The Importance of Hope

Hope – it is what keeps us going when for all reason we should not. Without it life would be difficult to say the least. We all have hope – it can be for something big like peace on earth or for something small, like getting a promotion. When we lose hope we become despondent and fearful.

Hope is what allows us to hold on when every part of us tells us to give up. Hope gets us though the days we feel alone, when our finances are less than we would like them to be, or when our dreams seem to be just a little bit out of our reach.

In the movie “The Amazing Spiderman 2” there is a wonderful scene in which one of the characters is giving a speech at graduation and talks about hope. She says that when “hope is alive in us, we will be greater than what we may be suffering.” We may forget this in the midst of everyday challenges, but hope does help us to be greater than whatever we are going through.

One of the dictionary’s meanings for hope is “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. “ When we believe in what is possible we can become better people because we follow what we believe in spite of the obstacles. When we do this we become a light to help others do the same.

Quote of the Week
“My wish for you is to become hope, people need that, and even if we fail, what better way is there to live.”
Gwen Stacy, character in the Amazing Spiderman 2.

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Helping Others

Have you ever thought about all the people in your life that helped you become the person you are today? Most of us at one time or another, in our lives, been blessed by a helping hand that asked nothing in return.

I certainly would not be in recovery for the past 28 years if it were not for a friend who saw me drowning and introduced me to another angel who showed me the way out of my misery and despair.

I have had such wonderful people in my work experiences, my relationships, and my health – in fact in all facets of my life! Because others were there for me (and probably for you as well), it is our responsibility to be there for others. How that shows up differs depending on the situation, but such opportunities are always available to us if we just look for them.

I believe that passing on what someone has so graciously given us to others, (without any expectations of getting anything in return), is an act of gratitude and generosity and one that feeds us to the depth of our being.

Is there someone that you can help as others have helped you?

Quote of the Week

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
Anne Frank

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Flying = Acceptance

I just returned from visiting family and attending a wedding in Ohio. I have always loved flying as it was, in my mind, an adventure. This trip certainly was an adventure (not in the way I pictured it), but mostly it was an exercise in acceptance.

It took me 17 hours of travel for a trip that should have been maybe 8 at the most. I will not go into all the challenges as there is not enough space here for the details. What is important about the trip was it gave me an opportunity to practice acceptance at every part of the journey.

It is easy when things do not work out the way we want it, to get upset, complain and let it ruin our whole day. I admit that was the way I started out when things did not unfold in the way I wanted them to. However, I realized I could either accept the situation or let it make me miserable the entire trip. I decided to accept it.

Acceptance of things we cannot change makes our lives flow more smoothly, makes us happier and brings us a peace that complaining can never do.

I read once that acceptance is the key to our serenity. I have found it to be a true statement especially when we fly!

Quote of the Week

“Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation (some fact of my life) unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.”

Alcoholics Anonymous

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The Secret of Life

Years ago, there was a James Taylor song entitled, The Secret of Life.  I had forgotten about it until someone mentioned it last week.

I listened to the song several times and if you aren’t familiar with it, please listen because the song is a powerful message of paying attention to what is really important in life.

According to the song, appreciating life is about appreciating it as it is in the present.  It then states that the secret of love is opening up our heart.  How can we appreciate our lives and open our hearts?

It is as simple as living in the now and looking at all that is good and beautiful and in treating others as we want to be treated with a smile, a warm greeting, and a willingness to do what is kind and loving.  Like the song says, “anyone can do it”.

 

Quote of the Week

“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time, any fool can do it, there ain’t nothing to it.”      James Taylor

 

 

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Keeping Cool, Calm and Collected

Remember when summer first arrived – it was great – longer days, warm evenings, swimming, cooking outside, no jackets or sweaters, etc.  However, sometimes by the end of August the love of summer dwindles as the heat begins to get to us as well as the bugs, not to mention the traffic in beach and national park areas.  By the end of summer, it is even more imperative that we find ways to stay cool, calm, and collected.

One way is to focus on the positive in your life rather than the negative. Most people spend 90% of their time worrying about the 10% in their life that is negative.  The more we think about something, the bigger it becomes so it is important for us to use our minds to concentrate on what is good about our lives.

An easy way to do that is with a gratitude list.  Making a daily list is a great tool, but even if you don’t do it daily, every time you begin using your brain to think of the negative, make a list of 10 things you are grateful for.  If I am really having a difficult time turning off my negative brain, I do an A-Z gratitude list.

I come up with something I am grateful for every letter of the alphabet. Some are much easier than others. I can tell you that coming up with things I am grateful for with some letters is not easy but the more I spend time coming up with something, the less I spend thinking about what is wrong with my life.

Gratitude reminds you that most of life’s gifts are things that seem small but in Truth have a BIG influence on the quality of our lives.

Quote of the Week

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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