February 27

Today's quotation:

If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might not the heart of the human become in its long journey toward the stars?

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Today's Meditation:

Sometimes I feel like a seed in the earth--buried under the ground, unable to see the sunlight or the stars, unable to feel the breeze and the sunshine.  But what does that seed do?  It grows and becomes something else that emerges from the darkness to dwell in the sunshine and the breezes.  The seed doesn't despair, of course, because it doesn't think--it just does what it does.  We, on the other hand, tend to overthink our situations and we often lose hope because of this tendency.  We make ourselves feel miserable because we can't see the sunshine and the starlight that are in our future if we just keep on keeping on, and we allow ourselves to grow and develop and become something more tomorrow than we are today.

One of the most important life rules that I've learned is that things outside ourselves shouldn't "give us" hope--hope comes from inside, and it's a natural part of who we are.  Sometimes, the tank runs nearly empty.  Then we see or hear or experience something that makes us feel hope once more, but that feeling has been inside us, being pushed down and repressed by things like fear and ego and depression and anxiety.  What we need to do is to access our hope much more often so that we make it stronger, so that it becomes an important part of our everyday lives.

Sometimes we allow ourselves to get too caught up in our hopes based on incomplete information.  We may hope for a certain job (or relationship) and not get it, not realizing that the other job that we get may be more important for us as a learning experience right now, even while we still hope for the dream job.  What I've learned, though, is that we may just find that dream job in the job that we thought we didn't want--if we allow ourselves to be open to the experience and make ourselves do our absolute best at the job.  Our hopes weren't dashed when we didn't get the other job--we simply learned that very often they're misplaced.

Rather than hoping for a certain something, I hope for a better me.  Rather than hoping for things to turn out the way I think they should, I hope that they'll turn out in ways that are best for everyone.  Change is a constant in life, and let's hope that the changes we face help us to learn and grow rather than hoping that they turn out the ways we think they should.

Questions to consider:

Why do we tend to hope for things to be certain ways?

Why is it so easy for us to start to feel hopeless at times?

When we feel hopeless, what are some specific strategies for accessing the hope inside of ourselves?

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

more on hope



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