Day 16 – Reigniting the Spark of Hope
“Each time someone stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others… he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” – Robert Kennedy
Today’s meditation is about how we can become a beacon of hope for others by offering love and support without expecting anything in return from them. You can reawaken their hope by living that example of hope in your own life. When we can accept and love another person without judgment, we are connecting our true self with their true self on the feeling level. This breaks down the barriers of defensiveness and distrust, while reigniting their light of hope.
Welcome to Day 16 of our mediation experience – Reigniting the Spark of Hope. As far back as I can recall my prayer has been the same, “Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, what I want to be, what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”
I hold close my favorite quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., where he says everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame, but greatness, because greatness is determined by service. Think about your own life right now and how you can serve your way to greatness. When you shift your focus from success to service, everything in your life shifts, everything, without exception will have more meaning.
Dr. Brené Brown says, “If you want to help others effectively, you must first allow yourself to be vulnerable.” This is a sticking point for so many of us. We want to be the light of hope for someone else but we’re often unwilling to open up and share our own flaws. Are you someone who gets your self-worth from helping others? Brené says when you extract self-worthiness from people you are helping, that’s judgment. But when you’re helping people with a hope that one day you might need help from them, that is connection, reaching out with no expectation but with the hope of connection. That is a spark that will light up the world. Deepak shows us how we can instill hope in others with the bonds of giving and service.
To be a beacon of hope you cannot have an ulterior motive. When you come from the level of the ego the motive is always self-centered. Others will have competing agendas of their own. How do we rise above this clash in a way that serves both you and the other person?
First offer hope, love, support and encouragement without having any expectation that the other person will change the way you want them to. People can always sense when we are judging them or have a hidden agenda. Once they feel this they resent and resist the interference. Instead of changing they contract into a self-defensive posture. You don’t need another person to change to rekindle their hope. You only need to be that change, to live that light of hope in your own life. Then the natural motivating power of hope begins to work.
Your own hope comes from your connection of your true self. Likewise when you help someone else to reconnect to their true self you give them hope that change is possible. The feeling level is all important. Just as people detect when they’re being judged they also detect when they are accepted.
Don’t try to help if you feel you are angry, disappointed or ashamed. Work on yourself first. Getting to a place where you accept and welcome the other person’s existence, then you will create a heart-to-heart bond at the level of feeling. This bond can work miracles because it takes down barriers of distrust, defensiveness, guilt and shame. Once inner barriers come down your hope can reignite the spark of hope in someone else.
Realistically every relationship is entangled with the past making it hard to relate without judgment toward someone else. Especially in families there’s a tendency to put people in a box believing they will never change. But consider how much you want to escape the box you’ve been put in. Everyone has that feeling because everyone wants more freedom and to be themselves. When you allow that yearning of freedom in someone else you are recognizing how much you feel the same way. Then ego doesn’t block your view. You genuinely hope for the best in every situation no matter what happened in the past.
I bond with others to give them hope.
Om Karuna Namah
I invoke the universal power of compassion.
I remember walking into my first AA meeting. I was scared shitless who in my town, would see me walk through that door or, more so, who was on the other side. But for some strange reason after that traumatic first few seconds, I saw faces I didn’t know and I saw faces of those I did know. There was no trauma nor drama. There was no guilt nor shame. I felt uncomfortably, or comfortably, home. My head says uncomfortably, but my heart was comfortable.
There was no judgment. Only welcoming and smiles and the feeling I got was one of hope and love. I know today that these folks, the fellowship of AA, wanted nothing from me but my own well-being. They were able and willing to love me until I could love myself and expected nothing in return. They got to stay sober!
Today I get to offer that same greeting and hope to the newcomer. Today I have the purpose of sharing my experience, strength and hope with those in need whether they are struggling with alcoholism, another addiction, abuse, mental disorders, or just life in general.
It took time for me to get comfortable enough in my own skin to share my experience, strength and hope with others. For me that meant being rigorously honest. That didn’t mean while I was a grocery checker I got on the intercom and announced, “Hi, I’m Dee. I’m an alcoholic. No waiting at checkstand 3.” But it did mean that when my gut felt like someone entered my “Dee bubble” and I could offer a ray of hope with being rigorously honest about my alcoholism, but more so about my recovery, I shared from my heart. I found my words bringing people to tears, happy tears, by sharing my word, my hope, my mindfulness with them.
To be a beacon of hope to another human being does help me to stay sober one more day. I learned early on, and proved it 13-1/2 years after my initial sobriety date when I stopped going to meetings and relapsed, that “you can’t keep it unless you give it away.” I don’t expect anything from the person with whom I share my hope, but I do get to stay humble and grateful and remember where I came from.
My message to all is to love yourself. Just as you are. For who and what you are. Don’t compare yourself to others. Remember your unique gifts. Share those with others. You are so perfect just the way you are at this very moment. Never forget that! And never forget that you don’t have to do this on your own.
For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com. Mahalo and have an awesome day!
From Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience on HOPE.