The Reality of Hope
Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
Oftentimes, as we enter a new year, people think in terms of immediately going beyond the moment to what they will be planning for that year. We know that there are New Year’s resolutions, promises made, diets and programs. But often the experience of making those promises takes a person out of the possibility of being here now. Reveal yourself! Be your magnificent self!
People often use the word hope when speaking about the year. Hope for what? That something wonderful might eventually come? That if we do everything right, we’ll finally know that experience? Hope that the person who’s bugging you stops? Hope that the situation in which you find yourself is straightened out because everybody else starts behaving themselves? Touching the possibility of things being different, touching hope, a person probably experiences a juicy feeling. But if one stays there too long, one immediately takes him- or herself out of the possibility of knowing and bringing heaven.
Jesus’ saying was that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It’s not “coming”; it’s not “over.” It’s “at hand,” which does mean that the abundance of what is present, which was spoken so beautifully in those words, can be delivered, and heaven can be known. Heaven can be brought and it can be enjoyed. It is often believed that the only reason a person is not having a wonderful experience is because of others in their world. Or a person may believe that they are having a wonderful experience, but they would have a much better one if others would leave. Of course everyone involved may be thinking the same thing about each other!
Wanting and waiting for things to be different has become an addiction. For the children of the world, heaven is known when they get the right presents at Christmastime. How early that training is set in! People become addicted to the belief that if they get the right things, they will have a heavenly experience. For the child, they may think “If only I had gotten the toys I wanted, it would have been a great Christmas.” There is also the addiction of waiting for the perfect moment to deliver it. It’s a lose-lose situation. If you’re waiting for the right thing to happen before you actually reveal yourself and indulge in the glory of the moment, that circumstance most likely will never show up. It can’t show up as long as a person’s attitude is that they are waiting for it.
Waiting in the Cleveland airport, I read a front-page New York Times article that talked about the addiction to putting off pleasure. It seems contradictory in the culture of immediate gratification to hear about the postponing of pleasure. But both these tendencies—immediate gratification and pleasure postponement—are born out of one thing, which is a failure to see the real opportunity in the present moment. So a person feels so uncomfortable that they reach for the cocktail or the piece of chocolate, or they save the imagined pleasure for later. The article in the New York Times reported on the rise in gift certificates or vouchers that companies offer, knowing that people are likely to postpone cashing in on them.
What is present in heaven, waiting to come to earth now because you and I are present and enjoying it? Our joy is a factor in bringing what could be present in our immediate experience. Are we waiting for it to be given to us, or are we delivering it? Are we revealing it? Here are some words from the reading we shared earlier.
Take your place.
Be where you belong…
Join me, dear one,
At the center of the storm,
Inside the clamor and the noise,
Cloaked in my love,
Bathed in my peace,
Overflowing with my joy.
You belong here.
Here—overflowing with joy. Are you waiting for a moment to let that happen? Do you have it in reserve, gathering interest, so that someday you’ll actually know it? Is it your retirement fund? I’m sure we’ve all heard stories of people who wait to live their life till they retire, and then they have a heart attack.
The word hope can be about postponing joy to the future. I thought of my own version of the word. It is an acronym for the creative process that brings joy now.
“H” – Hold the space
“O” – Open up
“P” – Provide the vehicle
“E” – Engage
That is real hope, life in the hands of a creator being. Hold the space, open up, provide the vehicle, and engage. Then you provide the hope for the whole world to know what’s possible, to know that joy is right here now.
Having just gone through the holidays with my family, I experienced the family patterns showing up as they often do when families gather. Each member of the family has desires about how things should go. Everyone wants it to be a great Christmas. For some it’s the addiction to having it be exactly like it always has been, because “that’s the way we do it.” For others, it’s never been great that way, so let’s do it totally different. Now, when you have two sisters who feel like that, what do you do? You have to be responsible for holding the space, opening up to what’s possible, providing a vehicle for everybody to know that they can be joyous, no matter what happens, and engage with them at the level where you love them more than they ever knew was possible. Then maybe they will know what’s possible. Maybe they will know why you love them.
Have you ever been loved by someone and wondered why? How could they possibly love this unfinished, rocky experience of a person? That’s our job: to love and let people see exactly who they are through our loving eyes; to let them see that this new year that has just begun is the opportunity for them to know the joy of being in heaven, never thinking “But wait—if I just did this one last thing…”
This year has begun and we have new things to do. As we consciously raise the vibration of love being offered into the world, everything changes. It changes me. It changes the way I see you. I’m grateful for this coming year, because I’m still here to be in it, with you.
January 18th, 2010
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