind with inspirational quotes about life. We hear the words of another, whether that person is famous or not, and we relate to them at a deep, personal level. They resonate with our being. Ah, a connection is made.

The words bring us hope – hope of better times, hope of release of stress in our mind. Often, the quotes are strong enough to bring forth empowerment. When this occurs, we are inspired  to take action on our behalf.

Oneness

Oneness

Stirring inspirational quotes about life bring us to compassion for ourselves and others. The words can lead us to want to show concern and empathy for those in our world.

Inspirational quotes about life lead us to gratitude as we express our thankfulness. We begin to feel oneness with others and ourselves, as we open our hearts.

It is that feeling of oneness that arises when we read these inspirational quotes that is so sacred, so spiritual in nature. Perhaps, allowing in the spirituality of the quotes changes our mind chemistry, such that it alters our mood.

So, the next time you have a need to alter your mind, try some inspirational quotes about life. Bask in the hope, the compassion, the gratitude you find, and experience that feeling of oneness with yourself and the world.

 

 

 

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Inspirational Sayings That Can Help Change Hopelessness to Hope

Many people go from great despair and depression to hopelessness; they go hand in hand, it seems. It is possible to find inspirational sayings that help change hopelessness to hope, but we have to be in the right mind-set for them to sink in. Often, when we feel hopeless, we are not able let anything in – we are too exhausted emotionally to hear anything, too depressed to care, too bereft to sort out what is coming our way.

For me, hopelessness was a feeling that there was no use to live, no purpose to my life. I was totally listless and had no belief that things would get better. In fact, I felt so hopeless, I prayed to die. I found my thought that things could not get better, to be untrue, however. Hope crept in…

I am an inspirational sayings and quote kinda gal, and I found inspirational quotes about life that helped turn my hopelessness around. I just kept reading quotes. I also did a lot of recovery work involving much reading, and I was taking what I read and applying it to my situation.

Because of my work with sobriety, I reached out to help another and, through that action, discovered that the painful events of my lifetime had meaning and purpose. I discovered that when I relayed my story to another who was in pain, and humbly offered what I have found that helped me through it, he expressed gratitude for me sharing; he said it was very helpful to him.

As I processed what had happened, I realized that my painful experiences in life had been necessary so I could relate to this person’s pain and have compassion. I realized they were for the purpose of sharing them and the solutions I have found to heal from them. Suddenly, I had purpose! My life had purpose. I felt useful to others. It was this realization that led me to come out of despair and to feel hope. In fact, I have not felt hopeless since that day. What a blessing; such a gift.

I think when we do for others, we can recognize that tender part of our heart. Seeing that in ourselves, it resonates with what we would like to be in the world – perhaps kindness, perhaps giving.  And we begin to say to ourselves that a person with a tender part in their heart cannot be all bad or worthless. That is a redeeming quality. Ah, a beacon of hope .

“May a ray of light across the bars of your being light your way, instill hope in your heart.” That is for those who struggle with hopelessness, worthlessness and is a modification of what is in the book, as I made it about you, and not me.  I like Kathryn Hepburn’s words, “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw anyone out.” And I add, including yourself. Don’t throw anyone out, including yourself.

So move forward with intention (the aim of the root to anchor and the leaf to find the sun) and provide kindness to another (kindness-the touch of an innocent heart on the broken wing of a fallen bird).  Go with courage (the will to act in the face of fear guided by trust and the knowing of the moment) and go with trust (the arm that reaches through apparent circumstances and holds steadfast to identify with Source).

 

 

 

 

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Understanding Fear

Webs of Fear

“I have spent a lifetime spinning webs of terror and shame between the spires that stand as sentinels to my heart.”

Fear. That emotion, that sense which warns us of danger, keeps us alert and in a fight or flight mode, when necessary. But fear can also be detrimental, can hold us back when moving ahead is in our best interest. In these situations, courage can be difficult to call forth, but it can be summoned to walk past the fear one is experiencing.

Fear can be paralyzing, keeping us from moving forward, from reaching our dreams, or even taking the first steps to reach our dream. Fear appears as concern that we will not be liked, that we are not good enough, that what we are doing is wrong. These fears often stem from low feeling of self-worth and feelings of being “less than.” As we strengthen our feelings of esteem and worthiness, these fears lessen.

False Evidence Appearing Real. Often, it is the anticipation of an upcoming event which takes us to fear. We imagine every negative thing that could occur, until soon, we have taken ourselves to great fear, sometimes to feelings of of impending doom. In these situations, we would do well to stop ourselves from imagining how an event will turn out and instead, open ourselves to the possibilities that can occur. This requires an attitude of openness, of willingness to see things in a new light, without anticipation. It requires that one be open to any outcome.  One would do well to look within, rather than without, at that up-coming event, to locate any sources of unrest, of fear.

Understanding fear when it arises is useful, so one can choose how to handle it… Is it false evidence appearing real, or a truly dangerous situation? If we identify it is related to a low self-esteem, we can work on our beliefs and feelings about ourselves. If it arises out of the desire to follow a dream, one can summon courage and take the action anyway. Once we do this a few times, fear begins to recede. It becomes easier to call upon courage and to walk through the fear that arises.

To all of you new to my blog, allow me to acquaint you. We are blogging through my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, topic by topic as they appear in the book. We are starting over today; we are at the beginning of the book. Join me as we travel the path from fear to hope to peace.  Is that what you look for in your life? Peace?

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