I cannot imagine living without hope for the future, without having those images in my mind of where I wished my path would lead. The accomplishments I wished I was capable of, the security and friendships I have spent a lifetime seeking – those things which I have striven for since childhood have been a foundation of my entire life. Hope is what has driven me through many a dark time. In those times, if there had not been a hope-filled projection of a better life, the darkness would have been overwhelming. And though my life is in many ways much closer now to what I have forever wished it to be, or perhaps more that I am much closer now to what I have wished me to be – I have not yet arrived to my goals – so the hope still hangs above me for that possibility that I will.
Do I need it to? Do we need that “arrival”? As many people, I believe, some days the answer is no, yet others it is still an unequivocal yes. The challenge is, then – to have hope and goals that I can hold on to, without living in a constant state of lack. To be content with things as they are now, yet maintain that belief that something more may someday be. Finding contentment, despite wishing for things we do not have, or accomplishments we have not yet achieved, can be a challenging task. When we look only to the future in anticipation of happiness, we will certainly not find it in our “now”. For most of us, however, not every moment of “now” holds contentment.
Whether answers be searched for in prayer, or meditation or by other means, life typically finds us continuing to struggle as we make our way toward our goals. Struggle is a normal part of the human experience, but still, clearly one most of us would like to minimize. So what do we give ourselves to make the “now” livable as we may hope and strive for something more? I think the answer is the same as the answer to all questions.
Since I began the current phase of change in my life, I have adopted as my motto “When all else fails, love more”. I believe more and more in this credo as time passes, and as I learn and grow. To grow, and change – and do more than survive, but thrive, we must give ourselves love. We must give love to our current condition. We must give love to our current being. We must give love to our environment. We must give love to our hopes and our dreams.
Love, as administered properly, is wrapped in gratitude, and sprouting with joy. Nothing truly loved is without gratitude and joy. So wrap yourself in love, your surroundings in love, wrap the people around you in love, your hopes and your goals and your dreams in love. By wrapping your “now” in love – filling every facet of your life fully with love, finding that absolute gratitude and appreciation for all that is – is the only way to live happily now, while still holding on to hopes and dreams for tomorrow.