What are you hoping for these days? Have you ever paused and given attention to your hopes? Do you even hope at all or has this season dealt you the kind of cards that leave you feeling hopeless? Too many people feel no hope.
Lately, in the spirit of rewiring my own mind, I have been observing my own hopes and I realized that there were some hopes that led me to a sense of peace and inner joy and others that led me to a sense of emptiness. It was such a strange realization since we usually think of hope as one of those things that is absolutely good and never has a negative side. Some of you may have even though the title of this piece was a little strange. "What's the 'light side' of hope? As if there was a "dark side" of hope?"
But, it turns out, hope isn't good no matter what; it depends on what you're hoping for and what your hope moves you to do. And that's what ends up leading to inner joy on one hand and a sense of emptiness on the other. What is particularly fascinating about this is that I don’t think I have ever endeavored to take the time to see which might be which. I want to invite you on this journey. It’s a bit of a less-traveled road, but one that seems to be teaching me about peace and life, anxiety and despair.
Because the topic of hope is so broad and so ethereal, I will do my best to put hope into two categories: selfish hope and selfless hope.
Selfish hope is easy to spot. It's like when we hope we win the lottery. I use the lottery as an example of selfish hope, but there are countless other ways in which we allow our minds and hearts to be drawn to personal gain without any respect to what that gain may do for others around us. Another type of hope that leads to darkness is when we hope bad things happen to people – particularly ones who have done something to hurt us (We will keep writing on releasing those people later.)
So thank God there is hope that brings peace; life. Hope that leads to creativity and productivity. In a nutshell, it is a hope that serves something to the world; a hope that something great can be created that will in turn bring others joy and peace. Certainly you get to be a part of it, but perhaps you aren’t the focus of it - hoping that what you build or create, say or do will make the world better. This is the hope that I thirst for.
So I will leave you with this: our lives and businesses seem to have many seasons. If you are in a season where you cannot see how what you do serves the world, then endeavor to have a closer look. If you are reading this article, it means that you were meant (and even created) for hope (the good kind).
Use your hope to make the world a brighter place. If and when you catch yourself hoping for personal gain only, let that hope pass you by.