Hope – In Authenticity

Hope – In Authenticity

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.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Hope – In Ashes of Love

Hope – In Ashes of Love

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.

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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 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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Hope is Regenerative – Day 8

Hope is Regenerative – Day 8

My apologies for posting a little late.  My mom, our Bubby, had a total knee replacement operation and it took the good part of a day to focus on regenerative hope.

Hope is regenerative.  Our bodies breakdown from the stress of life and a destined aging process.  Our choices can seem futile and our dreams fade with the daylight hours.

Yet, through the example of three amazing human beings, I feel the power of hope surrounding me at the end of this day.

Regenerative hope moved my son to run 22 plus miles through the darkness of negativism after it struck his equilibrium of contentment and drove him to push his physical body to the breaking point as he made it to the other side…positivity, cleansed by exhaustion.  

The belief in a better quality of life motivated my mother to overcome her fears, focus on optimism and go through a knee reconstruction surgery in her 80th year of life on this very same day.  

I was left in the dust.  Yes, I’m focusing on hope this year.  However, I was challenged by fear.  I lost my father two years ago after surgery.  The circumstances were very different, yet the memory is raw and ignited the core of helplessness when you watch your “as is” slip away into an “as was”.  

My father “lives” with all of us in our stubborn resolves to not only survive but excel in this life as we continually strive to better ourselves.  His ongoing search for the fountain of youth points to the regenerative quality of hope.  And as I viewed my mother, his wife, today after difficult reconstructive surgery, I saw evidence of that fountain, as her contagious smile of victory and proof that hope is regenerative lit up the room.

-Erika K Rothwell

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