OK, I’m not making a humorous reference to losing someone in the supermarket. Nor to a character from a well-loved musical (set on a ship – guesses in the comments box please).
Bad things happen. Bad things happen to good people. What constitutes “bad”? Some things may seem terrible at the time but in the long run they can turn out to be not just for our own good but one of the most important and pivotal times of our lives. Times when we are forced to take time out to reflect. Times when we are forced to change.
That doesn’t make the bad times any less terrible. It doesn’t make the emotions any easier to bear. The feelings of loss or pain or rejection don’t go away. They can be buried. They can hang around until gradually time heals the wounds, at least on the surface. It doesn’t fix anything that has broken. But it does mean that when we look back we can at least feel that perhaps those times were not without meaning. That they were not just a pointless period of pain.
Through tough times we MUST hold on to hope. Hope is the feeling that events will turn out for the best. The loss of hope is devastating. One of the opening lines in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the sad reference to the loss of hope: “As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope…”. Despair and the loss of hope come arm in arm – trying to break in. Their aims? To keep us there, to hold us down and stop us from healing or moving on.
Without hope what is there? Hope can be all we need to kick-start a change that gets us on the road to recovery. Hope can restore broken relationships. Hope can mend broken hearts. Hope can lead us to dream big and take steps to find a new future. Hope can just give us the wings we need to fly off into the world again.
When you feel hope slipping away – fight it. Grab hope and refuse to let go. Know that you will be changed but that you will have learned something. Above all – hope. You will be amazed what hope can achieve.
(Image by Robert Bell – http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=28 )