So much of my life is framed by hope. I hope the kids will sleep well, I hope the weather will be nice, I hope I’ll have time to drink my coffee. Hope, hope, hope. Little things like that. And big things, too. I hope I’ll be a published author some day. I hope my kids will grow up to be kind, good adults. I hope JP and I will live long lives and be able to see our children’s children grow.
But there is also a deeper hope than this. And it is also part of my every breath. It is something that brings me such joy, even when things don’t go as I hope on a small scale, or even big.
And it is the hope that there is something more than just the physical world we encounter during our short time on this earth.
A Crutch of Hope
For example, I have to hope that this intense love I feel for my children and my husband is more than just biochemistry for biochemistry’s sake. I have to hope that humanity is an echo of God, and familial love is an echo of heaven. I have to hope that my attraction to beauty and harmony comes from something deep and vast. And that my anger at injustice comes from a connection to an ultimate source of Good.
Some people may say I’m weak for leaning on a crutch like that. But I’m okay with going through my life on a crutch of hope. A few years ago, when JP and I were figuring out the worldview by which we would live our lives, I experimented to see if I could find meaning dissociated from a higher power. And maybe some people can. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get myself to a place where I could believe we didn’t have souls, and that there was no ultimate source of Good, and there was no point, and never would be for our existence, and then along those lines still believe my life had value, or that it mattered how I treat others, or that justice of any kind was important other than to further survival in a segment of our species so we could live long enough to be burned up by the sun.
If I lost that hope, I couldn’t find a way to justify, other than a desire to procreate, why I would have brought three more meaningless souls into the world. But if there is hope, then procreation is co-creating with the Ultimate Creator, who is also the ultimate source of Good. My children, like all of humanity, carry souls and are stamped with the image of the Creator.
So, for these and many reasons, I actively, and with great intention, chose hope.
My True North
Hope in something more is my True North. It is the direction by which everything else in my life is set. It’s how I frame my own minutes spent on this earth. It’s how I frame my actions towards other people. It is at the very foundation of the value and dignity I believe every human inherently carries by virtue that they exist.
It is this same hope that underlies my belief that there is still a chance my aunt, who we lost to suicide in February, has found or is finding peace and healing. That her story doesn’t end with ultimate despair. That all our stories don’t just end.
I choose to believe that Aslan will defeat the White Witch. That Good will defeat Evil. That wrongs done on this earth will be made right in a way that will more than atone for the suffering people faced.
Once I decided to live a life believing something bigger than us out there, I also chose to believe that higher power is all Good, is all Love, and is all Truth. That next step helps me to further frame how I build my life.
If There Is…
Because if there is Good, then it matters that I learn what is Good, and that I choose Good over its opposite.
Because if there is Love, then it matters that I learn what is Love, and that I live a life built around willing the good of those whose lives cross paths with mine.
If there is Truth, then it matters that I learn what is Truth. That I sift through my own personal biases and preferences, and even my own selfishness in order to recognize Truth and assent to it.
A Life Well-Lived
I hope to look back on my life one day, and have peace that it was well-lived. Lived for others, lived in the promise of something more, something beyond, something that is the source of all Good and all Love and all Truth.
It gives me great peace to hope we are all a small part of something bigger, something ultimately Good. It doesn’t matter if someone thinks I’m foolish for leaning on a crutch. That person doesn’t have to answer for the minutes of my life, or for how I choose to experience my existence. But in the name of hope, I will always hope that all those I encounter are able to find their peace. The compass by which they can walk this journey of life.
And that, in a nutshell, is why and how I have chosen to frame my life through a lens of hope.