Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hopeless Wanderer

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on my word for 2014.  That word to guide me.  That word that I need.  Last year, the word was awake.  I wanted to be more mindful of my world.
This year, the word is hope.

Folks, I am weary.  And I’m not weary from the work that I do.  Ok, sometimes I am.

But what am I really weary of?
I am weary of cynicism.

I am weary of negativity.
I am weary of assumption.

And I am guilty of all of the above. 
I took the picture above on a run this fall.  We had some major flooding in the state.  Nearby us is a park that was built for the purpose of flood containment.  After the flood waters had cleared, I was able to survey some of the damage, and I found this.

I didn’t understand what I saw at first.
The brown of the trees, that was the area covered in flood water.  The tips changing in color for the season, that was untouched by the flood.

The trees were still hanging on.

At times, I feel like those trees.  Weighed down by my own negativity and cynicism.  At the top, there is a glimmer of who I can be.  There is a glimmer of hope.
This is the year of hope.

This is when I start to believe that I can do better.  This is when I start to believe that we can all do better. 
In the work that I do, I meet so many people who have run out of people who care.  Friends and family have given up.  And sometimes, those healthy boundaries need to be set.  I can appreciate a healthy boundary.  But sometimes, all people need is someone to simply be with them. 

They don’t need judgment. 
They don’t need sympathy.

They need a person.  A real person.  A real person to say, I am here.  You are not alone.
Sometimes, they need a warrior.  Maybe we can’t always be that.  But we can be there.  We can be present.  My hope for this year is that we stop dismissing people.  That regardless of how someone’s life looks different than ours, that we still hear their story.  That we believe in people.

At the very least, I know that we can be kind. 
I look to the sign on my mantel.  The only decoration now that the Advent season is over.  Life is good.

I know that it life is good for me.  I have been blessed with much.  I have made it through some dark times.  Times when I lost hope.  But what about others?
I need to believe that life is truly good.

So this year, I am going to do my best to look beyond the cynicism.  The negativity.
This year I am going to dare to hope.

Hope that I can be a better person.  Hope that I can overcome my own assumptions and negativity.  Or at least contain it.
Hope that we can all strive for kindness.  That we can put away our need to be right and instead choose kindness.

Last year, I was inspired by a Mumford and Sons song, and this year is the same.
So when your hope's on fire
But you know your desire
Don't hold a glass over the flame
Don't let your heart grow cold
I will call you by name
I will share your road
One of my friends recently posted the following quote on facebook.  It desperately needed to reach my spirit.
Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place. - Kurt Vonnegut
I needed to hear these words. 
I need to let hope take over. 

So this year, I am going to be mindful of hope.  I am going to think back to those trees. 
I am going to let hope shine through.


  1. I read this awhile ago and failed to comment... but now I am back and reread it. I LOVE that your word for the year is hope! I'm weary of cynicism and negativity too. I am always so thankful for friends who remind me to have hope, and I hope that I can be a person who encourages hope in others as well.

  2. Well don't feel bad because I am finally commenting on your comment. :) Seems strange now that I picked this word considering all the transition that has happened since.


Be kind, not judgey