Surviving Dark Times: Finding The Light Of Hope

survivingI’ve seen a couple of films recently about dark times. Moments in peoples lives when the worst has happened and it has been a challenge to do the right things. Of course I read and hear about all sorts of things every day. But what I noticed with the stories was that surviving was matter of finding hope.

I’ve always been encouraged by the story of Pandora. The way that her curiosity led her to open a box which let out all the evils of the world. That could have been the end of the story. Instead, at the very bottom of the box, under all the darkness she found a ray of hope. I feel that we have all been given a way of surviving even the worst of our experiences. That the hope I feel can carry me through anything. Yet describing what I hope in or for can escape me. Because hope is difficult to pin down. Am I thinking that I am still alive? Do I remind myself that I am still standing? Or perhaps I’m telling myself that it can get better?

Sometimes I don’t know. I’m in the darkness but looking for the light. And my hope spurs me on to believe and trust that I am surviving. Of course, since I got to know my Guides, I also know I’m not alone. My hope is boosted by the recognition that I am surviving the challenges with their help. Yet I still have to be the one hoping. I know that if I loose hope things will only get darker for me. So I stick to the story of Pandora. Reminding myself that there is always an up side to everything. Encouraging myself to feel the fear that the darkness brings. But to push myself on through it. Until I can recognise the love and the light shining into my dark place. I also know that to experience hope I have to experience it’s absence.

I have to know desolation, despair and defeat. Then I can feel the power of hope. The expectation, anticipation and excitement of Light breaking through into my darkness. I wouldn’t wish my dark times on anyone else. That’s actually because I know we all have dark times. But I am sending anyone trying to survive the darkness a ray of hope. Surviving is the important outcome. Let hope light your way.

Day 807 of my blogging challenge

Resilience – Love and Human Beings Endure

I’ve been to a family wedding today. It was an uplifting day. And a reminder about resilience.

There is a lot of fear energy around at the moment. So many big issues on a global level for all of us to address. Every time I look at social media or the news there are lots of negative stories. In hard times it’s important to have reminders that we will come through all of the challenges. I’m always looking for that glimmer of hope to show me the way. So as I sat listening to wedding vows being made I thought about resilience. None of us would have been sitting there taking part in the celebration without the determination of our loved ones who have gone before us. I’m sure there were plenty of family present from the Spirit World. But it also represented the enduring nature of love. The trust that through love our families will continue.

I also looked at the faces of the little children in the church. They are just starting their journey through life. How wonderful to be surrounded by people who know how to survive that journey. Because that’s the truth. We have  all come through many and varied challenges. Our lives have been bumpy as well as calm. Each one of us has, I am certain, had to find the courage to continue after it seemed like our world had turned upside down.  At the reception I saw family and friends sharing the occasion. Catching up. Updating. Enjoying meeting again. At least four generations representing all that is hopeful about families. Looking around I ticked off the grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren. A perfect representation of the way in which human beings carry on surviving.

It takes resilience to keep on living and loving. A toughness that is powered by hope. Based on love for one another. I don’t fear for human beings. I hope for more love for all of us.

Day 537 of my blogging challenge 

Brave, Bravery and Bravest

I was watching the Disney Pixar movie Brave this afternoon with my daughter. We are taking a few days out to end our year as peacefully as possible.

As I watched the story unfold, of a girl who wants to live her life her way, I thought about being brave. This year has certainly tested my courage. And I know of many other people who have also had to find the bravery to get through it to. There have been many global events, including the ecological changes affecting our planet, that have surfaced our fears. I have to admit to being a bit surprised every time I look back and realise I did something brave. Every time I faced my fears.

Bravery is all about doing the unthinkable. Doing what I wouldn’t think I could ever do. I’m sure we all forget just how much bravery we have had. The friend facing an illness without an end, the child dealing day in and out with the bullies, the mother holding a family together no matter what. Moving from home or job to make a good life, sharing what you have with others, waving goodbye to a loved one for the last time. Because that is what ordinary people do. So many little actions to keep the world going as well as it can. I can think of many people I have met or heard of this year who have found the courage to keep going.

Because being brave means that there is hope. I feel the bravest thing of all is to find the hope in any set of circumstances.

I’m not dismissing heroic acts of bravery. Some of which make news headlines or are the talk of our communities. But I do feel that we miss the opportunity to acknowledge all the times we are at our bravest too. Whether it’s moving a spider from the bath or holding the hand of a loved one who is dying I know that these things take courage. So as the year ends I’d like to ask you to take a few moments to recognise your own bravery. Please see how brave you have been in 2016. Recognise that when you have been at your bravest you have moved mountains.

Life moves on. We are tumbling into 2017 so I’d like you to feel the hope I feel for the new year. Having faced all sorts of fear I know I won’t be beaten by anything. I will be able to be brave next year too. How about you?

Day 407 of my blogging challenge. 

