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The day my mother died, I was hoping for something, anything, to help alleviate my incredible pain and overwhelming sense of loss. I was also hoping that Mom was finally at peace. A Facebook post around the same time revealed that a friend of mine was hoping fervently for something as well: that she would find just the right shoes to match her new dress.
At first, it seemed so cruel and unfair to me that I was hoping for something so crucial while she was free to hope for something that seemed so insignificant to me.
To live and love is to risk getting hurt, to lose those we love, to be betrayed or victimized, and to lose hope.
But hope is most palpable when you have lost it.
Everyone experiences a period of feeling hopeless at some point in their life. For some, these feelings may last only a moment; for others, they may last for years. We can lose hope in ourselves, our community, humanity, the prospect of finding love and more.
Have you been there? Here are four steps to help you reclaim hope.
As a parent and grandparent, I was very hesitant to watch Rabbit Hole because I knew that it focused on parents who were dealing with the death of their child. After much encouragement from my wife, Lauren, and one of our community members (Mark), and with the tragedy in Tucson in the background, we watched the film last night and were absolutely mesmerized.
I recently received the unexpected news that three people I love had been in a car accident. The mother and youngest daughter were killed and the second child, 11 years old, was in critical condition. These people are a major part of our spiritual community and youth ministry. I received phone calls and emails filled with shock and sadness. As I sat in the memorial service, I had such a feeling of sadness and loss. The children often ran up to me on a Sunday and showered me with hugs and kisses. I always felt such love and joy during these quick exchanges. Their smiles and joyous ways always filled my heart with warmth and peace.
My student Mary came to me nearly in tears one day after class. She’d been working for years to get into a headstand, yet continually watched newer students lift up with ease before her. She asked, “What am I doing wrong?”
Since Mary had come into my yoga classes only the week before, I asked her if she was using her bandhas to help her attain headstand. “What’s a bandha?” she asked, looking puzzled.