Persevere in Hope – Day 18

Persevere in Hope – Day 18

It’s 6:23 in the evening.  The clock tells me it’s late to be writing.  Yet my commitment to the keyboard still stands.  

The thoughts and feelings continue to swirl, and focusing becomes a challenge.  For as hope remains my focus, the struggle brings tears.  Tears that speak volumes with past hurts and indiscretions, tears that feel helpless against today’s imperfection, and mostly tears that drown out hope for tomorrow’s goodness.

My optimism is buried.  My hopeful words nonexistent.  What holds me captive is a comfortable hopelessness, a place I have become accustomed to from past hurt.  

Shockingly in opposition to my purpose, I share what I most want to escape.

Yet, I still believe “in a future and a hope”.  Where I fail is being patient in tribulation.  

Patience…the opposite of instant gratification. In this world of instantaneous responses, patience has become a forgotten virtue.

Our expectations become skewed the more quickly we see results.  And the expectation of instant results skews our sense of accomplishment.

What we so often forget is the age-old wisdom in a quote like, “good things come to those who wait.”  Is that even ever said anymore in this world of instantaneousness?  Where is the lesson in the struggle?

Technology would have us believe that every incredible view is just a high-speed gondola ride to the top of the mountain or a virtual reality representation of a highly-coveted exotic location. When in reality the most magnificent experiences are often revealed to the few who are willing to risk a great struggle and strengthen their resolve to persevere.

Hope doesn’t always present itself as an instant rope of salvation when we find ourselves in a hole.  Rather it may teach us that learning to thrive within our circumstances while believing that our saving grace will eventually arrive brings us what we most need to learn, patience.

And so what I’ve learned today is we cannot escape the trials we face instantly, but we can learn to persevere with hope in the midst of it.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Hope – A Profound Purpose – Day 17

Hope – A Profound Purpose – Day 17

After calling out some obstacles along my way, the path has been cleared for a greater purpose. 

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

-Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi

Perhaps there is a reason I have so many of my inspirational thoughts in the kitchen.  I don’t always enjoy cooking.  The question, “What’s for dinner?” still continues to give me a small amount of anxiety.  However, I began to appreciate the art of cooking and all the special ingredients discovered in family gatherings around the kitchen table. Precious moments were also found in this simple service to my hungry family as a perfect time to process the evocative happenings of the day.

When I moved my writing from the kitchen to a desk, I believe I brought the spirit of the kitchen with me.  My intention for beginning this blog was to share with my children and their children small, yet significant, lessons that I’ve learned throughout my life.  Overcoming apprehension as I shared my writing publically awakened a greater purpose.

Helping others, while following a path I felt guided to pursue, became my deeper hope.  And this hope continues to shape my writing style and voice.

I believe writing is similar to photography as writers share their unique perspective, presenting a view from a subjective angle.  My passion for writing appears to match my photography style as I love focusing in on a world that exists right in front of us, yet can still appear hidden.  The intensity of some of the images I’ve seen while following WordPress and Instagram photographers have been mind-expanding.  

So many artists serve others with their inspiring work, fulfilling a passion, being driven to create.  I am one of those “others”.  It is with great admiration and recognition of their work that I summarize…when we follow our dreams and passions, we lose ourselves in the work of serving.  And, what we find sometimes is the best gift of all.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Hope – The Fuel of Courage

Hope – The Fuel of Courage

“And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear, but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.” — Paulo Coelho

Slowly, I trudge on.  Fear tries to stop me in my tracks.  When I speak of fear, it’s not panic or fright dreading something horrible.  Rather, an uneasiness that lightly gnaws at my confidence causing me to believe that perhaps I may be a little too bold to tread in a world of unknown outcomes with only hope in my backpack.

My writing has grown from the seeds of momentary epiphanies to an appreciation so great, I desire to encourage and inspire with insight.  This monumental endeavor creates small episodic heart flutters and vague insecurity.  From a past of seeking accomplishment for recognition, my concern is remaining authentic on all levels.  

Yes, we all write what we know, but some days I feel I just don’t know.

This unknowing creates a stumbling block that could potentially grow into a mountain.  It is here where I seek to encourage myself with words of resilience and put fear where it belongs, buried by hope. And so, I have reset courage and continue my journey.

– Erika K Rothwell

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Hope Dances – A Note on Optimism – Day 15

Hope Dances – A Note on Optimism – Day 15

“Life has its own rhythms, we just have to learn how to dance.” – Cristian Andrei Nica

Self-expression is discovered in each individual’s dance style.  We all feel the rhythm differently, uniquely perceiving the tempo as each of our steps moves according to the way we feel it.

It’s difficult to think your way through dancing.  You must embrace and engage the music with your heart.

When you feel what you write, your words dance with the rhythm of your life.

There can be no naysayers as they look upon your heart.  When we don’t feel well with our soul, we may look upon someone else’s joy as self-serving.  Yet it is the example of a joyous heart that feeds us hope. 

Lately, I question whether I’ve become a little too optimistic.  And I realize I may have just learned to dance without worrying about what onlookers may think.  Others who have ventured before me have given me that courage.  I share openly with an audience I do not know personally, yet feel connected to on another level.

Am I offended that you may not like the way I dance?

No, I appreciate your perspective.  For it is in the differences that we connect.

I believe it is not for us to examine another’s motivation.  Optimism drives my hope that we can all learn to appreciate someone near or far who has taken the struggles that life has handed them and learned how to dance!

I look forward to continuing my journey while reading and being inspired by yours.  You make “dancing” all that much more special for me. 

-Erika K Rothwell

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Hope is a Beacon – Day 14

Hope is a Beacon – Day 14

I have a confession to share with you. My hope journey comes only after a great battle in the wilderness I spoke of yesterday.

As I have been reading many of my readers’ and other writers’ stories I am amazed at the individual struggles and triumphs faced by each and every one of us as we travel through the seasons of life. And I am humbly reminded of the time when I wandered not only through the wilderness but also in the dark.

For me, there was a beacon in the darkness, first a glimmer that soon moved to a guiding light. My writing lit up the shadows, and many of my early poems share the exposure of my sunless days.

I would now like to share one of my poems with you all and embrace the pain and process that was necessary to navigate to arrive at 2019 – The Hope Journey.

My hope is to publish a book of the poems I wrote in the sea of suffering. Lost in the waves, my soul was revealed as I struggled to make peace with what I could not understand. The gift of healing through words is available as a beacon for all. And this greatest gift of all is called Hope.

GLIMMER

Glimmer of hope
Silently beckoning
Sliver of light opens
The passageway to another place
Streaming rays point the way
Striving desperately to capture
Unwittingly suffocating the momentary essence
Crying out for its return
Elusive mystery refuses to obey
And yet
I wait

  • Erika K Rothwell
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