October 28, 2004

Hope

There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them.
- Clare Boothe Luce


I once wrote a small piece about how people use my name in sentences. That has always bothered me. This morning, however, I am realizing that my name in itself holds great weight.

Of late, I have experience vast feelings of hopelessness. I didn't actually put that "label" on my feelings. But I felt as if all hope was gone. So I looked up the term "hopelessness." Here's what I found:


hopelessness: The despair you feel when you have abandoned hope of comfort or success

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

All of a sudden I had become a person full of negative energy. I thought I was hiding it well, too, but guess what...I wasn't. Every ounce of negativity that I hadallowed to enter into my being oozed from me onto others. You see, what you feel or tell yourself doesn't only affect you. It is a domino effect.

It started when I felt sorry for myself because my husband was away. Sure, those feelings are okay. But I took them to a deeper level within myself.

I began harboring the pain, hurt and anger. Instead of allowing myself to feel and live through these feelings, I buried them. I didn't want to let go of them. I wanted to love them and nurture them and let them grow.

This is not healthy.

As I loved my strange child, something else began to happen. I forsook everything that would bring joy to my life. I denied myself every ounce of happiness.

You know how when you sit in a tub too long you start looking like a wrinkled prune? Well, that was me. I sat in my tub of pain until I was wrinkled from head to toe. I couldn't even recognize myself anymore.

The ironic thing is that I knew that I was doing this to myself, but I didn't care. I had lost all hope.

I did everything except the one thing I wanted to do. I stopped allowing myself to be free through my writing. I didn't feel like I deserved to live joyfully. After all, my husband surely won't experience much joy in the upcoming year. So why should I?

Then something happened. My friend took a gigantic leap towards her dream this week. While I was extremely excited and happy for her, I felt strangely jealous of her. I went so far as expressing this to her. How selfish of me!!

Knowing that I had abandoned all my dreams and desires of becoming successful, and that I inwardly told myself that I didn't deserve to keep living my life while my husband is away, suddenly caught up with me. And then that feeling consumed me.

Hopelessness.

Not because of someone else's succes, but because of the despair I had been feeling from abandoning all hope of my comfort and success!!!

What a HUGE wake-up call!!

When stark realization slaps me in the face, well, that's a pretty hard pill to swallow. But it went down. And I survived.

Only you can let go of hope. Nobody can take hope away from you. And it is as easily picked up as it is put down. The trick lies in knowing yourself, realizing where you messed up and the willingness to admit your mistake then pick yourself up and try all over again.

Today I start anew. How about you?