I was sharing recently on SLAY TALK LIVE about giving the gift of hope and that it was that gift, that someone gave me years ago, that saved my life. It was the tiniest of sparks, but it was enough to get me to reach out for help. To reach for more than what I had, and to believe that it was possible to get it. I’m not talking material things here, I’m talking life, I’m talking self-esteem, I’m talking self-love. I hated myself and didn’t think that I deserved anything good in my life. The voices that I was listening to, the voices that had gotten so loud, told me I wasn’t worthy of more and because I wasn’t sharing my truth with anyone, those voices, even though they were lying to me, became my truth. I was lucky to receive that gift of hope from a friend, and I was lucky I was able to see that light in him, and that I recognized the darkness from where he came. There is no greater gift, to see that there is a solution, a way out, from someone who found it themselves. And as incredible as it was to have gotten that gift, it is also a gift to give that away. By being someone else’s light, their torch, and that tiny bit of hope that gives them a glimpse of what may be possible for them.
We do that by sharing ourselves with others, by being honest about our own story, or journey, and what we overcome, or have overcome, to get where we are today. We can listen to them, encourage them to speak their truth, and show them kindness. For me it took someone who had walked the path before to share his story for me to see that there was a solution for the way I was living my life, that he had done it, and maybe, so could I. My outlook had gotten so dim, but the light was just enough that I picked up the phone one morning and asked for help. It is by sharing that we connect with others, it is by sharing that those things we think are our deepest darkest secrets lose their power over us, it is by sharing that we start to get well. But offering someone hope can be as simple as listening to someone. As simple as letting someone know that they matter, that their voice is being heard and that their experience is valid. Sometimes it’s just listening, looking someone in the eye and saying, “I know,” or “I hear you.” In the end we all want to be loved, we want to know that we are not alone, and we want to connect with others we feel understand who we are, or where we’ve been. We want our dignity back, and we want to know how to get it back, even if we were the ones that took it away in the first place. Hope allows us to open the door to a better life, to a better us, to the possibility of doing things differently, and the possibility of different results. When we have hope and we see it in action, we start to fight for it, we start to fight for what we want, and when we do our path gets brighter, and when the light starts to come in we start to see things for what they are and not what we’ve told ourselves or built up in our heads. From hope comes healing.
People have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles because they had hope, whether internally themselves, or because it was given to them from others, but when we have hope in our hearts we have a fire burning inside of us that can propel us to make change, to fight for what we want, to resolves issues, to survive, and, to flourish. Hope won’t do it alone, because along with hope we have to roll up our sleeves and get to work, but it’s hope that will get us through when things get tough, when we get tired and when that voice tells we can’t win, hope tells we can. Hope is the greatest gift, hope saved my life, and I know the power in giving that away to someone else, in fact to keep it, we have to give it away, to see that spark in others, to see that light start to get bright for those who were living in the darkness. How can you SLAYER, pass on hope to someone in your life? To someone in your community? To someone in need of your light?
SLAY OF THE DAY: Have there been times in your life that hope got you through a tough time or a difficult decision? List those times. Have there been times that your hope burned brighter from helping someone else, and giving them hope? How did it? When you feel in need of hope, what do you do to find it? Or, how can you find it? Who or what in your life gives you the most hope? How can you share your hope with others? How do you feel when you do? Shine on SLAYER, and share the light that burns inside of you with those around you, when we give hope we get even more in return, and it turns our flame even brighter. SLAY on!
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you