Hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.
This is the epitome of me and what I believe. Now. Up until two or three years ago, I could easily have been described as the exact opposite.
I can remember as a teenager describing myself as a pessimistic optimist. I figured that if I planned for the worst, than whatever did happen would at least be better than that. Sad. I couldn't count on anyone, not even myself. I expected people to let me down.
We are constantly bombarded with the message that as long as you know what you want anything is possible. Well, how can you even imagine what you want if you didn't believe you could have anything? If things did turn out, it was just a fluke, or luck. When things were going well, it scared the pants off of me. It meant that something was just around the corner to balance it out. I was always waiting for that other shoe to drop.
Then I moved across the country, because I wanted to. Got a job that I purposely picked and succeeded to secure. The manifestation movement was kicking up a big stir around this time. It made things so simple and concrete. Know what you want, commit to wanting it and let it come. And it worked. It had nothing to do with who you were as a person, or how much you suffered for things. Just clarity.
An amazing book I read a couple of years ago really helped to push the door open further. The Wishing Year by Noelle Oxenhandler spoke to me, and I could relate so well to her history and journey. She too felt like suffering was the standard. Her story gave a lot of weight to wishing and hoping. I think I took myself on a trip for my 30th birthday shortly after I read it. Lovely train ride and B&B with a hot tub and wine under the stars. I even took myself out to dinner and bought myself a beautiful turquoise ring. I started to make lists, particularly what I wanted to find in a partner.
This past fall, I read the book again. This time out loud to the most amazing man I have ever shared my world with (who is 90-95% of everything on my list). It opened my eyes even wider.
Here's an excerpt of an email I wrote at that time to the author:
The manifestation movement is what sparked my realization that I could bring to me what I wanted, but I loved that you found a way of doing it holistically. That you embrace abundance for yourself, and for others. The balance. I had a breakdown at the beginning of the summer, and am now dealing with things I wasn't prepared to 15 years ago, and, in general, 32 years of hurt. (I told * this morning that I wanted an ice pack for my heart!) As we travel through the months of your year, I'm reminded that I can want for myself. I have the classic tendency to put more effort into meeting and attending everyone else's needs. What I am beginning to truly believe is that I can wish for them, and wait for their requests for help, and that it's okay to ask of others to give to me (gulp).There you have it in writing. I am an optimist, loud and proud. When things are good, I embrace it and know in my heart that there is more to come. The dips and bumps are not the baseline. If you want to focus on the negative, I will not join in. I am a creative problem solver and I know that there is always a way through, or over, or under, or around.
Without a doubt, your book and experience are what helped me become comfortable with being optimistic. To maintain positivity and not fear what's around the next corner. And this what I wanted to share with * when I started reading it to him, and almost everyone I know! That we do not need to suffer or prove that we have earned what we ask for, or receive. We are all deserving, which I believe now more than ever.