Simplicity does not signify weakness nor unimportance.
Small forces that appear insignificant can cause powerful effects. A tiny drop of water over time can drill its way into rock. Words of hope written from one’s heart and understated actions can dig deep into the crevices of our beings.
There is a world to be found in simplicity. Treasures, discovered in the appreciation of just one word or even a small gesture.
The simple letters in H-O-P-E continue to spell out a life-changing motivation for me. However, at times my search for hope becomes disguised as a quest for happiness.
And I discover, seeking happiness is not equal to simply being happy.
Yet if you are a believer that happiness can be found, it must reside in the simplest, yet a most profound, symbol of joy on this planet that is neglected when we forget to smile.
How many times have we caught ourselves in a tense situation because we forgot to smile? Or rather, how many times have we gotten out of a sticky situation because we chose to smile?
Our simple and genuine smile shares positivity with others and conveys our hope of happiness for them.
Connection with words can be much like a smile. I send you my smile and a final thought.
Smiling will make your heart happy, no matter what you may be facing. It’s really that simple.
I wrote something dishonest today. Not the typical lie you would imagine. But it came to me, my heart was not connected to what I wrote. I typed the words, I read the words, but in the end, I did not believe the words.
So, here I am speaking my truth with a question. Why do we work against ourselves and sometimes stop speaking (or writing) our truth?
We know how to reach for authenticity but at times life’s unexpected forces drag us down the path of necessity. Once we learn to surrender that genuine connection, we slowly lose the energy necessary to support our dreams and our creativity.
What if we woke every morning infused with energy to create our dreams? What if we had trouble closing our eyes at night because we could hardly wait to wake and get back to living. Living, not existing. That is authenticity. Recognize when you are moving away from it.
Because hope does not promise instant gratification, rather than struggle with the words to express positivity, I will wait. The energy I work against is confusion or simply congestion in my head. Sharing a joyous heart today may not be the answer.
Perhaps it is the outside environment that weighs me down. Or possibly the work I did this morning on my memoir. Recognizing the pain in the process sometimes requires a pause. And another cup of tea.
Are you facing anxiety because of a job that sucks life’s energy out of you? Do you feel stuck in a bad relationship? Or are you facing a difficult health decision? Do your steps feel heavier as each day of the week passes?
You may feel suffocating sensations come to the surface as you face an endless cycle of forced obligations and nauseating habitual motions. Your breaths may likely become shallower, you may neglect your basic needs, and you may develop a gloomy outlook as you forget to look for the sun each day.
As the sun rises, a promise is extended for a new day to make the necessary changes, to accept growth, and move in a direction that complements vitality. Yet, so many wither in the repetition of monotony on an endless treadmill of dread.
Walk with me in the “Garden of Hope” for a moment. Consider that we need space to breathe, water and food to thrive, and sunlight to grow. At times our environment works against these necessities.
So what do we tell ourselves at this point? Do you hear yourself crying, “Nothing will ever change.”, Or “I have no choice.” Mental mantras drive our actions and build foundations for tomorrow. Why not instead focus on words of affirmation powerful enough to destroy the amplified barriers we place in our own way?
Change the message, walk through a “garden”. Breathe in the scent of inspiration and aspiration. Don’t give up on your dreams.
We cannot let the weeds of distraction and hopelessness choke out our will to thrive. When we remove the unnecessary overgrowth of negativity and self-imposed expectations space opens granting us breathing room, hampering the weight of anxious thoughts and giving us an opportunity for growth.
Think of ways you can use obstacles in your current situation as stepping stones to a greater plan. Plant the seeds of tomorrow in your imagination today. Daydream for a moment. And if you are a list person, write a bucket list and fill it with everything your heart imagines, no matter what the hurdles may be.
As flowers need rain to soak their roots and make them stronger, we also benefit from the washing away of the old story to gain deeper insight into our desires. After the storm, let us be motivated to look toward the sun, as it shines its positivity on us and helps us set buds of change for tomorrow’s bloom.
And when the sun sets, on a day “outside” of the ordinary, remind yourself to look for it tomorrow as you begin a new chapter.
As soon as we embrace our freedom to choose genuinely and share our unique colors by following our passions, a refreshing array of authenticity will fill drab spaces with joy.
Hope arises from the ashes, a time to reframe and rebuild.
Love begins as a flame that burns so bright. Eventually, there are only embers, flickers of warmth lighting up what remains.
When we are left with the cold ashes of a fully disintegrated relationship, only hope can move us forward. Hope for second-chances, hope for change, and hope for a new life motivates our steps in the right direction.
To risk love is to risk being hurt. The paradox that exists within relationships can send ripples of sorrow our way. But love is not supposed to hurt us, so why all the pain?
We were not born to live another person’s life. Yet once we fall in love, the connection makes it difficult to recognize where our boundaries end and the other’s begin. At times we may even feel lost to ourselves, fully engrossed in our loved one’s drama, leaving little time for our own development.
Yet why do we fight against freeing ourselves from a destructive cycle, even when possessive and dependent actions suck the life out of us?
It is only by letting go of the illusion of what could be, allowing what is, and accepting we are powerless over another’s choices in life that heals what is left of a suffering relationship. We can make a choice. When we stop responding to the narratives of the past, we find strength within the power of adversity. As the poet, Rumi said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
If and when we have embraced our inability to fix the other person and the embers burn out, we will know it is time to move on. The suffering is done. The closure is painful yet peaceful, and we must believe hope will light another fire when it’s time. For Rumi also said, “where there is ruin, there is hope for treasure.”
– Erika K Rothwell
Disclaimer: This was written for the loved ones in my life facing breakups and heartbreak. Empathy from my past ignited the rawness of this post.
“Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.” -Wilfred Peterson
Loving yourself is not narcissistic. Self-acceptance, self-awareness, and self-appreciation all build a stronger you. When you become stronger, you become more confident and more open to your purpose.
The last day of January 2019 has come and gone. Today is the first day of my favorite month of the year, February. Perhaps it is because my birthday falls in this month (not narcissism), but even more exciting, it is the month of love and hearts.
As I reflect over my hope journey, I realize that it is love that brought me to hope. Love from others brought me to be able to love myself, which in turn brought me to love others by sharing my writing openly.
The more I shared, the more I realized I loved my work. I was overcome with joy when I spoke of it and the warmth that surrounded me motivated me to share it publicly in a blog. Filled with trepidation, I forged forward with writtingfromthekitchen.com focusing on the motto, “Love is the main ingredient.”
The support I have received from my loved ones and dear friends over the past months has been amazing. In their busy lives, they have taken time to listen to and read my posts, critique me gently, and sometimes just simply tell me how much they love me.
Knowing that you, dear reader, also enjoy reading my posts adds to the love and generates hope for me every day.
Love and appreciation from others cannot be measured. And I have found it to be only part of the love equation.
I venture to explain. We enter the world fully dependent on love and support. Many argue that it is through those early experiences that our view of love is determined potentially shaping our destiny. Once we feel secure and loved, we venture out of the security of those arms and begin to explore, manipulating our environment for self-satisfaction, while still looking for affirmation. At that early stage of life, self-love may not even be questioned.
It is not until we begin to self-loathe that we absolutely need self-love. The question of when or why this happens, I can’t answer, since it is different for each person. But this love is necessary for growth. We need not fear to appear selfish by being gentle with ourselves during this process.
Loving ourselves allows the richness of love to flow in and upon acceptance of this love, our love flows out toward others. When we love others, we love ourselves. And the heart circle is created.