Monday, December 18, 2023

Hope and Happiness

 Hope is hard.  I think I said that in a past post.  It sounds nice in Christmas carols or pillow stitch patterns.  But, when you actually need hope, it is one of the hardest things to muster.  Hope isn't faith.  To lend my theological training to the moment, faith is concrete.. you know what you want and expect specifically how it will come about.  Hope, on the other hand, is not based on specifics.  It is more like having faith in faith.  It is the belief that good things CAN and will happen, even if you don't know what they may be or how they may look... or what changes in your life will be required to get you there.  Faith is easy. You can see the potential of success.  Hope requires courage. It requires  something that escapes me, many days.... expectation that not only does good exist but that it will happen to YOU.

But, you don't find hope in joyful celebrations.  Those come after the hope has been realized.  You find it when things are bleak.  You find it when you face challenges that test you.. break you.. and you find rock bottom and make it into a firm foundation from which to rise.  It's the realization, like I've been reflecting on lately, that it didn't break you... that you passed the darkest days and didn't let them consume you.  Then, you begin to realize.. yeah.. maybe I CAN rise from it all and see better days.  

But, those days won't look like perfection.  I noted it in a past post, but I heard a quote from a neuro divergent girl in a video and put it down in writing, as I thought it was perfect...

"Listen to me.  You have to stop putting conditions on your happiness.  Boo.  Don’t do that.. saying I’m gonna be happy when or I’m gonna be happy if.  That’s dumb.  Don’t do that.  Here’s why.. you’re waiting for a perfect life where you have no flaws and everything in your life is just going well.  Well, let me tell you something.  That’s never gonna happen. Sorry.  You are a human.  That means you have flaws, and your life is gonna have flaws.  Nothing is ever gonna be perfect.. ok?  So, just choose happiness.  Be at peace with your imperfect existence, because that’s all you’re ever gonna have."

I have been able to weather some incredible storms this year, but it isn't because I have such great faith.  It's because I've been through so many over my life, and I found that I survived them and kept a positive view for my future, so why can't I do it, again.  No matter what happens in my life, and even if my faith in the Heavens gets shaken, I've developed hope in MYSELF for what I have learned about myself.  My wings have been tested, and I am always able to rise to a better tomorrow. And, that is what I hope for you, as well.

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