Hope is a singular word, almost as enigmatic as the word “love”. It is a truth that binds us, a thread that connects us and when shattered, a dust that chokes us. Hope restores our faith in those around us and in high powers and for some gives us a reason to go on with life in the most dire circumstances.
It is almost impossible to truly define in words what hope is and how it can drastically affect someone’s life.
I will be the first to admit that there have been times when things truly seemed hopeless in my life. Sitting in the gutter, uncertain of what reason there was for living – I was utterly and completely without hope. But yet, there must have been an ember of hope, a smoldering ash, otherwise why would I be here to write to you now?
So, the question arises; what was it that got me back up again? What was it that allowed me to pick myself up from where I was in those darkest times? I would like to say it was my faith. But that would be a lie. Until recently I have never had much faith in God, or any other higher power. I would like to say it was my family, but in this particular time I had no family within 500 miles. I had two friends who at the time were kind enough to let me shower at their home while I tried to get my life going again.
No, although my views on this are changing I do believe that there must have been a splinter, a sliver of hope, somewhere buried inside me. The truth is, I had two choices. I could kill myself and end it all or I could go on trying… and what would killing myself have done? It would have shattered the life of my father, mother, brother and sister, despite the fact that they lived hundreds or thousands of miles away. That was a consequence I couldn’t live with. So, no matter how little hope I had, I had no choice but to remain alive and see where life took me.
Fortunately it took me in the right direction, to a better life. It took me to a group of loving friends and most importantly, to fatherhood.
So, where does hope come from? Perhaps it comes from the desire not to cause pain on others – to make your life better through your actions or inactions? Perhaps it has nothing to do with anyone else, but more to do with the core of what you are? Hope is… personal. Hope is… life. Hope is… strength, even if it is the smallest – most unmeasurable amount of strength there is. Hope is a light… when all else has gone dark.
Sometimes we see people as they are now and never realize the troubles they have seen. No, I had no idea you had such a troubled past. I’ve been in “hopeless” situations, too. But as you did, I hung on to that ember.