Faith, Hope, Change: Dream On

I seem to have talked a lot about change this year. Especially since it has been a year of big changes. Today I thought about what has carried me through the challenges. It comes back to faith and hope.

Interestingly I was talking about hope this morning. I had a discussion about the way we enter each year with a long list of wishes and dreams but often find they don’t manifest. Later on I read and article that suggests Michelle Obama has said we are experiencing a time of hopelessness. Certainly this year has pushed all of us to face our fears. I know that the faith in the structures we live by has been fading for quite a number of years. Because it really is time for us to change the way our world is ordered.

Manifesting a new way is going to be a challenge. I see how stuck some people are. It is hard to move from what I know to what is yet unclear. With all my faith and hope in the Universal Divine flow of love I still struggle. So what about those people who haven’t reached the same understanding of manifesting peace as me? It certainly explains the flat feeling that is underneath all of the holiday energy. Yet I want to suggest that 2017 is bringing much moreover positive energy for all of us. It might feel hard to list your wishes and dreams but it is important to do so.

The future I want, and you want, can only come in if we ask for it. I know we have to back that asking with the faith that everything can be delivered.

Faith is such a hard thing to hang onto when the chips are down. I know this year I have had to work really hard to believe that what my intuition was telling me was correct. There were times when I felt lost in a thick fog. But also times of immense clarity. I’ve also had to wander around inside myself and measure how much faith I had in me. There have been plenty of wobbles. Yet talking today I realised how much I have returned to having faith in myself. Being tested is hard. But I now know I can go towards my dreams full of confidence that they will happen.

That has given me a huge blast of hope. Over this year my hope has played hide and seek. I’m usually an optimistic person. I’m so stubborn that I don’t like to be beaten by a problem. I always hope there is a positive solution to any issue. However several times this year I have had to dig my heels in to get me through disappointment, pessimism, an absence of all hope. It feels like I have been sharpening my sword of optimism. My hope can slice through any difficulty now. I have finally realised that whatever happens I have already faced the worst fears and got past them.

So I’m sending my New Year wishes out with the full backing of faith and hope. I know my dreams will be delivered to me in 2017. Is it time to send out your dreams?

Day 397 of my blogging challenge. 

A Light on Endurance

elinor1The lights are on again! My part of the town has finally been reconnected to the electricity grid. It’s another sign of the recovery taking place after the flooding in the area. Today I drove through many places where piles of household objects outside on the pavement were a testament to the devastation that water can cause. It made me think about what has happened in the aftermath of Boxing Day.

In all sorts of ways strangers have stepped forward to offer help & support to get people back on their feet again. For the water that flooded into many peoples lives did knock us off balance. We tend to think of our homes as our castles – invulnerable, strong, safe. Having the elements prove that our safety is, at best, relative and, at worst, an illusion has a psychological impact that is hard to classify. I know that I got through some of the days by ‘soldiering on’ – I wasn’t facing the loss of anything more significant that the contents of my freezer and heat & light for a few days – so going out and getting cleaning up done was a useful distraction. Yet today I wasn’t ready for the impact that no heat, little in the way of hot food and the lack of electric light would eventually have. It’s hard to sleep when you are waiting for the next siren alarm to sound. Or when you are listening to who is moving about in the street and wondering what they are up to.  When you are still groggy from concussion thinking straight is a challenge. Being positive in the wee small hours of a total darkness that you aren’t use to seems like too big an ask!

There has been so much help but not many people asking ‘what do you need’. I for one needed a hug. I needed someone to tell me to hang on because it was all going to be ok. I needed to have my wobble without some well meaning person trying to solve a practical problem that I didn’t have. I needed a hot shower & some plain, palatable hot food. I needed the Light back in my home again. With those small things I would be able to endure for much longer. Without them I was feeling weak, overwhelmed, alone in a crowded town. To stay positive I needed some room for all the low energy feelings to surface and be released.

I got my hug from a lovely man at the town hall. His words were a great encouragement. I got my hot food & a shower at my auntie’s home. I sat and had my wobble in my Centre where it’s always peaceful. I found I was ready to endure whatever I might need to as another storm front is moving in and the outcome is uncertain. Most of all, I found that in uncertain times the appreciation of small things restores hope. Without hope we are ready to sink under the water. Given hope we are ready to fight our way to the surface. Drowning stops being the only option. Hope lights up my life again, I am refreshed and renewed so the journey can continue.

Next time you offer to help try asking ‘what do you need’ instead of saying ‘I can do this or that, you only have to ask’. Asking for help isn’t always an option when you are trying to wrap your mind around what has just happened. If you ask about what is needed then you are offering hope. You are giving someone time to work out what it is they actually need, even what they feel about what has happened and you are kick starting the grieving process. You may find that you are hugging them (one way or another) through a wobble. What you will certainly be doing, alongside the hope, is giving them the strength to carry on enduring for a little bit longer.

Day 43 of my blogging challenge.