from hope
...to cope
...to optimism
...to faith

to thrive

I wrote this maxim some years ago (2003?) and have recently updated it for a new print and new uncertain times.

"Hope is how we cope. It is the bud of optimism, fueling our faith, that no matter the outcome, we will thrive."

It starts with the premise that much negativity and nastiness happens outside our control. It happens to us, to those we love, to our communities, our country, to other members of our world family, and, even, to our planet. With all the injustice, personal pain, and downright nastiness, who could be blamed for sinking into helpless or hopeless.

This is where a fearless hope comes in - believe you have it, because you do. It's there and it never evaporates... never, ever, ever. But if you've let it get grungy and neglected, you must dust it off and put it back in service. Where are you my darling fearless hope? Call it out by its name because you need it to cope with what you can't control. Survival is 10% luck and 90% cope. (I took the liberty to redefine the old attitude quote.)

Cope is the daily strength and slow breathing you muster up... to get through, just to get through. It rises from the hope we've agreed you have... have always had. Then, as you are coping along, voila, you begin to feel that edge of optimism, the bud of it. Why optimism? Because you are, after all, getting through... the muck, the day, the meeting, the headache, the bad news, the body blues.

This little sweet bud of optimism will blossom because that is what it does. Feel the little wave of it, the rush of it, the hint of it. But be careful because it's addictive. Truly! And then you'll become a habitual optimism user. If you're going to have an addiction....

It follows that (and often without warning) faith will grow from all this hope, cope, optimism. You begin to believe, that no matter what, you will not just survive but thrive. No matter the outcome, you will thrive. No matter the worst of all scenarios, the 10% of luck that becomes no luck, the stupidness of everything that happens. Even then, you will thrive.

I think, maybe, the hope part that sets this whole thing in motion is the soul, the grace, the mystery, that sits inside each of us and connects us all. Why not?