By Mary Cucarola – 11/9/21
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it made me think of being grateful. I believe a big part of gratitude is being hopeful.
When I think of hope, I think of it as a way to make my life better. It not only can make a tough situation more bearable but improves life by imagining a better future. It motivates me to take the steps necessary to make living more fully happen.
Hope gives me confidence to trust that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. It gives me strength and courage to face my challenges ahead. It shows me opportunities and gives me reasons to continue. And, most importantly opens me up to the divine. I believe good things will happen if I am open and take action toward what I want in my life.
Hope is universal energy and a divine virtue to keep me from discouragement.
I know from my past experiences, there is light at the end of the tunnel. My tunnel was very dark for a while, but hope is the opposite of despair. It is not easily obtained and requires effort to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way. I try to get up every morning ready to do something to make my life better and to let the light in.
Hope is not optimism, but very specific and focused. Such as “I hope my efforts to raise money for my organization pay off” or “I hope my decision to back away from some of my commitments gives me more time to focus on self-care”.
Hope links the past and present to the future.
Hope is not a strategy because it turns out we control very few outcomes. I can place hope in my own recovery and well-being, but I can’t force serenity. I can only influence outcomes but not control them. I can’t force myself to let go any faster or insist upon peace of mind, but I can take small actions to remind myself that I am a willing participant in this process.
I can make choices that will speed up the process of becoming hopeful.
Becoming hopeful doesn’t mean getting back to the place I used to be in, when everything was “normal”, before I lost my son. Hope is finding the occasion for joy among the moments of sorrow and happiness. Hope is actively affirming the possibility that healing has begun.
The tenderness with which I remember my son leads me to fulfill the hopes of the living. It’s why I do what I do.
Having experienced the deepest kind of grief, hope has been both dreaded and anticipated. But it has always made my life better when I am open to its divine opportunity. Happy Thanksgiving!
Mary Cucarola – 11/9/21