Hope is a decision that can be made and remade. . .

First let me say that I am delighted to see that some of you have been responding to my new blog.  Please invite your friends to do the same.  We learn from one another.  I certainly don’t have many of the answers to life’s problems but I have learned to seek the solutions from fellow-travelers on this path we share.

Because of the very recent release of my newest book on hope, I want to share another one of the essays from the book today.  I want you to get a feel for what’s there should you be interested in going to amazon.com or Hazelden.org or your closest book store.

RESIST NOTHING.  A LESSON IS ALWAYS BEING OFFERED.

This idea may seem preposterous.  Many of our experiences nearly pushed us beyond our limits to survive.  Every one of us can revisit our past and with little trouble, create doubt about whether one or another experience was really necessary for our growth.  But those who are far wiser than I am have convinced me over the past thirty-five years that not a single experience lacked value in the formation of who I am today.  Not a single one of them.  And if I resist an experience that hasn’t yet caught my attention, it will revisit until that time that my wisdom overshadows my willfulness.

This is a book about cultivating hope and I think the idea that all experiences are the lessons we specifically need and that they will remain ours forever as the substance of who we are becoming is the most hopeful element in this entire book.  What this means, quite simply, is that we need not run from any thing.  Nothing needs to alarm us or make us cower.  Being overwhelmed is a choice we can make but an unnecessary one.  What is being offered to us comes with a Guide and therefore a guide book.  Making the decision to incorporate, with trust, the experiences that have presented themselves is how we reveal our willingness to follow the will of the one who knows more than we know.

Men and women generally come into the rooms of AA and Al-Anon as well as other twelve step programs in a state of hopelessness.  Had their lives been successful in every regard, they would not have sought the “miracle” that’s available in these rooms.  And when they arrive, they learn that the real miracle is contained in the small word: hope.  Without it, nothing changes.  With it, nothing stays the same.  And as long as they stay put, they will develop it as we have done before them.

Hope is the breath of fresh air that allows for a new perspective.  Hope is the awareness that never are we alone.  It’s the reminder that believing there is good in all situations and people makes it possible to perceive it.  And without hope, we will not move forward.  Period.  Without hope we will not be fulfilling the role we have been created to play.

As I share in my own story, a new perspective came into view for me when I was about thirty minutes from taking my own life late in my first year of recovery.  The terror I had lived with for so long prior to getting into recovery had returned and I felt utterly hopeless.  As I prepared to turn on the gas, there came a knock at the door and a woman I had never before met came into my kitchen and changed my life forever by sharing a very few words.  Chemicalization, she called it.  My old ideas were fighting my Spirit’s desire to move me to a new understanding about the spiritual world and my role in it.  I knew she was speaking truth.  She left as quickly as she came and my crisis was at an end.  I will never forget how profoundly different I felt as the result of having hope, once again, and this time my hope felt even more substantive.

The beauty of what happened to me is that I have been able to share this story with others on many occasions and that’s how hope is multiplied.  We don’t all feel it all the time but when any one of us shares an experience with it, it allows others to know there’s a reason to claim it for themselves.  Let today be that day for you.

Enjoy the day.  See you again soon.  Karen

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  25. Wow. We really seem to be spiritually connected, Karen. You know how people often have a life mission that they could put on a bumper sticker? Mine is “plant seeds of hope”. When I went through my “dark period”, I was at the end of my rope – no knot. I received a card from my sister in the mail with an angel sticker that said “expect a miracle”. An Al Anon slogan, but my sister has never gone to Al Anon. The card had a picture of a sparrow on it and a Emily Dickenson poem, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. It sings the tune without the words and never stops at all”. That was it! I had Hope! I was stuck on the first step – the powerlessness with no way out. I forgot to go on to Step 2 – the hope step. I remembered that there was a least a possibility that God could restore me to sanity. Oh yeah!! So I dropped to my knees and offered myself and my young children I felt I was losing in a custody battle to the care of God. And the world shifted. People said just as exactly what I needed to hear, I’d read the same phrase in four different places, teh same book would be recommedned three times in a single day – God was at work. At at the end of the process, my life as transformed and I couldn’t race out and spread that message of hope fast enough! I can’t fix the problems, but Ic anr emind people that there is Hope – like my dear sister reminded me. Can’t think of a better message for your book!

    my best,
    Kathy

    • Hi Kathy,
      What a delight receiving your comment. You are an excellent example of one who has been transformed. And all around you need your example, I assure you. thanks again for being a part of my circle.
      Peace,
      Karen

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