The vital priority of HOPE
This is the second (2nd) in a series of seven (7) articles on having fun learning how to run our very own brain, or if you like, learning how to manage our very own brain. If you missed the introduction or the first article, just click on the appropriate link below:
Our brain is an incredibly wondrous part of ourselves, even when it is not working optimally. Think of how it helps you every day, minute-by-minute, second-by-second (your every breath and heartbeat, literally). 😮
Out of sight to flower bright
The point of the crocus photo above, for me, is not that every flower brings color and freshness and HOPE to each of us (which it does). Rather it is that when we look at a dark (hopeless) rotten piece of soil or other dark (hopeless) space, we have no no clue (no evidence) that out of that utter and complete darkness will spring life and color and fragrance and HOPE.
When our lives present us with dark spaces, we are tempted to give up HOPE. Indeed we may actually exercise the decision, based on the unavailable evidence before us, to actually give up HOPE.
Little do we know the huge price we may pay for that HOPE-less decision, for giving up our grip on the present, and our vital lifeline to our future.
We do need concrete reminders it seems
When I am working with clients who have given up HOPE, I ask them to develop their own meaningful image of something, or someone, that epitomizes HOPE for them, HOPE in capital letters. For some it would be a picture in their mind’s eye (their powerful visual brain) of sunshine, gentle soul-warming sunshine.
If they choose a person, I advise them to make sure the HOPE symbol person is “permanent” in some way, such as a dead hero, or dead ancestor. The problem with living HOPE symbols is that they may die, and your HOPE might die with them. Unless of course, they are permanently implanted in your brain as a living being image, or a living soul, whether they die or not.
An airplane would be my image of HOPE. Which seems unusual until you know that I love flying. When I was younger I flew little airplanes. Loved it. I still love flying in various aircraft, even when I am simply traveling on a commercial airliner.
I am always astounded when the weather is black and stormy here below, and I have lost my way mentally, so to speak, and the darkness seems total, I am able to draw on my flying experience.
The plane in storm darkness here below, as it departs the ground, and gains altitude, emerges gloriously into sunlight above. I am completely refreshed mentally, physically, and spiritually in a way not easy to describe.
HOPE is knowing sunshine is always above the clouds, no matter what my circumstances are here below.
“Mornin Sun” from: http://photobucket.com/images/%22mornin%20sun%22/ ………………………………………………………………………………………………
Why don’t I remember the glorious sunlight when I am in the darkness on the ground!?
My mental image of an airplane does actually bring that remembrance to mind, to my brain’s visual centre, when I need it. I have to practice remembering the airplane image and the sun above, however, for this to be effective for me.
My friend says that the sun is not always shining above the clouds. At night, it is the stars that are always shining above the clouds. And, says my friend, “The stars shine out HOPE for me far brighter than the brightest sun.”
Yes! Whatever image you create especially for you, for your very own brain, right?
“Hey, guy, HOPE fades,” say some
“So does bathing,” says Zig Ziglar, “that’s why we recommend doing it every day.” 😮
We all need to develop some simple way to refresh our HOPE image daily. A picture of HOPE on the fridge at home? A HOPE picture taped to a mirror at home? A small simple symbol of HOPE hanging from the rear-view mirror in our car? A HOPE reminder on our desk at work? An HOPE image in our back pack for school, or multiple HOPE images in our main study materials? A simple HOPE ditty we sing to ourselves anytime?
HOPE is more secure if you use an image that is “permanent,” like sun, moon, stars, nature, music, poetry, prose quotation, powerful story, etc.
Perhaps we could use a baby or a child, provided we don’t know them. The generic innocence of infancy, if you like, as a symbol of HOPE. If we know the baby or child, and they die, there may be a real risk that our HOPE might die with them. Unless of course our HOPE is pinned irrevocably on them as an eternal being, as an eternal “child of God,” for example. If that is unquestionably permanent for you, then is might be solid for your HOPE image.
“Beaming Sunshine,” from: http://photobucket.com/images/%22beaming%20sunshine%22/ …………………………………………………………………………….
What is your concrete image of HOPE?
Every person will have a different picture of what means real HOPE to them.
For some, it is not a visual image of HOPE alone; for some it is a song of HOPE, or a piece of inspiring music of HOPE.
For some it is a poem of HOPE.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
– William Ernest Henley, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invictus
“INVICTUS” is particularly inspiring when we remember two things:
(1) This was no “armchair” exercise for William Ernest Henley; he suffered terribly and his poem of HOPE sustained him. Among other things he had his leg amputated below the knee. [From Wikipedia: William Ernest Henley (1849–1903).]
(2) Even though Henley doesn’t say it explicitly in the poem, we all need to keep in mind, in the reality part of our brain, that we do not need to face the horrors alone. Help is often where we least expect to find it, and even when their is no obvious source of help or HOPE, the HOPE seed is implanted within the brain and heart and soul of each of us. Our HOPE is stronger than we think.
And still, we need to nourish it constantly, like a plant, so HOPE will flourish and flower always in us.
We just simply have to hang on to HOPE for dear life, no matter what!
To hidden strengths we don’t know we have!
Doc Meek, Sun, June 27, 2010, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA
“What if you are smarter than you think?”
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