My attitudes # 1 – It begins with hope

My attitudes #  1 – Hope

‘Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom’ Robert Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King quoting Edith Hamilton’s translation of a poem by Aeschylus from Agamemnon.

I have always been an optimistic person. I have always looked on the bright side of life. I am inherently a ‘glass half full’ person. I have always made the best of it when it rained, shrugged off grizzles from strangers and acquaintances, picked myself up from minor falls and carried on. My optimism has been coupled with a belief in solving my own problems, researching for the best solutions, and having the courage to take required actions. I have applied this way of thinking to health and other issues for myself; my children; my business; and in my community involvements. Optimism is making the best outcome from any situation, by propelling myself into positive action.

On the other hand, I have always held a degree of cynicism towards people who put their trust in hope. To me ‘hope’ always meant ‘blind faith’, a belief or vision without any real evidence that things will work ……. simply sitting back and waiting for something to happen. Waiting for something to resolve, waiting for someone or something to come along and rescue you. Waiting for ‘it’ to happen, and sometimes not even knowing what ‘it’ will be. Sitting glumly waiting for things to improve – ‘hoping’ things will change. People who ‘hope’ sit waiting for someone to fill up the glass.

Not for me……the glass is half full. I may not have a full glass as I wanted, but there is still half a glass. I may as well quench my thirst and enjoy it while I can; ……. or water my plants and watch them grow.

However………………..

What happens if there is no ‘half-full’ – only empty?
What happens if the glass breaks?
What happens if the glass not only breaks but shatters into a trillion fragmented pieces?
What happens if the glass cannot be repaired, if the drink is lost, if you cannot refill?
What if all that you had is totally irreparable?
What if all that you were striving for, all your dreams and aspirations are gone forever?

What then?

For someone who has always looked on the bright side – and there is now seemingly no bright side; for someone who has always picked themselves up – and yet here I am seemingly still on the ground; for someone who always made the best of a bad situation, who has always turned situations around – yet here I am seemingly still stuck in a groove……

for that someone – and that someone is me – I see that there are now two choices for me

despair

or

hope 

I have decided to chose hope.

For I know now that hope is a precursor to optimism. Whereas optimism requires evidence – hope is a vision. Hope is that first little spark, that inner belief that things will turn out OK. Hope is imagining a good outcome from a seemingly hopeless situation. Hope is the initial desire to get better, to have an improved situation. Hope is the realisation that all is not lost. Hope is knowing there is still much to be grateful for. Hope is finding kindness amongst all the distrust.

Hope is that vision, that belief, that ‘blind faith’ before you take action.

Hope is good. Hope is great. Hope is fantastic.

Looking back at my own life, looking back at my overcoming previous adversities, I realise now that I have always begun with hope. I have always begun with a vision. I have always begun with a belief in myself. I have always begun with that spark within me that propelled me into optimistic action.

“Hope is what happens when the pain eases a bit; and deep down inside, you find your true grit.” Catherine DeVrye from ‘Hope happens’

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28 thoughts on “My attitudes # 1 – It begins with hope

  1. Thanks for the great reminder. I think hope is a very important part of life that a lot of us forget about. It can definitely go a long way, if we continue to believe in it. Great post, looking forward to more of your post.. Keep it up. #BeAwesome

  2. Oh Liz, this is so profoundly wise and beautiful. What an incredibly inspiring post.

    thank you — and I love this — “For I know now that hope is a precursor to optimism. Whereas optimism requires evidence – hope is a vision. ”

    HOpe is a vision. How beautiful.

  3. I think to me hope is really having the courage to keep going in spite of everything shattering in your life, resisting the tentation to despair as much as you can, and being gentle with yourself when you slip up and cannot resist despair. Hope is tapping into that deep hunger for life we all harbour. You are doing it so well. Keep going 🙂

    • Thanks, yes despair does bring us down to a rock bottom analysis of the meaning of life; and you are so correct that we then find what we want – which is life itself…. and then when we realise that we have that … we are able to keep going.

  4. I truly love this post. I especially love this part:

    “……the glass is half full. I may not have a full glass as I wanted, but there is still half a glass. I may as well quench my thirst and enjoy it while I can; ……. or water my plants and watch them grow.

    However………………..

    What happens if there is no ‘half-full’ – only empty?
    What happens if the glass breaks?
    What happens if the glass not only breaks but shatters into a trillion fragmented pieces?
    What happens if the glass cannot be repaired, if the drink is lost, if you cannot refill?
    What if all that you had is totally irreparable?
    What if all that you were striving for, all your dreams and aspirations are gone forever?

    What then?

    For someone who has always looked on the bright side – and there is now seemingly no bright side; for someone who has always picked themselves up – and yet here I am seemingly still on the ground; for someone who always made the best of a bad situation, who has always turned situations around – yet here I am seemingly still stuck in a groove……

    for that someone – and that someone is me – I see that there are now two choices for me

    despair

    or

    hope

    I have decided to chose hope.”

    Very well written and poignant. Thanks for sharing this with us. 🙂

  5. So beautifully said!! I do believe that hope without action is a passive hope and does put it on someone else to ‘fix it’… always a fruitless thing to do for both parties. But, I also believe there is such thing as blind optimism, just like blind faith. Maybe optimism is more a facet of the personality where hope reigns? To have either one in the darkest moment and then be brave enough to take your OWN first step–not knowing what lay ahead in the dark–THAT is the gift to be grateful for. The strength to take action. You’ve been given that gift and appears you’ve been making use of it. We know what despair feels like, don’t we, girl. And we know that it only leads to circling down the drainpipe, with all the momentum that incurs. Hope and optimism require self-propelled motion and supportive action for there to be positive momentum. So, so hard to do–taking ownership of our own outcome–but truly builds character and inner strength that sustains us in the worst of times. “And that’s all I got ta say about that!”–a Gumpism 🙂

  6. “Hope is a vision…” Hi Elizabeth:) *Thank you* for your recent visit and “like” at my blog. When a glass shatters, as you so well describe, it’s an act of hope to keep going:) Keeping on keeping on:)

  7. Pingback: Next comes Optimism | Almost Spring

  8. Pingback: My attitudes # 4 – Courage | Almost Spring

  9. Pingback: My attitudes # 5 Be Pro-active | Almost Spring

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