Hope. It is as important as air and water to me. It energizes, inspires and creates windows out of brick walls. A famous saying in my household (famous because I pronounce it to my family on a regular basis!) goes something like this: “You can keep banging your head against that brick wall, blooding your face or you can try something different.”
There is nothing like the sweet smell of a fresh idea. I have learned through countless trials, when a door closes, it is for my highest good. I must first accept the action, then start looking for the window. When peace abounds in me, it becomes a rather exciting game. What is next? What gift is in store for me? It’s quite possibly better than I had originally hoped!
On the other hand, there are times when many doors close at once and the search for the window becomes a dark, scary corridor. My best self reminds me “this too shall pass”, but my heart screams, “I hate this! I don’t want to do it anymore! Why can’t I get a break?” I call these times “growth spurts”. They are relatively short, but painful experiences. When I look back, I am grateful for them, for I have learned something. I may not have mastered the lesson, but I learned something new to help me the next time I encounter a similar situation which will undoubtedly return.
In my bustling household of one teen age boy, two “tweens”, a baby and a husband, I encounter many opportunities for hope by way of creativity, problem solving and hard nosed consistency to accomplish any sort of productive goal. The ambition may be as simple as making dinner to as difficult as finding type to write. Prioritizing, balancing and gratefulness are essential ingredients in my day.
The novelist Barbara Kingslover inspires her audience with these words of wisdom. “The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”