Did you ever wish upon a star? What happened? How did it work for you?
As a young, and not-so-young, child, I would compete with my siblings to see the first star of the evening and proceed to chant:
Star light star bright
first star I see tonight,
wish I may, wish I might,
have this wish I wish tonight.
And let’s not forget Disney’s Blue fairy from Pinocchio:
When you wish upon a star
makes no difference who you are
anything your heart desires will come to you.
The idea of wishing good things into my life and wishing bad things away is captivating to me even now as an adult but HOPE–real HOPE–is not found in a wish nor in a star.
Sometimes having hope means learning to live with pain. Hope continues to look for the good with hopeful expectation but not perfection or the “fixing” of all that seems wrong. Hope is firmly based in reality, as it must be, for hope that is not real is not really hope at all but merely wishful thinking and wishing on a star has never gotten anyone any further along on the journey towards a more HOPE-full life.
So let’s talk about reality and pain and living in a place I like to call “Realsville”.
All of us humans live in Realsvile but some of us try and deny such a reality and we use all sorts of things to do so..
full bank account,
And none of these things are inherently good or bad.
But the truth is we are all humans living temporarily on this earth and are susceptible to the flaws and losses that are common to the human condition:
and even death.
And while money, success, and nice stuff can help to buffer the pain of such things they cannot fully remove them.
So then how do we have hope in the midst of such brokenness and anguish?
How do we learn to live with pain, grief and disappointments?
How can hope help?
First of all let me say that I will not insult your intelligence by suggesting a 3-point-plan-of–hope that will be a “cure-all” to what ails you.
But lets talk about some basic ways to tap into HOPE:
1. YOU ARE OF GREAT VALUE AND WORTH.
You are one of a kind. There is no one else like you. This pain, this trouble is NOT you. It does not define you. You are NOT perfect and your scars and your faults are what make you unique. Caring for the mystery that is you is of utmost importance. Hope in some good coming out of all this is always applied to your self first.
Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune
without the words
and never stops at all.
Hope comes from a place in your soul that knows there is more to you than just this…
We were designed by an infinite and good Creator and although that is hard to reconcile in this place of pain–hope is what dares us to believe in the possibility.
2. YOU ARE NOT ALONE
And you were not meant to be. Even introverts need a friend…
I know that some of your worst pain and disappointments have come from those around you. People hurt people BUT before you write them off remember that you are one, too. I see in me the potential for evil and good. I know I have hurt others knowingly and unknowingly. I have created beautiful things and been apart of beautiful moments only to turn around and destroy with my attitude and words.
Hope calls us to community-a messy community of others who, like us, battle every day to choose:
good over evil
kindness over apathy
love over self-preservation
sharing over hoarding
hope over despair.
We were designed to be in community– “It is not good for man to be alone.“
We need each other-if only to remind us of the need for grace in all of our lives-which leads us to our final thought for today…
3. YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY
Your life, your choices, your experiences in Realsville all say something to those around you and to those with whom you choose to share your stories.
You may not have a Youtube channel, a video blog, a Facebook page, or even a blog, like this one, BUT you are speaking all of the time and those who can “hear” you or are willing to listen can be encouraged and taught by the way you live your life. I have a neighbor who has been nothing but friendly and kind to us for all the years we have lived here.
She welcomed us to the neighborhood,
asks about family members who are battling illness or recently passed,
told my kids to play in the stream by her house and feel free to make a mess and noise,
always had super-sized candy bars for them on Halloween,
shares her garden tomatoes with us,
drops off “extra” things occasionally,
recently “retired” (not her choice) and decided to volunteer to work in the office of the local soup kitchen.
She has lived her life mostly unconnected from social media, and yet, I have learned so much from her. Her life speaks volumes and I have only heard a little of what she has to say. She has lived in Realsville and has found a way to live a more hopeful life. I hope to hear some of her stories soon–I am going to ask her to brunch.
WISH UPON A STAR?
Don’t wish upon a star but be one. Shine where you are. You never know who might be looking for a little help to guide them along the way. Realsville is made of people like you and me. Hope is crafted, cultivated, and created by those of us who choose to make our home here. Write it down somewhere you can see:
YOU ARE OF GREAT VALUE AND WORTH
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY
Choose to shine. Don’t wish on a star–BE ONE. When your light is dim, find a star to spend some time with-like my neighbor.
We were made to shine in the midst of pain, hurt and darkness.
Heidi Mull, living in Realsville, learning to shine.