Spring is hopeful, the weather is warming and everything is blooming. Most people feel a renewed sense of wonder or happiness, especially the people living in a place that has cold, gray winters. Finally we can start getting our daily dose of Vitamin D naturally and get rid of the SAD.
However, all the vitamin D in the world will not relieve grief, broken-heartedness, regret or major depression. A walk in the sunshine and smelling the flowers may help uplift the mood for awhile, but sometimes people need a lot of help to find hope. Sometimes we face such trials in life that it seems impossible to go on, or like the world is caving in on us.
When I experience a great difficulty, loss or disappointment and I wonder how I’m going survive, pictures start to flash through my mind. These pictures are the things that moved my heart most while I was growing up and made me wonder how I could help end human suffering. Images of mothers desperately handing their babies to soldiers who were boarding helicopters in an effort to save their babies from the war; a toddler crying next to the dead bodies of his parents in the midst of war; children & mothers starving to death due to oppression or lack of access to resources; people suffering & dying of illnesses that no longer exist in our country. These images never leave me, they fade into the background only to resurface during times of trouble, to remind me of how fortunate I am.
Even still, pain and problems do not go away simply by thinking of the less fortunate. To move forward one has to take a step. Action creates possibilities and possibilities create hope. Hope is the invisible power that motivates us beyond survival.
We desire so many things from life, not just physical things, but we have a great ambition to fulfill our potential, to find love and to be happy. Why then, are so many people let down? Why do we find it so difficult to fulfill our dreams? Why does living and just getting by become such a struggle? Could it be that people have learned to expect too much?
After taking action, it’s necessary to continue the effort, to stay creative and keep doing positive things. However, while making so much effort we can often get caught up in our expectations for the results, setting ourselves up for another let down. The down side of hope is our expectations. To make consistent effort to live virtuously while overcoming adversity and pain is hard enough, but the hardest part of all is letting go of expectations without losing hope.
Real hope comes from knowing that our efforts have value regardless of the result, that life is not all that we see, but it is the state of mind that we create and the love that we give. Hope is rooted in the invisible world of heart, the eternal world of absolute love.