January 22    

Today's quotation:

The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life.  It gives human beings a sense of destination and the energy to get started.

Norman Cousins

Today's Meditation:

There have been times when I've almost given up hope.  It's simply an awful feeling, too, that makes one feel. . . well, hopeless.  For at that point our thoughts are telling us that there's nothing bright or good for us in our futures, that no matter what we do, things will stay as bad as they are or even get worse.

Hope is another element of our lives, though, that could stand some effort on our parts.  This isn't something we're taught as we grow up, though--we're just told over and over again not to lose hope.

Keeping our hope alive means keeping our eyes and ears and hearts open to all that is around us so that we can witness, first-hand, many of the beautiful things around us that continue to be good and beautiful.  It means seeing the positive things that other people are making part of their own lives and accepting the idea that those things can happen for us, too--if we're willing to put in a bit of effort to make them happen.  It means realizing that the sun comes up after every dark night, even if it may dawn to a cloudy day--the sun will shine again.  Ask the people in Seattle and other areas where they have much rain.  The sun always does return.

Knowing that isn't enough, though.  Accepting that fact is the important part, and allowing ourselves to be comfortable in the darkness because we know it shall end is extremely important.  We don't lose our hope--we let it go.  And in some cases, we push it away.  We make our lives much richer, though, when we make an effort to strengthen our hope ourselves.

Questions to consider:

How do you view hope?  Is it just something that's just there, or is it something that we have to work to keep and strengthen?

What kinds of things might you do to strengthen your sense of hope?

How might you help others to keep and strengthen their own hope?
For further thought:

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

Vaclav Havel



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