In the blink of an eye, the sky can change. What was once vivid, colourful, and clear, can become the darkest of greys as the inevitable clouds begin to roll in. And once they settle, appearing to consume everything that ever was, a heaviness can easily take hold.
In life, the good times and the bad, frequent as often as the sun and the moon. But unlike the earths cyclical dance, the sequence of our steps often fall in and out of turn, without any real rhyme or reason. And as we seemingly come to expect the constancy of our dimly lit backdrop, we push hope outside on the doorsteps of our hearts, to fend for itself, as the rain comes crashing down.
We justify these actions as a means of protection because we feel as though we simply cannot bear another setback, or we just cannot stomach another disappointment. We diligently and tirelessly manage and adjust our expectations in order to preclude any form of consequential let down.
But we didn’t always feel this way.
As children we opened as many doors as we could – simultaneously and without pause. We sought out the seemingly impossible on the daily, with our swords drawn, on a quest we titled: To Prove Them Wrong! And we wore our hearts and hopes on our sleeves because if we weren’t dreaming or trying to believe in something, then what were we even doing?
“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”
– Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts On Common Things
So when did we become so scared? Why did we stop believing?
Honestly, I don’t know.
Like an overprotective parent accidentally hindering the life of their child, a grown adult can easily sabotage their own wellbeing as they consistently shade themselves from the light.
But we can find our way home.
In life, among all the chaos and repetitive inconsistencies, there is one thing I know for certain.
Hope is not some passive notion that will just keep knocking on our doors, until one day, we just happen to answer. It is an active commitment that requires love, energy and attention, but most importantly, it requires our vulnerabilities.
For hope to succeed, for it to produce its magic, and for it to send out its beautiful frequencies and vibrations into the world, it needs us to admit something to ourselves first.
It needs us to reveal the extent of our longing, it needs us to be honest about our deepest desires, and it needs us to own them without holding back. It needs us to shift our focus from protecting ourselves, to protecting it. And as such, it needs us to open up that door and let it back inside, into our hearts.
Because if we can’t admit that simple truth to ourselves, if we can’t be transparent and open enough within the spaces of our own thoughts, then I’m not sure that we even deserve the beauty of its magic.
It needs us to let go.
It needs us to put down our weapons.
And it needs us to stand there, with our arms wide open, without an ounce of guarantee that we will receive anything in return.
Because that’s what being brave is all about.
It’s a feeling of trust when we have every reason to doubt. It’s a commitment in knowing and recognizing that there will always be a tomorrow, that at some point the clouds will begin to part, and that even when it feels like the sun has gone away forever, it’s truly believing that it will shine again.
It’s coming up against all odds. It’s the tingles of the seemingly impossible dreams, and it’s the tired and exhausted corners of our minds that just need that little break, that small breath of fresh air, so that we can keep going.
It’s much larger than the confines of the walls we try to hold it in. And even though it may feel more safe and secure to try to manage and control it, it doesn’t belong there.
It deserves to be free.
So during these times, more now than ever before, when the sky begins to change and you start to feel that heaviness take hold, bring hope inside. Let it sit with you in the unknown. Tell it that you’re scared, confess that you don’t know how it will all work out, but admit, wholeheartedly, how badly you want it to.
Because the ones who dance with hope, the ones who approach uncertainty with just a single flame of light, and the ones who seek out disappointment as a way to reaffirm that their lives are truly being lived, are the bravest ones of all.