“As I breathe, I hope.” Cicero
We all know that this isn’t a pleasant time of year for everyone. For many, it’s a catapult into memories of lost loved ones, a springboard that could lead one to relapse, a sadness that feels all too dark and distant to cure or maybe even understand.
Paradoxically, this is supposed to be a season of great joy. A time in which we sense an undertone of expectation to have smiles plastered on our faces. For me, I instead cling to this being a season of hope. Not a hope that spares the hope-filled of disappointment but instead a hope pregnant with reality and abiding in trust.
“The hope that rests on calculation has lost its innocence.” Thomas Merton
Hope is vulnerable. When hope is taken to its true core: hope lets go, trusts, and believes in something bigger or more than what is today. Not in a sense of progress or desperate desire, but in a recognition of acceptance. Hope bleeds with contentment but covers itself with a Band-Aid of healing; hope knows far more than we do.
In hope’s knowing, we again are asked to let go, open ourselves, and bask in the mysteries of the unknown. In order to hope, not only is vulnerability required of us, but also a great courage that often seems beyond our ability.
Sadnesses, old and new wounds, and difficulties are very real parts of this time of year, but hopelessness doesn’t have to be. Hope is at its best a rock to stand upon and at its worst a rock to cling to. Yet, hope remains without our clinging or acknowledgement of it; hope is no less a rock by the ways in which I chose to see it today.
“Troubled or still, water is always water…” Yoga Vasistha
There is no need for us to transform our agonies into hope but instead only to try acknowledging hope’s company. Perhaps seeing hope is a more honest stance than displaying a false joy this season. Perhaps our hope will transform into joy, our vulnerabilities will evolve into unity, and our season will be filled with awe.