Written yesterday when:
the garage sale was not going well- at all. So, I thought I would write a post, while looking out the window hoping for “customers………”
And speaking of hope, it seems as though I am a bit pissed off at her lately.
While preparing for this sale, I was in my office space and recovered a rock with the word, esperanza written on it. Esperanza is the Spanish name for hope. I had a strong impulse, which I took heed of, to take the rock, walk to the lake by my house, and throw it in the lake- all to say- I am sick, sick, sick of hope. And I did, and stomped away.
For so long, I have hoped for something to happen- an opporunity, a change, and in this case a customer. Hope is supposed to be a positive concept. Barack Obama ran his entire campaign on it, and won. I will agree there is a time and place for it, when it does work positively, but there is also a time and place when it doesn’t. At least this is my experience right now.
For me, hope is a passive word, a charitable word, offered to us when life seems to be getting the best of us. I hope you feel better, when we are sick. I hope your financial situation turns around, when it sucks. I hope you have a good sale, when it’s pouring rain. And as passive as this word is, it has enough power to hold me hostage so I manifest nothing (okay, very little) of what I hope for.
Or am I blaming a lack of manifesting on the wrong concept?
Most of us are aware of the myth of Pandora’s Box. She was given a box, with strict instruction from Zeus not to open it, but as we know Pandora was a curious kind of chic, and opened it anyway. When she did, all the evils mankind was not aware of, were unleashed upon them. But- it is said that at the very bottom of the box, there lay hope.
I will digress here, but for me, that box is the metaphor of the soul. We all have a Pandora’s Box within us, a soul. We can remain ignorantly blissful and never open it. Or we can use the gift we have been given- a gift we used often as children, if we were allowed, or brave enough to go against the grain- of curiousity, and ask a question, and ponder, wonder and explore. These questionings, wonderings and ponderings begin the opening of the box, and once it is opened it may seem pleasant and beautiful, as if we just uncovered a long, lost friend. But, soon behold- fear, doubt, selfishness, greed, jealousy- all of the “evils” within are awaiting- and come out, they must.
When we enter our own soul, we will want to trust and HOPE there is something beyond these evils- and there is. I know there is. But back to why hope isn’t enough to get the job done. Hope is a beacon- a shiny light that can be talked about at nauseam. What if Barack just hoped there would be affordable healthcare for all. Would there be? No, but it is a beginning. In the smaller context, in my little world right now, is my hoping making customers come? No. So I must ask what would.
Intention and action are the answers.
I have the intention to sell my neglected wares. I have the intention to make some money for myself and my girls. But, I’m not excited about it- and I am being cheap. I didn’t spend the money to buy an ad to let people know, and I haven’t gone to the store to get balloons to make my yard sign noticeable. And again- I am not exicted. I am discouraged, and mad. I spent weeks clearing my house, setting it up and pricing, and have had little reward for such hard work.
Here in this moment there is a choice to be bitter or better. As you can tell from my rant, I am bitter, and as I am, a customer is on their way…….
So, again is hope whom has me captive? Or is it bitterness? Maybe I am wrong about hope. Maybe it isn’t this little, lifeless entity that stifles action. Maybe my silent and powerful (ally) has been kept under wraps by it’s evil twin- Expectation. Maybe if I removed expectation, along with the bitterness it produces when things don’t go as I expected, I might find hope to be my silent partner, a mighty powerhouse behind all of my actions, and pervading everything and everyone around me.
If this is so, perhaps I need to make peace with hope.
Which brings me deeper into an investigation of bitterness since it is important to understand our “enemy.” In every moment there is a choice to be bitter or better. An example, I am drinking tea. It isn’t very sweet, even though I put a spoonful of honey. But sometimes it just doesn’t get mixed in well enough, and tastes bitter. When this happens, I usually go without, sacrificing enjoyment and drinking it anyway. I guess it’s my “miserly-mind-set” that shows up every once and awhile, that says “no enjoyment for you.” But today, I decide instead of being miserly I will go to the cupboard and add more honey. To make it better.
I then decide to make my garage sale better. My daughter went to get balloons of pink, green and yellow. We made colorful signs and posted them in more places. I got a little more excited, and it helped to get this text from Chuck (my husband) after a bitter rant:
Just trust is all I want from you. It is when you are most powerful.
Bitterness like unsweetened tea can seep into our system, and we must be cautious of its entering. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.” It is interesting bitterness would be tempting. What could be it’s reward to us? Not only does its presence make life terribly bland, it makes it absolutely miserable and can cause great destruction.
At the point in which bitterness has entered, our actions, thoughts, feelings and behaviors will be changed, and not in a harmonious way. It is important to pay attention to the warning signs of it’s entrance, just like we are told to pay attention to the warning signs of certain cancers. Because like cancer, bitterness spreads. Cancer’s spread, in time creates tumors. Bitterness’ spread is like concrete running through our veins, which in time will harden us- make us miserly. “Bitterness imprisons life…” Harry Emerson Fosdick said, and he’s right.
So take heed the warning signs:
Lack and poverty mentality
Aloof, and uncommitted to our surroundings and people
Stiff looking and feeling body
So where is hope in all of this? Is it our antidote which keeps life sweet? Could it be bitterness was who threw my esperanza in the lake?
My conclusion is expectation is the “evil” twin of hope. Expectation causes bitterness, and bitterness creates a hardness, which produces all sorts of protective mechanisms, which at first are seductive in the way they make us feel powerful, untouchable and mighty. But eventually this so called power will close of us off to life, and hope.
Should I rescue esperanza from the waters?
I will trust hope floats, and is pervading the Universe within and without. It is what lies beneath all evils, and it does prevail.
This blog began with a bitter rant on a garage sale, which became a metaphor of my very sluggish and (regretfully said), disappointing life so far. I had swallowed the bitter pill, even took a bite, and it had its effect. But as soon as I noticed it’s bitter taste, I spit it out. And added more honey, and balloons.
It’s a start, and maybe- just maybe hope is what made me do it. You quiet, humble little force you.
Garage sale update: it went well, just as I had hoped– and…
Thank you to all of you who witness my processing (sometimes venting), and hopefullybenefit from it.
The Soul Reporter