Day 18 – Making Hope Real
“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” – Vaclav Havel
Today’s meditation is about helping to make hope real for others. Of course, fundamentally each person must create hope from within themselves, but we can also play an instrumental role in supporting that hope-building process. The way we do this is to learn how to deeply listen, see, and feel another person. When we can be with and acknowledge another person without any judgment or agenda, then our core hope is supporting their core hope on a real soul-to-soul level.
Today we set about the business of making hope real. Welcome to Day 18. When I opened my school in South Africa I said to Maya Angelou, “You know the girls in this school will be my greatest legacy and Maya surprised when she responded, “You have no idea what your legacy will be. Your legacy is what you do everyday. Your legacy is every life you’ve ever touched. Every person whose life was ever moved or not. It’s every person you’ve harmed or helped. That is your legacy,” Maya said to me.
So I started to rethink that legacy. Because it’s how you treat that person behind the counter at the store. It’s how your interaction with your child’s teacher. It’s your encounters with your colleagues at work, in your family, the people in your neighborhood. What I know for sure is that to reach people and share the energy of hope, you have to do more than just listen to them. You have to see them. I’ve often said that each of the tens of thousands of people I’ve interviewed had one thing in common…they all wanted to be seen and heard. They wanted validation.
When people are validated, when they know you see me, you hear me, and what I’m saying means something to you, they feel like they’re not alone and that they matter. That is the deepest reality, the deepest desire, we all share…is to matter. And that’s the way to make hope real for anyone in your world. Make them matter.
Deepak guides us to the power of deeply hearing and seeing another person.
Often in times of uncertainty and confusion it feels like no matter how hard you try something is bound to go wrong. For many this sense of hopelessness is tied to depression and anxiety, while in milder forms it keeps others tough, in a state of expecting little in life.
If you believe you don’t deserve much happiness and success, hiding beneath the surface is absence of hope. The problem is that losing hope buys into an illusion. Because hope is a quality of the true self, it is grounded in reality. Loss of hope is grounded in the past. Old wounds, negative beliefs, low self-esteem and disappointed expectations…these are phantoms of the mind and we believe they are real because we think the fear they generate will protect us from further pain.
When someone is losing hope they will find a solution if they are guided to the deeper reality inside themselves. Reassuring them that some external factor, meeting a person, acquiring more money or moving to a different place will solve their insecurity is not useful. More importantly without basing your hope and present awareness the fear of uncertainty never goes away.
Ideally the path of self-awareness is open through meditation. If this is not feasible for the other person you can still inspire hope in them. Do they need reminding that they are strong or that they are loved? Do they need to feel less alone or that others appreciate them?
The first step in making hope real for that person is to ask and listen from the level of the heart. Don’t try to change a situation according to your own preconceptions. Let your insight into what is needed come up of its own accord. When you do speak, talk to the hope you see in the other person, whatever it is.
Also immediate hope is better than long-range hope. Make it clear that the present moment is a place of hope because it is the only place where change can happen. Yesterday and tomorrow are only ideas. Your action plan is to bring no judgment, no expectations, to deeply listen to the other person, offering help, here and now, and, therefore, keeping everything real. By your example you show that the unknown is not fearful but an opening into renewal and change.
My hope is grounded in a deeper reality.
Om Eem Shreem
My being radiates wisdom and abundance.
Today I try to live my life optimistically, with the glass half full, knowing that whatever happens happens for a reason, a reason to make me a better person and to help me grow. Of course things happen that don’t make me especially happy, that’s going to take my time and energy away from the things I love, but, oh well. It happened. Live with it. Deal with it. And move on…a better person.
I also try to live my life hopefully, faithfully, again, that what happens happens for a reason. I have no control over people, places and things. But I do have control over how I am going to react to them. I don’t. I take a deep breath and have faith that a Power Greater than Myself is guiding me through lessons I need to learn. I am hopeful to learn those lessons.
With time and practice this way of life, at looking at life, becomes easier. My life goes more effortlessly. I feel better and freer. And I try to share this outlook with those who enter my “Dee bubble”. When one enters my bubble I try my hardest to give them my full attention, mindfulness, eye contact, respect and compassion. I try to put myself in their shoes. And then I go within to, “What would Dee do? What would Dee’s Higher Power have her do?” And then I share my hope.
Validation is key. Helping others to know that they are gifts, that they have attributes, that they are worthy. Yes, they matter! The beautiful thing is that we connect. So share your gifts with those who enter your bubble. Be a nice human today. Share that this present moment is perfect. Don’t shit on it by going back into yesterday or venturing into tomorrow. Be the HOPE!
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.