Even Though I Can't Fix The World
Choosing Hope As A Way To Look At Life
Hello Friend! I hope your new year is off to a really good start and that you’re staying healthy and safe. If you haven’t yet, please take a couple minutes and get caught up on my new mission as The Hope Coach by reading last week’s post. It’s pretty exciting! I am super stoked to continue on this journey with you. And please share these posts with anybody who you think could benefit from a strong dose of hope.
I’ve been thinking lately about how life offers us so many chances to make decisions. Most recently, the most pressing decisions seem to be about how to respond to all the muck surrounding us, especially if we feel it’s pulling us under. It can really be overwhelming, can’t it?
How are we to respond to all the crap life seems to throw at us?
I don’t have all the answers but I do have one I’d like to continually offer. It’s a decision I try to make each day: to choose hope. Hope then becomes a filter through which most all of my thoughts and decisions pass through—as if I’m putting on a pair of glasses with hope lenses.
First, let me make an important distinction.
This kind of hope I’m continually talking about is not a fingers-crossed wishing for a particular outcome. Instead, it’s a perspective, a posture. A choice. A way of looking at the world, other people, God, and even yourself.
I have lived a lot of years directing my hope (and my prayers) so that a particular desired outcome should come to pass. I bet you have, too. And it has really messed up my mind, trying to figure out why bad things happen to good people, or why God allows death, pain and horrific tragedy to constantly surround us—no matter how much I pray. And trite answers like, “I guess it’s just not God’s will” don’t cut it for me any longer. There’s got to be a better way to live than with God-as-an-ever-disappointing-Santa-Claus.
Life has taught me…and perhaps you…that we don’t always get our way. Right?! Is that the understatement of the year, so far? Maybe I should say, mostly never do we get our way! That feels more realistic.
My book, Losing Control, is all about the beauty of learning to let go of how we think things should go, in order to find the peace and happiness we’re craving.
You can read a copy of this book for free by visiting my website. It’s also available as a paperback (on sale for $9.99 in my store), on Amazon - including Kindle version, or as an audiobook in CD form or digitally wherever you listen to audiobooks.
My inability to fix the world—or even my own life—creates the need for a new perspective. One that allows me to get up in the morning, looking forward to the beauty and surprises of the day, trusting that good is in store, even if it won’t look like I always dreamed it would.
What Does It Mean to Choose Hope?
I don’t look at hope as something fleeting on the wind…something I cross my fingers and wait for it to show up. I also don’t look at hope as unbridled optimism. It’s not ignoring the incredible amount of pain that many of us are carrying. But hope says…this—whatever you’re going through—is not the end.
Do you remember this Mr. Rogers’ quote: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
When something horrific happens, it’s very difficult to see the hope, mostly because the pain of the tragedy is so intense. But, like Mr. Rogers said, I see hope when I see how people respond to these horrible situations.
I see hope when I hear stories about healthcare workers who risk their own lives to help save ours. I see hope in the first responders who rush into life-threatening situations to bring help to those in need.
Choosing hope doesn’t mean ignoring how bad things are, but it’s not letting ourselves be paralyzed by it. Hope compels us up off the couch and out into the world to offer help and rescue to those we see in need.
Be the hope you’re longing to see in the world.
When you can’t see hope, it’s your chance to be hope.
Hope says the story is still being written. And you can play a part in making it a good one. Look for ways to be a “helper.”
Hope says that even when things appear dead in the middle of winter, the new life of spring is coming. Keep looking for the buds on the trees and tell others when you see them.
Hope says a person’s mistakes don’t define them. (Neither do their successes.) Believe in other people more than what seems reasonable. I’m not talking about not having healthy boundaries, but rather, seeing ourselves and other people as works in progress. Hope encourages others without expectations.
Hope says every single person has incredible worth and value that has been imbued to them by their Creator. Treat people with extra kindness and grace, knowing they may be carrying pain we could never fathom. Seek to learn from others, rather than trying to get them to see things your way.
What would you add to this “Hope says…” list? I hope to hear from you!
Thanks for reading! And again, please share this with someone you believe might benefit from it! And stay tuned, friend…the best is yet to come.
“Hope is the eternal tool in the survival kit for mankind” —Sidney Poitier
Looking for a daily burst of hope? You can check out my Live Hope Minute on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Or download the free mobile app for your phone or tablet!
One of my favorite songs of hope…