Hope … it’s a wonderful four-letter word. Hope offers possibilities; hope suggests that the good will prevail. It makes us happy. It fills us with expansiveness and can make our tight, constricted worlds crack open with a little wiggle room for the good stuff to find its way. Hope has us looking up. Hope, especially the big-picture variety, inspires and motivates. We want to do better, be better. Hope is potent medicine.

What happens, however, when your personal hope goes MIA and you find yourself hunkered down in a fetal position in the corner, feeling deflated, cranky and uninspired? How do you refind that channel of expanded possibility?
Have fun. Be creative. Play.

You will place yourself in present time and move out (at least temporarily) of the depressive concerns of the past and the anxious worries of the future. You will break open the log jam of your energy field. You will literally lighten up.

This is a good assignment. Had any fun lately?
Talk to the relations.

You see, hope is part of triplet combination. Remember faith and charity?

Faith is an active one and requires a constancy of attention and belief — be it belief in yourself, belief in whatever process you are involved in or belief in something bigger, sacred and divine. Faith calls for your focus. Faith is the anchor for hope. If you have faith (in yourself, a process or the divine), hope joins the parade. Finding faith will help you locate hope.
Charity is a lot like water because it is all about flow and the circulation of flow. This reminds me of a story: A woman, let’s call her Mary, was down to her last few dollars. She could only hold her family together until the end of the month; then they would be up the proverbial creek without paddle, much less food and housing. Her husband worked construction; he had been laid off for quite some time. Her young adult kids were scraping by as well. Mary was desperate; she had nothing to lose and was willing to take the big risk.

She had $10,000 line of credit left on her credit card. Mary reasoned that if she had the right intention and gave the money away that something would come back to her. After careful deliberation, much prayer and strategizing, Mary, unbeknownst to her husband, took the line of credit and sent out ten unmarked envelopes of $1000 each to people in need. Each envelope contained the same anonymous note about money being a gift to them.

One of the recipients was her son, a local EMT. When he received the money, he dashed over to his mom’s house to share the unbelievable news. He was full of excitement, curiosity and great relief. The money could not have come at a better time. He needed every penny of it. His sister was visiting his mom as well; she, too, was facing lean times. The son immediately split his money with his sister. Mary told me she was never as proud of her son as she was that day.

Mary never said a word to anyone. Over the coming weeks, she was filled again and again with stories about how the anonymous gifts had generated much conversation and hope. It turned out the ten gifts were parceled out over and over into smaller gifts. Once someone received, they shared a piece of their windfall with another. It was a bit like pie, there were ten pieces but a number of forkfuls, and so many got a taste of the goodness.

At the end of the month, Mary’s husband had an interview for a construction job in another state. They packed up the truck and headed off, desperately needing the job to become a reality. When they pulled into the housing development and Mary saw the gorgeous show home, she knew they would be taken care of — and they were. Her husband was offered the job and they were given free housing in the show home for the next year while the development was being built. Mary believed it all came to be because she literally took her last dollars and gave them away.

Charity is all about flow, flow is all about circulation. And the energy and possibilities inherent in charity, allow hope to flourish and faith to stand tall.

May hope become a permanent guest in your home.

Author's Bio: 

Psychologist, Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., is the author of the Amazon best-selling Balancing Act: Reflections, Meditations, and Coping Strategies for Today’s Fast-Paced Whirl and a contributing author to the best-selling anthology, 2012: Creating Your Own Shift and The Sacred Shift: Co-creating Your Future … in a New Renaissance. She is madly working on her next book, Making Peace with Suicide. You can learn more about Adele and her thinking http://adeleryanmcdowell.com/.