In the beginning of my book ‘Making This Better’ I have the definition of Hope:
‘Hope – A belief that a desire will come to fulfilment
To want something to happen or to come true……’
At the time of ‘The War’ I did not realise just how much an important part hope played in my life. It was only after I started to read my journal and write my book that I saw that I wrote about hope in nearly every entry, both directly and indirectly. In fact in my book introduction I say that I hope it will help others.
in my journal I wrote lists of the ‘positives’ that I had enountered virtually on a week by week basis. I did not realise it at the time but I was writing those things so that I could continue to have hope; and they were things so small like ‘Danny did the hoovering’, or Danny grabbed my hand and said ‘we will make it, won’t we? Promise’, even down to Danny coming to bed naked because he knew that if he didn’t the demon would tell me that he didn’t want to be naked with me.
Throughout my journal I write statements like: ‘that it is now: it is done!’ Or how ‘I don’t want or need to talk about it anymore.’ All were hope, because we would often go back and talk about it again, and I would often ask the questions again. But I had to write that at the time because if I had believed that I would be in pain for as long as I was, never being able to see a light at the end of the tunnel then I would not have stayed. I could not have stayed.
Where the ‘trickle truth’ and lying were concerned I have lost count of how many times I said In my journal that I believed Danny when he told me that they did not have full sex. Of how I believed him when he told me the timeframe for the affair; or how I believed him when he told me that they only had sex five times and on and on. But it was all hope, because I hoped that what he was telling me was true so that I could stay. And there is the crux: I hoped that I could stay.
I wrote in my journal in the November, seven months after D day, when the hope about the timeframe and how many times they had sex had disspitated as I got stronger, and stopped lying to myself , and saw things as they really were that I did now know why I was writing in it and then I wrote:
‘It is because I feel so down. Originally I put it down to the dreaded hormones but I don’t think it is just that; I cannot put my finger on what it is, and I am frightened. ~
As I have written this my have eyes filled up with tears; so being frightened must be part of it: I am frightened I will not stay. I am frightened I cannot stay. I am frightened that if do stay this will not go away; I am frightened I am getting depressed and will not be able to control it. I am frightened I will waste what I have with Danny. I am frightened I will give ‘her’ what she wants, because by walking away and leaving Danny I will be giving ‘her’ just that. I am frightened for Danny.
I have stopped crying now.’
By this time I had really started to find myself, my career was starting to take off again and I knew that the stronger I got the higher the chances were that I would leave. But I also knew that I had no choice: I had to survive and finding me was essential to do that. Looking back now because I was becoming stronger my survival instinct told me that I should not hope as much because the hope in itself was making me vulnerable. Or was that the ‘Demon‘ again? But my sub-conscious enabled me to write what I wrote in my journal to understand that without hope I was afraid, and that is why I recommend keeping a Journal
I do believe that to have hope is essential in life: We hope that the sun will shine, we hope that the rains will come, we hope that the roof won’t blow off in the wind. We hope our loved ones are safe, we hope we will win the lottery, do all those things make us vulnerable? No.
The only other choice we would have is to be negative and assume that the sun won’t shine, that it won’t rain, that the roof will blow off, the only other choice we have, without hope, is to see the negative. So did having hope make me vulnerable, or was it just the fact that I loved Danny and wanted us to work that made me vulnerable? But how would we work, how would we be here now if I had not had hope? And how would we be here now if at some point I did not allow myself to be vulnerable? Scary, really scary I know, that is why I wrote what I wrote in my journal all those years ago, that is why I was afraid.
Theories suggest that to have hope you have to allow yourself a degree of vulnerability: you are putting yourself in a position that you could fail, but then aren’t you there anyway? Aren’t we always in that position? In fact if you don’t have hope aren’t you just cutting out the middle man and going straight to fail? Isn’t it fear (yep we are back to that again!) that stops us having hope?
I believe that often the fear of hope and the fear of losing hope go hand in hand; and that is why our emotions go back and forth, and we often feel as if we are back where we started. You fear something but you want to hold on to it!
Some psychologists believe that one of the essential ingredients to survive any situation is hope because: hope allows you to think outside of the box, hope allows you to find another way, hope allows you to never give up, hope allows you to keep getting back up.
I have written before about reslilience and how I am a naturally resilient person. But to have resilience you have to have hope, the two go hand in hand.
The hope that I carried with me did not stop me from finding myself, it did not stop me from going forward despite the risks to our relationship, but it did allow me to know that no matter what I was going to survive. Sometimes part of that survival was knowing that I was vulnerable and allowing myself to embrace it because I hoped that no matter what I would be okay, and we would be okay. Even in my journal entry above I have said that I was afraid for Danny because I hoped we would survive and I knew if we didn’t he wouldn’t.
It has been scientifically proved that those who have hope are more likely to achieve and those without hope will more often than not fail.
I believe that life shows you the way. I write about it often in my other blog : how life will send you messages and it is up to you whether you listen. In this blog I have included stories of people that we met and the messages that we took from those encounters, it wasn’t rose coloured spectacles it was hope that enabled us to do that.
So I am going to ask some rhetorical questions for those reading this post, and I would ask them all to consider these things before answering:
You cannot go back.
You cannot change what has already happened.
Hope can only apply to things in the here and now and the future.
The simple questions are:
What do you hope for?
What are you going to do to achieve it?
I would love it if you would share your answers, but also understand if you don’t. Here is a tip: it is not as easy an answer as it would appear to be.