The world we live in often gives us little encouragement to touch
the inner whisperings of our heart. Ironically, when our life has
plunged us into the heart of darkness it is there, by God's Grace,
that we discover the still small voice of hope that is crying out
from deep within our heart. Once we are touched by the caress of
that voice we know that crisis doesn't lead to despair. It can
instead lead to understanding the specialness of our life. It is by
turning to face the darkness and the pain that we begin to
understand our imperfections, accept them, and then make use of the
tremendous potential each of us uniquely possesses.
Touching on the wellspring of hope inevitably turns life into a
wonder, and that wonderous realization becomes the door to unlocking
the great mystery and sacredness of each of our lives. Cultivating
the inner garden of our Hopes and Dreams requires a bit of practice.
After all, just as a garden needs tending, so too does the garden of
the Heart. Making a commitment to ourselves builds a bond of trust
and hope, not only within ourselves, but for the world.
Here, I share with you fifteen contemplations that I developed that
form the backdrop of my life. Meditative contemplation is a powerful
tool to promote inner awareness, intuition, and reflection. To hold
a thought before you, for an entire day, opens access to inner
resources that can help illuminate an issue that needs resolution.
These contemplations can be utilized as a group or individually. I
like to write them on an index card and carry them with me. Spend
some quiet time studying each one. Be certain you have a clear grasp
of its meaning. Reflect on its significance to your life and how the
contemplation's inner meaning reflects your struggle to break free
and start living the authentic life you are seeking. Take heart and
allow yourself to be encouraged and inspired.
Contemplations give us the ability to develop a pattern of thinking
that places value on the life we choose to live. They are reminders
of what is right and good about life. If they can become the
underlying motivation for our actions, then perhaps our responses
will be filled with reservoirs of hope rather than with anger and
pain. If we put forth a positive, hopeful countenance to the world,
then our small world can become richer with meaning and filled with
the positive presence of Hope.
Cherish, Honor, Love and Respect yourself and others. The value we
place on our lives allows us to unlock, build, rely on, and trust
the preciousness of who we are in this world. Even with our
mistakes, we can still seek to live now with value and dignity.
Remember we have the free will to choose the way we view any
situation or event in our lives. Despair may touch us, but it
doesn't have to become an option. In spite of the fact that we all
stumble and get depressed, we can choose to hope, and not to
Just as it takes a conscious effort to develop peace of mind, so too
does it take a conscious effort to have hope.
Hope gives a joyous outlook on life. Hope reflects spiritual
commitment to the good.
Sharing our hopes with friends builds closeness.
If every moment can be seen as new, then there is always room for
hope. We need to concentrate on our present actions and find the
hope contained in them.
Hope is destroyed by worry.
While we cannot control the outcome of everything in our lives, we
can hope to discover what God is trying to teach us in the moment.
Ask yourself ... what is God trying to teach me in this moment? ...
What lesson am I learning? Even if it is a difficult lesson, how
will this bring about the best in me?
Every moment is of value ... and that value is discovered and
unlocked when we cherish each moment and see it as an opportunity
for compassionate living. This helps us see eternity in the moment.
Tasting that brings great reverence for life ... and with reverence
in our heart touching us we do not become a partner with sadness,
despair and negativity.
Hope can transform sadness into happiness ... so happiness is built
on hope. Guilt, hurt and anger can be the result of not taking care
of our pain in the moment. Finding ways to soothe our pain allows
hope to grow.
Living with Hope teaches us to face our struggles in the moment
because we know that it is possible to find goodness in who we are
and in our world.
By not fearing suffering we can find hope's secret ... that even in
the pain, we can serve ... and all life is ultimately for the good.
Seeking approval from others, in the end, distances us from who we
are. It denies God's faith in us ... that we each bring something
unique to give to the world.
Hope teaches us never to despair.
Hope keeps us away from the trap of seeking perfection. Instead, it
allows us to focus on healing our imperfections. Seeking and
nourishing the hope in our Heart keeps us far from falling into
discouragement ... because we know life always has another moment,
and another tomorrow.