Hope. A tiny little word. And, a four-letter word. Hope … deceitfully easy to spell yet far from easy to nurture day in and day out, night in and night out. Hope shines bright … Hope gives light to the darkness, yes. But only if you protect your candle from the wind and the storms.
2017 was #Hope for me. I chose the word to light my way throughout the year. I chose it because I needed to strengthen my own ability to find and sustain it. As part of my effort, I wore White the entire month of January … yes, every single day. It was my intention to shine light and hope into the midwinter months after the Christmas decorations came down. It was a choice I made to nurture my own outlook almost as much as it was my offer healing to others I encountered along the way.
One thing I learned quickly is that when you throw a word like Hope into the Universe that Darkness rallies. It’s like daring the Universe to challenge your efforts. And what comes at you is powerful and daunting.
If I’m honest, 2017 was a tough one for me. There were some very personal losses … some that shook me deeply. There were super high Highs and super low Lows. To focus my energy a bit, I bought a Hope bracelet from Mudlove. Some days I wore the word facing out, offering my Hope to others … some days I turned it to face me, clinging to it like a life-preserver. After all that time, though, the word remains undamaged. Oh, the once white strap is quite grey yet the elastic band that held it to my wrist is strong as ever.
Hope. It’s a crazy word. After all, what is hope but a feeling of expectation, trust. Hope is a desire for something and a willingness — or deep need — to believe in something or someone. Keeping Hope strong in our volatile world is like riding a bucking bronco into a rodeo. It’s a Thrill Ride. But keeping on the horse when it’s trying desperately to shake you is so NOT easy.
Yes, 2017– like all years — brought a mixture of highs and lows, gains and losses, adventures and retreats, arrivals and departures, hellos and goodbyes. My past 12 months resembles the Walt Disney World classic attraction “Mr Toad’s Wild Ride.” I crashed into a library, reading lots of books and upsetting a few ladders. I spent a few days enjoying the view after excellent yoga and meditation sessions while other days dodging trains and some perilous encounters. I found ease by the water before turning down a wrong way street and opening the door into a warehouse of explosives. Heck there were a few moments that felt like a car ride down the railroad tracks with train lights shining in my face … before I finally made it through the tunnel to enjoy time with dear friends. Yikes! There were simple, easy days and whipped cream, photo trips down memory lane and ceremonies to honor beginnings and endings, music, laughter, weddings and too many funerals. 2017 challenged, shattered, strengthened and changed me. It was not boring. Nope, 2017 was a wild ride with all the bells and whistles.
But New Years Day always arrives with such promise .. it seems that anything is possible. January 1 offers us “A New Hope.” Somewhere along the way though, the year loses its luster and we find ourselves wavering in the dark. That is the time I found myself having a conversation with my spirit about what Hope was going to be for me. What I’ve truly learned this year, though, is that you must Choose Hope. You must Seek Hope. Hope doesn’t just come to you. Sometimes it can be your Life Preserver and help you float through whatever darkness plagues you. But, you have to Find It. You have to want it, believe in it and nurture it. It endures … but it’s up to you to keep the light glowing.
My Hope bracelet may now be grey. But the strap is strong and my Hope enters 2018 battered yet resilient. I’m wearing bright pink instead of white to greet this year. My Hope endured. Oh, there were a few days along the way where the light wavered, yes. But Hope has taught me a lesson about the things I can change and the things I must learn to accept as they are … not as I wish them to be.
Light a Candle … call it Hope. This little light of mine … I’m gonna let it shine …