Hope. Fear.

     flickr image via AMERICAN ARTIST BEN MURPHY

Hope without fear doesn't exist; that's called naivety.

Hope is the alpha. All resiliency, all fear, all action is derived from hope, "the thing with feathers... that sings the tune without the words" as so beautifully described by Emily Dickinson in her poem entitled "Hope"...
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
Emily Dickinson
Frankl called it "purpose" in logotherapy. I call it resilience, but nonetheless hope without action is wishful thinking.

In Andrew Razeghi's book, "Hope," he describes the process of engaging a little or a lot as either jumping off the curb or jumping off the cliff. A small leap of faith or a large leap of faith is still a leap of faith. Hopeful people take a leap of faith every day, and depending on their relative experiences and perspective toward life, either can feel like a very big deal to any given individual at any given time... it's all relative.

So, how can we nurture this purposeful hope in ourselves and in others? Let's start by taking the wise advice of acclaimed National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones' and "see what we believe."

Our perspective is what holds the key to whether the solution is ordinary or extraordinary. If we want truly extraordinary vision then we have to continually expand our horizons, take risks. If we don’t push our edge we’ll never expand our view. It’s not trespassing to go beyond your own boundaries. Dewitt Jones, National Geographic Photographer
So whether we're jumping off a curb, or a cliff, we need to have faith that something good will come from the effort. We need to look for the good in ourselves and the people around us and then we need to expose it. This is how we manifest our dreams. Every person has a story, and like Dewitt Jones does  when he finds the story behind his photographs, we need to find a story behind ourselves; the one already wrote that will provide a first reflective glimpse into our innate hope and purpose.

As our stories evolve, so does the complexity we must embrace in order to continue writing them. Reflecting purposefully, honestly, and perhaps collaboratively with significant others is how we display our willingness to walk the pathways of our personal stories. Once we can do this, we can then walk alongside others who are also writing theirs. We don't do this to pull them along or push them on, but simply to walk the path with them, learn with them and from them. We are fortunate to have this opportunity in life as humans who thrive on relationship and love... we are an emotional species. It is a privileged opportunity we have to become part of other people's stories and to invite them into ours.

Living in the present; walking multiple paths in the exchanges we have with others every day is what exemplifies the hope we can all share. 

Hope grows if we want it to. 

We need it to.

Does a sense of fear and doubt ever creep into this process? For me, every single day. Hope without fear doesn't exist; that's called naivety. I don't know how things will turn out, and I have fear; debilitating fear. I fear many things... rejection, exclusion, persecution, and several dozen more, but fear is the driving force behind them all. If not for these challenges and the fear they create, there would be no reason to have hope. The presence of these negative elements balances our need to keep moving despite them.

If failure was absolute, nobody would ever learn how to ride a bicycle. Strangely, fearing failure is the same as fearing success for if we don't keep trying when we come up against a roadblock, in a way we're saying "what if I get over that roadblock... then what?" Balancing hope and fear is what drives me to get up every day and take on what life throws at me.

I hope you will gain value from something you read on this blog. I hope you will get in touch with me if you do, but especially if you don't.

Hope is the alpha.

We need it now more than ever.

We can't be afraid.


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