The Good News and the Bad News

Ink on Sketch Paper – Words: Martin Luther King, Jr.

It was one of those nights when things are on your mind and no matter how you try, sleep is no where on your radar. So I spent a few hours in the studio, thinking about the strangeness that grief and death brings into our lives. In my 5 Stages of Grief journal I am filling pages with words, quotes and text about our experiences and as sleep eluded me, this one came to life. The quote reads:

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

-Martin Luther king, jr.

I crowded these words on the page with other text, which seemed appropriate. Disappointment has a way of shoving, pushing it’s way into our lives when we really want things neat and tidy. We survive through systems, order, habits and routines that keep things moving forward. They keep us progressing, being productive and even help us calm our mind. Knowing things are a certain way allows us to expend our energy on other topics. And that is usually when disappointment, tragedy, or pain surprise us by shoving themselves into our world. They cram everything else aside, push their way in with the end result being overlaps and chaos.

Rats! Just when things were moving along like “normal” the unexpected shoves it’s way onto the on ramp pushing everything else aside. Ugh! We’ve all had these days or moments in life, what to do? These words from Martin Luther King, jr. remind us that disappointment is a finite state. It will work it’s way in then fade out. It will come and go, while HOPE is infinite. We have the power to tap into that abundant hope and know that this too shall pass.

Choosing which way to focus – disappointment or hope – is our great challenge in life. When everything we cherish gets disrupted and shoved aside, it is normal to react and deal with the pain. It is healthy to face life’s disruptions and disappointments. It is the only way we are able to move forward. Ignoring and denying that things have changed builds up and eventually becomes more than we can bear. For a time, focusing on the disappointment is our job.

Then the time arrives when we must choose to live in a state of hope. We must tap into the infinite possibilities that hope provides and face our new normal. Yes it is different, yes there will be sorrow and adapting to the change. That’s life, recovering from that down means choosing to look up. Everyone, everyday has to choose which way they want to focus. By actively choosing hope we are daring to believe that we can recover, build again, regroup and grow stronger than before. We are wiser, stronger, and willing to move forward instead of wallowing in a pile of disappointment.

No matter what is going on in your world, today choose to tap into your own infinite hope. It doesn’t mean the pain or chaos has dissolved. It means you are choosing to move forward with hope, believing that looking up is a stronger, better, smarter choice than looking down. The good news is that after a while this may not have to be such an intentional choice, hope will come naturally. The bad news is, some days disappointment will rear it’s ugly head and you will have to choose hope with every ounce of your being. Life is not a black and white choice, it is a progression from hope through disappointment, back to hope. So today, choose hope!

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