The adventure of crafting hope is a lifelong journey. It is full of twists and turns; mysteries and mayhem; the precious and the perilous–such is the life of an adventurer. In our journey towards a more HOPE-full life, attitude is everything and gratitude is a great place to start to work on developing the attitude of an adventurer.
One adventurer that I can appreciate is the character of Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. If you have not seen this movie I recommend the first one only—it’s the best.
Captain Jack has been betrayed, robbed and abandoned by those of his own crew. He has lost his ship and consequently his purpose in life–pirating for treasure. In the movie he is seeking that which he has lost–what was taken from him–yet he has never lost hope. Just to be clear, I am not in any way advocating piracy, debauchery, deception, or any other immoral or criminal activity–that being said I do find the character of Cpt. Sparrow to be one of hopeful redemption. He was always willing to be flexible and change his plans as the situation changes. He has many side adventures while never losing sight of his ultimate goal. And along the way he:
Eventually he recaptured his ship, saved the lives of the cursed crew and helped his two friends discover their feelings for one another. All in all a good adventure.
While I like uncertainty, rising obstacles, side trips in my adventure movies, in my life I want things to go how I want–don’t we all. This attitude can be very limiting, rigid and obnoxious, at best. It puts me in the position of having my feet planted, my arms crossed and my mind set–not exactly the position of an adventurer.
I have found that being grateful keeps me in a place of budding opportunity–a place where I am light on my feet and quick in my ability to recalibrate and recalculate as the situations arise. I can be grateful for things I can’t control and see them as opportunities to grow and learn. I am a freshman in this class of adventuring but I am seeing the joy and flexibility in it all.
Finding things to be grateful for in any given situation opens up the realm of possibilities. For example, financial need has made it necessary for me to find a part-time job and while this can be stressful, I can choose to view it as an adventure.
Where will I apply?
What will I be learning to do in my new job?
Who will I meet?
How will this add to my life experiences?
Even though there is that voice inside that says:
how can you take on one more thing?
how will your family do without you?
what if this is just too much?
what if you hate it?
I can choose through gratitude to listen to the first voice–the voice of adventure; the voice of hope.
I can choose to be grateful that I have the ability to be able to work and a vehicle to get me there.
I will choose to trust that my family will adjust and join me in this new adventure and be grateful for their support.
I can remember to breathe and learn to let things go if I need to or learn to ask for help and be grateful for a full life.
I may hate it but I choose to have faith that I will land in the right spot and be grateful for the opportunity.
Most days I can stick to that plan. I have had moments of doubt but I quickly find something to be thankful for and focus on my blessings. It’s not always easy but worth the effort. Maybe my example seems small and trite compared to what you are going through. I would encourage you even more to dig deep into realm of gratitude. Remember that gratitude is the food for hope and hope gets hungry on adventures.
Gratitude also does wonders to keep fear and doubt at bay. They are the nagging little thieves who are constantly seeking to steal our hope or starve it into oblivion by stealing our ability to be grateful.
At the end of the movie, Captain Jack Sparrow has his ship, crew and compass back (spoiler alert). He steps up to the wheel of the ship, opens his compass and says “Now bring me that horizon”. A new adventure awaits..
This is the essence of hope in a phrase.
If you close your eyes and imagine that you are on the deck of your ship, the wind at your back, the sun just coming up, a full crew and supplies for your next adventure, your compass open and ready can you sense the anticipation of the adventurer in you? Come on… say it with me:
Now bring me that horizon…
Heidi Mull, advocating adventure and enjoying my new job.