Hope is not easily defined, but impossible to embrace without faith. The more we search for meaning in what seems hopeless; we realize that our "hopelessness" is a state of mind, not a reality.
- Carol Bright
No matter how bad things get, you always have a choice. Choice is a God-given gift that you can employ at any moment of your life. We have choice because we have free will; an even greater gift.
When I'm mediating by my stream of consciousness, I have the choice of picking up my despair or allowing it to keep going. I may notice it, but I don't have to harbor that emotion.
It's easier said than done and even as I've been writing this Series on Love, I've heard my voice bounce off of the bedroom walls. "…Sure I'll go stand behind some table at the grocery store so people can walk by me and ignore me, cause that's what's gonna happen. Nobody ever buys anything from me anyway! Nobody wants what I have to offer. It's stupid."
Choice is a funny thing. When I make that sort of declaration I'm viewing the world through fear and then giving it hold over my future. You can just hear the defeat in my voice in the last two words. "It's stupid."
In this moment I have a choice to make on who I'm going to be- the woman who's afraid of everything or the woman who's afraid and does it anyway. I have the power of choice on how I'm going to respond in any given situation and so do you. You don't have control over everything that happens to you, but you have power over how you respond to it.
When you speak with low self-esteem it stems from your own fear. But, with the gift of choice, you can outsmart even the worst of what fear's got to dish out.
Hope is the answer. Hope is the result of faith, and faith the result of love. If you can love, you can have faith in the future and the hope which transcends all fear. It's fighting darkness with light and it all starts with choice.
If you choose to focus your thoughts on hope then you'll be hopeful. Seems a bit too simple right? Where ever your thoughts go, so will your actions. If I think people will laugh at me or throw tomatoes me, I'd probably end up hiding in my closet eating Nutella from the jar. But, if instead, I combat my fear with hope, I may just get enough courage to say hi to strangers and maybe, just maybe, make a sale.
"It's never worked in the past and I look awful; it'll be a disaster!"
"Everyone leaves in the end, I'll always be alone."
"No matter what I've done, it's never been good enough. What's the point?"
Some other examples:
"When I'm feeling unloved I want to go find people to share my love with."
"When I'm afraid of failure I want to remember failure's okay as long as I don't quit. "
"When I'm scared of the outcome I want to be at peace with myself."
One version speaks from fear while the other from love and we have the choice to decide. If you ask me, that's a pretty powerful gift- to decide who we will be.
Try the "When I'm ___, I want to ___." rule with your own fears to see how this equation stacks up against what fear uses. Don't let anybody talk you out of becoming who you want to be- even if it's you.
Anybody who has ever struggled to plant his feet onto the floor in the morning knows that life can be hard; it can be stressful; it can be overwhelming. But each of those negative, less than optimal feelings immediately takes a back seat to the inspirational power of hope.
- Shawn L. Anderson
Linda Lavender writes articles to help folks with Auto Immune Disease, Depression, Anxiety and other health related illnesses.