Hope – Waking Up to Possibilities – Day 12

Hope – Waking Up to Possibilities – Day 12

Another day, another way to embrace hope.  The spirit of motivation drives my year-long writing journey to appreciate one small word with a grateful heart.

The writing possibilities seem endless.  A year may not be long enough.

I began the journey with an acronym, “H-Help O-one P-Person E-Everyday.”  And although my focus on this venture began with a desire to look outside of myself and become a helper, my natural tendency is still to fold inward.  So I look to nature for inspiration.

As a flower reacts to an early frost by closing its petals, my protective reaction is swift.  Blooming too early can cause unstable conditions and potential damage to a flower’s petals.  However, with roots intact, early spring trustfully continues coloring the cold ground with vibrant displays of hope.  

Raw and unfiltered trust is uncommon in a world that may appear filled with pretension and self-protective cloaking.  Yet hope can drive our desire to face even a frigid environment.  As the sun shines on our well-intentioned efforts we are reminded of the warmth existing in the hearts of humankind and the path from vulnerability to love and support.  

My meditation for the day is a reminder for me and hope for others to risk blooming.  Don’t let fear of sharing your true colors or harsh conditions prevent your hopeful steps forward into unfamiliar territory.  You were born to HOPE.

-Erika K Rothwell

Waking Up to Possibilities – Read by Erika K Rothwell

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

Well-Intentioned Words

Well-Intentioned Words

Guilty. The heavy word pierces my complacency, as I bestow the gavel-laden sentence upon myself.

There appears no chance for a defense.  The evidence is overwhelming.  In my well-intentioned parenting, I failed on so many levels according to the current standards.

I used the words to encourage my children, “you are strong!”‘ And “everything happens for a reason.”  Did you know those words are equal to emotional abuse according to a recent blog written by a psychotherapist?

When does the intention behind the words get factored into this harsh condemnation?  

This particular therapist says, “well-meaning loved ones are guilty of emotional abuse without realizing it.”  Self-righteous indignation begins to cloud my open mind at this point, slowly morphing into a jumbled defense, I attempt to present to you now.

Words are alive, pulsating with messages delivered from our hearts.  

Experts study body language when someone is speaking because intentions and the truth behind the words can be read from cues outside of the actual verbal communication.  So, when someone says “I’m sorry you feel that way”, which under normal circumstances is an appropriate emotional response, but presents it in a sarcastic and dismissive manner, the invalidation is felt as a stab in the chest.  The point is, what is said is not always as important as how it’s said, how it’s received and whether the heart is delivering it with good intentions and/or compassion.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

The struggle to say all the right things at the right time to your children or loved ones can be overwhelming, and self-accusations that follow disheartening.  For me, hope can always be found in the heart of the matter.  I have to believe your intentions will be heard, if you speak from your heart, no matter what words you choose.

For all those parents out there that have felt beaten up by the ever-changing standards of “good parenting”, I pass along the words a wise friend once shared with me, “if you love your child, they will know they are loved.” 

Then the only thing you will be guilty of is not always knowing the right words to use.

-Erika K Rothwell