For me, oftentimes the word HOPE takes on different meanings based on various life challenges. Today, and in these past few months, I find myself in a predicament not of my choosing causing me monumental life challenges to deal with that I will “hopefully” overcome soon. I am thinking of each letter in the word H.O.P. E. as a meaningful word in and of itself, that resonates for me in my life right now:
Helpless, Optionless, Perseverance, Equanimity.
Of the four words, the most important word is equanimity, since its meaning is allowing me to somehow seek “balance” in my topsy-turvy curve-ball of a life right now. The word perseverance is a daily mindset that I am somehow finding the courage to practice, moment by moment. The first two words: helpless and optionless are how I authentically feel, but I am doing my personal best to remove these negative words, since repeating them only causes me to ruminate about my unfortunate predicament, which is totally out of my control.
The uncertainty of life has always existed, but in the past year enduring this horrid pandemic, we all had to experience uncertainty up close and personal. We realized nothing is in our control, except our attitude and perspective. My hope is we will not forget all we learned going through this period of discombobulation of life as we knew it. Even with all the grief and economic hardship, we found new ways to work, live and stay connected with each other. Some of these new methods will probably become the new “norm”, and that is a good thing. It makes me think about the old saying: “every cloud has a silver lining”. It has been cloudy for way too long, now we can see some rays of sunshine at the end of this tunnel! We all deserve congratulations for getting through to the other side together. As all of us get excited about returning to some sort of normalcy after the pandemic is over, life continues to throw out curve balls for many of us. I never liked the saying: “It is what it is”, but I’ve come to realize when it comes to living with acceptance in the “now”, those five words say it so succinctly. I love listening to The Beatles song “Let it Be” and use that phrase on a daily basis to get through to the next moment.
Personally speaking, I am going through a horrible feeling of displacement since I had to move unexpectedly out of my rental home, it was sold a few months ago during the pandemic. That’s why the first two words within the word “HOPE” begin with helpless and optionless. I was unable to secure a new place to live in Sedona, and had no other options in the time frame I was given to move, so I felt helpless in such a predicament that was entirely out of my control. I felt so safe and comfortable in my home sweet home, especially during the pandemic, and for the past five years. Sadly, I had to sell most of my cherished belongings, and when I allow myself to think about it, I feel such sadness and grief, it just breaks my heart. Thankfully, I had one option to move across the country to New York, to temporarily stay with my family to ride out the rest of the pandemic. I am so grateful to have a safe place to live, to enjoy special milestone birthday celebrations with my brother and nephew, and most of all, I have to trust in the Divine Timing of it all.
Speaking of divine timing, I could never have imagined what is occurring right now in Sedona, Arizona. Somehow I feel as if the Universe saved me from having to experience what my dear friends are having to endure, my whole heart goes out to them. Last week’s historic heat waves, and now a disastrous wildfire that is way too close to home. The uncertainty of being on ready status to leave their homes, and the health hazard of breathing toxic air from the smoke is such an awful out of control predicament to be in. I pray everyone stays safe, and that the monsoon rains come soon to clean the air and put out the fires. Even though I am thousands of miles away, I read the Facebook community posts, see frightening pictures of my previous hometown, and I can’t help but feel that awful sense of fear that they must be experiencing.
In my life now living on the East Coast, it’s been six weeks since I have been in my temporary home in New York, and needless to say, it has been quite the adaptation for all of us. Thankfully, I am good at adapting, and knowing in my heart that this is only a bridge to my next adventure, I am trying to make the best of it. The big question every morning when I wake up is: “where is my next home sweet home going to be?”, and so far I am coming up blank. It is a very odd feeling, the uncertainty, the not knowing, the “optionless” feeling, and all I can do is wait and listen for answers to come.
I am slowly finding my way to stillness and quiet moments of meditation, learning to keep my perspective positive, and open to whatever feels right. And again, that is where the word “equanimity” as part of the word “HOPE” fits in so perfectly. It reminds me to keep calm during this time of feeling so uncertain, and offers me the ability to stay centered, balanced, and somewhat grounded in my current circumstances. I have to be patient and trust that Divine Timing is happening behind the scenes, and there will be a new home awaiting me, in the right place, at the right time, and I will feel like myself once again. In the meantime, I am writing a gratitude journal daily, and am so grateful for all the love and support I am receiving from dear friends and family.
One of my favorite quotes by Marcel Proust is: “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
In honor of Helen Keller’s Birthday today, here is my favorite quote of hers, and it fits perfectly for my life right now:
“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.”