HOPE by Sharon Kathryn D’Agostino
In many conversations over the past three weeks, I have felt the need and the responsibility to be hopeful, and to share messages of hope with others. This caused me to spend a considerable amount of time thinking about hope and exploring its power relative to one of my favorite topics – love. At the beginning of this exploration, hope seemed more ephemeral than love, more like a flickering flame that, when the wind blew, persisted only if it was protected by sheer will and determination.
Why, I wondered, did I see love as more steadfast, more permanent than hope? Why did I view love as the strongest sibling in the family of these virtues, along with other virtues, that so many of us are committed to demonstrating in our thoughts, our words, and our actions?
We speak about unconditional love – love without conditions, without expectations or requirements. When we choose to love someone unconditionally, when we commit to loving unconditionally, our love is unwavering. Why, then, does hope feel more conditional? What is unconditional hope?
I know how to remain loving when someone says or does something hurtful. I know how to remain compassionate when tempted to judge rather than forgive. But I must admit that during these past three weeks, there have been days when I did not know HOW to remain hopeful. Meditation and journaling helped me understand that hope, like love, is a choice. This obvious conclusion had not been obvious to me on those days when hope seemed so elusive. Today, though, I better understand that conclusion and I choose hope. I choose to be hopeful and hope-filled, reminded that this is how we are able to move through the most challenging hours or days or weeks of our lives.
Some of us live in places where Spring is now arriving. The crocuses and daffodils that survived the snowstorm and icy weather near my home last weekend are symbols of hope for me as I commit to choosing unconditional HOPE, unwavering hope, from this moment on.
I very much look forward to discussing hope in this Sunday’s #SpiritChat, and to learning from this hopeful and hope-filled community.
Thank you all very much, and many thanks to Kumud for the opportunity!!
Author’s bio: I believe in the power of love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, and…hope! And I believe that each of us has an important role in shaping a kinder, gentler, more compassionate world for all.
Kumud’s note: I am delighted that Sharon @AwakeningTrue will be hosting #SpiritChat on Sunday, March 20 at 9amEDT / 1pmUTC / 630pm India on twitter. I am so looking forward to all the hope and love that emerges from her leading the conversation on this topic. Thank you, Sharon!
Photo: Daffodils by Sharon Kathryn D’Agostino