When I think of what means the most to me and what I love to do, I get this amazing strong feeling inside me. Over time I have come to recognize this as hope. I feel it right in the center of me, which maybe is what people refer to as “the pit of my stomach”. Wherever it is residing, I know it is my center and even more importantly, I know it came from deep in my heart and soul. There is a joy to this sensation of hope and it’s steady and strong, with a weight to it that makes me aware of how substantial this feeling is. It has life to it and gravitas. I learned about the word gravitas from a dear friend of mine years ago. This Latin word is one of the Roman virtues that signifies something being of substance and quality, such as a depth of personality and integrity.
Hope can at times be a scary thing. I don’t mean fear that can be warning us of danger, but that feeling of scared that reminds me of being at the top of a roller-coaster ride right before it’s about to plunge steeply down into a path unknown. At thrilling moments like these, my stomach lurches up into my throat, seeming to catch my heart along the way, and there they both shake around and hang on for the ride until it slows down and my inner organs return to settle into their original place. This is the kind of scary that hope seems to bring about, because it makes me so aware that there is so much I do not know and don’t have answers for…yet I have the opportunity to take the risk and step into…into what?
Each day, there are things unknown and even what I think is going to turn out my way or that I have chosen and worked so hard to orchestrate, can and usually does turn out differently and surprises me. My point here is that either way, we move forward and take risks, we really do. So why not move forward and take our steps into what we hope the most for? Otherwise, we may find that we are living without hope. And hope is good exercise for the heart. It’s the preface to courage and the fuel for joy.
What does hope feel like for you? Do you pay attention to hope? Are you afraid of hoping or are you welcoming it and all that it can bring into your heart and life? My hope for you in reading this, is that you stop to listen and ask questions. You can ask yourself out loud when you’re alone and you can ask yourself quietly within your head. What is most important is that you stop everything for a time to listen and ask questions of yourself. My bet is that you will encounter something there. This time, stand your ground and listen to your hope. Get to know how it feels inside you.