Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hope

 "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."
--Chinese Proverb

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  Hebrews 11:1

I read something yesterday morning that disturbed me greatly.  As I read it, I heard a big, loud NO rise up inside me, and felt a whoosh of determination spring to action on it's tail.  The subject was hope, and while I understand where the writer is coming from, and what she's trying to convey, which is good, because it had to do with having faith, she was basically minimizing hope's role in the whole scheme of things.  In fact, her message was, in a nut shell, do away with hope.  "Hope is for sissies." 

Wrong.

If there is anything I've witnessed in myself, and in others, it's the fact that it takes almost herculean effort to hang onto hope.  Sometimes...hope is all we've got.  I've witnessed, and had countless conversations with folks who are afraid to hope, and will distance themselves from it, when hope is what they need to grab hold of.  And all of them voice the same reason for not hoping..."I'm tired of having my hopes dashed, trampled.  I'm tired of feeling disappointment.  It's better not to hope."

Wrong again.

For hope itself isn't the problem.  Hope is the water, the sun, the fuel that generates the seed of vision within us.  It's the first, oh so tender touch of love reaching tentatively toward a vision.  In some, it's not so much hope that is the problem, but what they're pinning their hope on, what they're watering, trying to make grow.  If we pin our hope on anything outside ourselves, it won't work.  I'll say it again, because this is important -- if we pin hope on anything outside ourselves, it will not work.  I'll give an example:

I can hope all day long, all year long, all lifelong, that my loved one will stop drinking himself to oblivion, or my husband will stop beating me, or a particular person will love me, or that mankind will suddenly stop warring and be at peace.  I can pin my hope there, focus on that desire, that vision, and I'll be disappointed every single time.  In fact, wouldn't I be setting myself up for disappointment?  I would be setting myself up for it because we can't get in the way of another person's choices.  Literally, we can't.  We can try, and do try, but it is a wasted effort.  They'll do what they do until they know better.  We can't make them be any different than what they already are.  It is we who need to come to an acceptance that that is who they are right now, then make our own choices from there.  But we can't make a person love us, or behave differently, ever.  We aren't the one's to do that.  They are.  It can only come when they decide they want to change, or be different.  And I'm tellin' you right now, for that to happen, they'll need a whole lot of hope to bring it into being, to manifest it, demonstrate it.  Because the hope they'll need to hang onto is the new, more loving, vision of themselves. That it's possible, and even allowed in some cases.  That they're not stuck being an asshole. 

Each of us, individually, and collectively, have a vision of something beautiful inside us.  It begins as nothing more than a tiny seed, an idea, that needs the spark of hope to quicken it, start it growing.  It is a seed of contribution, what we are here for, to give our own brand of art, or beauty, or voice, or heart.  Gandhi said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world." Your vision is important.  It all begins there.  It means something.  What you are seeing, and would like to see change, is the very thing you need to be.  You are the one that needs to bring it here, otherwise you wouldn't see it.  It's why the vision was given to you.  It isn't your job to change others.  It's your job to be that change, therefore bringing it to the world.  The greatest impact you can make, the greatest change you can make, is when you decide to be that vision you hold within you.  When you decide to enact it.  No matter how small it is, it will wing it's way out from you, create a ripple effect, that will impact an entire world, no matter how seemingly small the dream.   

And that is where faith steps in.  Hope turns into belief, matures into faith, and faith generates action.  Hope is closely tied our vision, and helps it grow when we gear our mind toward believing it, seeing the potential, allowing the possibility of it.  Most folks stop right there, get caught up in their doubt, their fear, their guilt, worry, whatever. Then they look outward to try to find someone who supports their hope.  Don't do that.  Because more likely than not, you'll come across the naysayers.  Unfortunately, the ones who claim to love you will be the ones who will have the loudest voices, because they know, instinctively, things are about to change.  And they may not want to change.  They may not want you to change, because if you change, they'll have to change.  Change may scare them.  Even though the thing you are desiring to bring is all about you, not them, and would benefit all.  So if you start talking about your hope, when the seed of vision is so tender, before hope has had it's season to generate growth to make it stronger, you'll more than likely find your seed dying before it even has a chance to grow roots. 

You'll know when your seed is ready when your hope in the vision has finally matured into faith, and requires action.  That moment right there is another vulnerable time, because now you're bringing what was unseen, the vision inside, into manifestation by your action.  Now you are bringing what was made in spirit to the earth, through you.  More often than not, the journey of that vision from spirit to earth is going to be rocky, like a space ship entering our earth's atmosphere.  That time is delicate, and we can experience long suffering, as we walk our talk, walk our vision, having to hang on to it with everything in us.  Because now the ball is rolling, there ain't no going back, until the vision has been fulfilled, manifested.  Until the evidence of the thing made inside us is seen.  It's just like a baby's journey into the world.  It's exactly like that.   

Hope is inception.  An immaculate conception.  It is holy and sacred.  And it is the very beginning of creation.

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4 comments:

j said...

Beautiful. That hoping for anything outside ourselves won't work is a hard truth. Owning our part in a bad relationship, bad work situation, bad life is hard and scary and absolutely necessary. We are our change.

Beautifully written, Cindy.

estrella05azul said...

What an amazing blog post Cindy.
You’re so right. I myself didn’t quite agree with some of the things I read there, but as a specific thing, one has to act on their hopes, not only “hope” and get stuck behind that as an excuse not to realize what one wants. I think that’s what the writer there was going for (that’s what I understood, anyways), but maybe she hasn’t phrased it as well as she could’ve.
What we hope for should be made reality.

One of the things I find to be true in my life is: The bravest thing I have is hope.

C. Fassett said...

Aww j, I simply love you <3. I see your hero cape on at this very moment. :)

Yes, it's a hard truth, but truth seems to be that way initially. I remember when I first realized this one, and I was like, "What? I have to get on my own white horse and save myself?! Well that bites." But get on it I did, ( with a Cindy Cape :), and I've not regretted it. Freedom was what I won for my effort, and that is something of great value, beyond anything else in this world.

C. Fassett said...

Thank you, Estrella.

"..one has to act on their hopes" is the thing. And I agree, I think that's what she was trying to say. But hope is the place where we get our ducks all in a row on the inside before the act. I've found timing is everything.

And yes, Estrella, you are very brave...an inspiration :).