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.
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.
Touching on the wellspring of hope inevitably turns life into a wonder, and that wondrous 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.
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 despair.
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.