In that small pocket — supposedly for coinage — my jeans provide, I carry a small cross inscribed with the word HOPE. My mom carries its twin but for a different inscription: BELIEVE. We bought them as gifts for each other during a joint vigil while my Grandma was in hospital.
“In all things it is better to hope than to despair.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~
While we mutually agreed the wee crosses were charming reminders of essential things & must be exchanged, we each chose the other’s. There was a basket full of concepts worthy of being toted on one’s person but absolutely no contest as to which should be chosen.
“Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.”
~ George Iles ~
For as long as I can remember, Momma has chosen to believe.. Phenomenally enough, in belief itself. While she was susceptible to doubting herself, she refused to doubt the possibilities that lay within her children or the world at large. She’s an active reminder that anything is possible.
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”
~ Anne Lamott ~
The beauty of commitment to that level of belief is that it’s mind opening. Not only does it free you to think outside the box but said box becomes a mere dot on the horizon. Your hopes take on shapes never before designed. Your dreams are no longer fathomable by many.
“Hope is the dream of a soul awake.”
~ French Proverb ~
The irony is, when you grow up understanding you really can be whatever you want, you’re not likely to opt for anything imaginable by most. The ideals you doggedly pursue may seem a far cry from ideal to the casual onlooker. There are no limits & happiness is a choice you repeatedly make along the way.
“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.”
~ Emily Dickinson ~
The seed of faith my mom planted has grown into a life without regret. No matter what form my life takes at any given time, I’m thrilled to be living it & excited about where I’m headed. So invested am I in the journey rather than the destination that I’m willing to take my time. I don’t want to just smell the roses, I want to watch them grow.
“What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life.”
~ Emil Brunner ~
Momma always called me her “Pollyanna” whose Glad Game is second nature to me. Due to my passionate curiosity about the world & beyond, I’ve seen its darkness as well as my own. It’s that contrasting view, without the benefit of rose-colored glasses, that gives meaning to what light shines through.
“Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.”
~ Jean Kerr ~
While admittedly an eternal optimist, my optimism is tempered — no, balanced — with realism. As a realistic optimist, my circumstances are never tainted by hope but neither is my hope ever diminished by circumstance. Difficulty & possibility are met shoulder to shoulder.
A person’s optimism in the future seems to be controlled by a small front part of the mid-brain, according to a study that used brain imaging.
That area deep behind the eyes activates when people think good thoughts about what might happen in the future. The more optimistic a person is, the brighter the area showed up in brain scans, the scientists reported in a small study published online Thursday in the journal Nature. [source]
Now I know, I’m physiologically justified in my extreme optimism. It just so happens that part of my brain is wired that way, just as the part of my brain that perceives pain is likely wired wrong.
“When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God.”
~ Charles L. Allen ~
It may seem my faith in God makes sense of my determined hope yet hope was my first basis for faith. My life is in halves now; the first half being lived by that determination alone with the discoveries made since adding untold dimension to hope. This article touches on the fact that no evidence is needed to support expectation:
“Understanding healthy optimism is important because optimism is related to mental and physical health and to success. We can have people who are not necessarily depressed but have different levels of optimism,” said another of the researchers, Tali Sharot of University College London who was at NYU when the study was conducted.
With all outward proof currently lacking, I nonetheless know my hunny & I have made progress toward our inexplicable goals. Moreover, that we’re right on track & just where we should be.
“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense,
regardless of how it turns out.”
~ Vaclav Havel ~
Living wholly in the here & now, rather than for the future, may look like failure to some; it certainly takes some bizarre detours but, as my Grandma always says, “This too shall pass.”
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
~ Thomas Edison ~