Hope is more than a word. It’s a noun, it’s a verb. It’s an ideology, an art you practice every day with every situation. It’s a constant and continuous choice. It’s not “blind faith” – it is pure faith in yourself, in others and in the world. It’s an integral part of the conscious collection of humanity and it’s the virtue we all reflect on in the month of December.
Today is winter solstice – the darkest, and shortest, day of the year. The past couple of days have been down, dark, and difficult. A little voice in my head keeps telling me that “it’ll be ok”, that just get through this and you’ll come through stronger and brighter, that I’m supported and loved and the world wants me, and everyone, to be well. This is the eternal voice of hope, and I’m grateful that my heart and mind are attuned to it. I have a strong belief that all our mind/hearts are attuned to hope – we just have to listen. To be comfortable in the stillness amongst the stress to hear it.
Hope’s “conscious cousin” or tool of momentum is optimism. Optimism is also not “blind faith”. Take it from an optimist – it’s difficult to maintain positive in this world! I read once that optimism was an unhealthy coping mechanism in which people use to avoid stress and escape from life. Optimism is not synonymous with oblivion. People are optimistic not in spite of realism, but in light of it. They accept reality, react accordingly, and choose to find the lesson or love in the situation. I would argue that pessimism is a coping mechanism to refrain from responsibility – why try if things won’t work out anyway? The world is thought to be against you and negativity is inevitable so your failures become fault of “realism”. We are human and sometimes we fail, and that’s okay – we learn, we live and we carry on. Pessimists think “I can’t do anything about it” and optimists think “I can do more”. Reality is perceived through the viewpoint of pessimist or optimistic – both are choices and both are valid. However, one comes from hurt and the other comes from hope.
It’s the darkest day of the year but it’s the shortest day of the year. Both are true, and it depends on your viewpoint which you will focus on, and you need both to be true to create balance and reality. This means that everyday from now on will be lighter and longer. This is why solstice is looked upon as the beginning of the new year or a new cycle. It’s like a wave – it goes up then down and then back up again. That is the pulse of life. From the darkness comes light, we just have to be patient enough to find it. And once we find that light, we can see beyond the darkness and appreciate what’s there. Let’s illuminate the path to our future with hope that it will be bright, despite the dark times. That the faith we have in ourselves, and others, and the world will carry us down that path. Hope is a choice which leads to health and happiness. Chose hope these holidays, and let it carry you through to newness.
Happy health and wellness everyone!