Have you ever thought about what Hope and Fear have in common? They both have to do with what lies ahead. They only exist when we are looking to the future. When I am afraid, I may be feeling the fear right here and now. But, what I am afraid of has nothing to do with what is, it has to do with what MIGHT BE. And here is the real paradox. No matter how things come to pass, once they do, I am no longer afraid.
Hope, like Fear, is all about what could happen. Hope is a necessary means of walking through Fear. It inspires me to allow change. Gives me the initiative to move forward, regardless of not being sure of the outcome. I’ve heard the old saying, “Fear is a lack of Faith.” But I have had several moments where I felt both Fear and Faith together. For me, Faith is how I walk through my Fears today. But, I was not born with Unconditional Faith. First I had to learn to carry Unconditional Hope.
When I was first getting off drugs, I had no idea what life was going to be like without getting high. I could not fathom a life without the assisted escape from pain and problems. When I first found the 12 Steps of recovery, I misread the very first step. I thought the first step was telling me that I had to admit I was weak and a failure as a person. But, it had little to do with weakness and failure. It had everything to do with finding Hope!
The first step states, “We were Powerless.” I first read it as, “I Am Powerless.” There may not seem to be much of a difference. But, for me, the difference became ‘Life Changing.’ I did not like the thought of being Powerless over anything. Regardless I still realized, “I Am Powerless.” However, those who were already staying clean and living healthier lives were no longer powerless. And the difference was all in how it was written. Step One did not say ‘I’ it said ‘We.’ And when ‘I’ became ‘We,’ we found a power that gave us the strength to change ‘I Am’ (present tense) to ‘We were’ (past tense). It was this realization that first gave me Hope. Hope that I could eventually put my ‘Powerlessness’ in the past.
It goes on to say, “Our Lives Had become Unmanageable.” Once, again I read it as, “My Life Is Unmanageable.” And believe me, it was. But, it does not have to be today. As long as I can change ‘I’ to ‘We’ and ‘My’ to ‘Our,’ then ‘I am Powerless’ becomes ‘We were Powerless’ and ‘My Life is Unmanageable’ becomes ‘Our Life had been Unmanageable”. Through this one simple change in perception, we gain Unconditional Hope. Hope that no matter what is making us feel powerless or what is causing our lives to seem unmanageable. We can face it; we can get past it. And we can do it together through Hope!
“Always Aspire to inspire, before we expire.”