By Belinda Borradaile
When Susan Asked me to write about ‘Hope’, my first instinct was, ‘Yes of course dearest Susan!’
Thinking about it over this last while I realised a few things, and reaching my final day to put this together, I realised this:
Hope and lack of it, is all I write about – all the time. My own struggle with holding on to hope and my DESIRE to BRING hope to others.
It is in that desire that writing this is so hard for me, for it is the ‘anticipation or expectation of a desire being met’ that instils hope within us.
Writing here has allowed me to assimilate my perceptions of hopes meaning.
Thank you Susan for prompting the opportunity to do so, for myself, and hopefully, for others.
A simplified expression of hope is the hope for a good spread of presents under the Christmas tree … whether we are children or parents.
It is not guaranteed to be so … but we hope.
Why is it that both the receiver of gifts and the giver are filled with hope?
As children we want to get something special, as adults, we want to give… something special.
Have you watched a child’s awe and joy when they open a present they hoped for?
Have you seen a child’s heart when they watch someone opening a present they have given?
Have you felt the hopefulness in them? The anticipation of what their gift will bring the receiver?
Have you felt it in yourself?
I lose my hope when I feel I have nothing to give. Funny that. When my reasons for living are about what I can get, it is then that I have nothing to give, and it is then that I find hopelessness setting in.
To watch someone unwrap a gift they have anticipated hopefully, brings a sensation not easy to express.
How do we allow ourselves to hope for the ability to receive something, when hope is all we wish to have?
Hope for the future, hope for love, hope for dreams and joy and peace.
How do we maintain our hope when these things seem so intangible?
Uncertainty brings fear, yet it also brings hope.
Hope brings confidence in our desires for the future even when we are uncertain of the outcome, we HOPE it will be a good.
We hope, INSTEAD of fear.
I believe hope is a moment.
Something we hold in memory.
We cannot hold it and keep it. It flows.
We cannot take hope, nor can we wish for hope.
Hope is that which we give and receive, not something we lay claim to.
True hope, not a wish, is a deep desire for change. For something special to happen … something significant that shows us answers to little or big questions, or simply that – we matter.
No wonder we lose hope so easily. We look and look for where we left it, where it went to. We try to ‘get it back’. If hope is an expectant cherished desire for change, and we expectantly wait on being given an epiphany as ‘something special happening’, we COULD wait a long, long time to know hope. Yet if we look back, at moments in their intangibility, and we look at our lives and the changes we have endured or cherished, we will see hope in the faces that filled those moments. Even bad moments, for there they were in the past, but here they are no longer in the present… change happened without us seeing it.
If we are present in each moment, hope becomes a gift of a moment in time understood. Not something to chase after. When we lose hope, the only way to find it is to allow for it to make its appearance.
Not to beg, nor plan, nor yearn for. Hope is what we dream of and desire to know, so it can be real to us. To understand something as real, seeing is believing. Hope can only be known when, as with everything intangible, it manifests into our reality.
The problem with hope, is we cannot see it very easily, because hope resides in hearts. Looking at ourselves is impossible if it were not for a mirror, and then it is a mere reflection.
You cannot look at yourself, to see and know hope.
Hope does not belong to us, it can only be ‘seen’, in the lives and faces of those we give it to.
So what is that feeling we have when we can say – ‘I have hope’?
It is not hope in itself that brings this feeling. It is joy.
Joy resides where hope lives. When we give hope, we give joy. When we give joy, we receive hope.
Many of the answers we seek to find is to show us our purpose. Do we matter? We need change through answers, to show our effect on our world – to show us that in our reality – we matter and are valuable.
When we receive hope, we receive joy. When we receive joy it is because we know that we are valuable and matter. We feel a purpose to our lives.
How we all seek for something tangible to give us a purpose and meaning in life.
How much do we strive to be valued by others and even ourselves?
How many moments do we spend trying to be valuable?
Everything we do in society is geared in some way to adding value to ourselves and our time here. Some do it only for themselves, others wish to be of value to society, by being of service to their fellow man. Others simply feel value through achievement, still others – feel no value… they feel hopeless… we may even refer to them as ‘hopeless cases’…
According to Wikipedia, hope, is ‘an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. To, “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation”
Theologically, hope is defined as: ‘Expectation of and desire of receiving; refraining from despair and capability of not giving up. The belief that God will be eternally present in every human’s life and never giving up on His love.’
Hope is considered a virtue along with faith and love. I wish I had room to convey the relationship between these three and WHY they are virtues, alas I do not or we shall have a book to read – I will however state that the definition of faith according to the dictionary (not theological definitions) is, ‘Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.’ I MUST mention this as I see error in the presumption that if there is no belief in God that there is no faith. Faith is what we see as true – what we place our confidence in.
… but regarding hope:
Hope is something we instil by how we choose to live. Giving away something we seek in order to receive it, is not virtuous. Giving good away in order to refrain from giving bad away – is virtuous. The ‘virtuous’ aspect has nothing to do with the theology, but the way we perceive good. It is understanding the flow of hope – faith and love.
If you are a reader of my blog you will be aware that spirals are constantly apparent in much of what I think and write about. Spirals are the foundation of everything, from the tiniest DNA strand to the spiralling galaxies.
The simplified version of how the hope spiral forms:
It is as important to receive as it is to give, for in doing so you allow someone else the hope in ‘expecting with confidence’ the outcome of the circumstance of giving to you. To allow someone else the ability to give of themselves and see hope and joy in another is in itself a gift we can give to each other.
We all desire to feel that what we offer each other is valued. We ‘cherish a desire with anticipation and with confidence’ – we HOPE that we can give enough and give joy. We give our hope over to give joy…we put it on the line. The joy is a manifestation of the hope we give.
When we allow others to be a part of giving, and do not desire to only be the one giving, we create a circle of hope. We create confidence in others. We create a desire met. We create joy.
To receive hope offered, is to be humble in the presence of the gift we receive and so also give. To give the gift of hope, first, we must be able to humbly receive, no matter how small the offering. In receiving we are giving. In giving we are receiving.
Imagine the child with gift in hand offering in hope of giving pleasure and joy to the receiver, now imagine how hopeless a child would be if they did not SEE that there gift had given pleasure … imagine being that child, feel the confidence and cherished desire to give joy seep away, and know hope – lost.
Special moments cherished, the simplest way to give and receive hope to remember in our hearts through the hopeless times.
It is the hope that is remembered, understood and cherished more than the moment that gave it – hope received humbly as a child gives a gift, is hope truly found, and it changes not a moment – it changes everything.
Belinda writes philosophically in prose and poetry on Idiot Writing, where she does not write at all like an idiot.