Hope and Hopelessness!
With all the blooms on plants and trees in my yard, along with current events in our world and the Easter season, I revised my posting schedule this week to write about hope and hopelessness. The arrival of spring brings signs of hope with flowers blooming, trees budding, harvest of sweet fruit and abundance of crops with new life. It can also bring hopelessness with overgrown weeds, unexpected storms and unforeseen circumstances.
Hope is translated as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. It is a feeling of trust and usually based on knowledge of facts with no absolute guarantee on the outcome. The opposite of hope is hopelessness, which brings a feeling of despair, desperation and even grief. If you are honest with yourself, you’d rather be hopeful than hopeless, correct?
I had no idea Dr. Tracey would be giving me his last interview. We sat for two hours on my patio as he talked about his life, his illness and hope for his future. He called his chemo pump super juice, and was between his sixth and seventh month of battling stage-four colon cancer. The end of the summer in 2015, we had received a letter from his office announcing his condition. The letter ended with the optimistic phrase, I got this! I wanted to know whether all that optimism was the genuine healthy mental code of hope or just a way of coping with an incredible challenge.
Dr. Stephen Tracey, a top orthodontist in our area, was a popular national speaker on many innovative treatments that were adopted by many around the country. He was also a triathlete. He wouldn’t let the doctors tell him how long he had to live as he chose to focus on a hopeful, optimistic future, even if that future meant graduating from this life.
When my son, a local fireman, sent me the text a few months later about Dr. Tracey’s memorial, I was surprised, saddened, yet joyful that I knew he had prepared for this moment. His service was packed with standing room only as my husband and I entered the room. The whole focus of the service was not the inroads he had made as a top orthodontist or his relentless adventuresome adventures, but on his humanity and faith.He knew he would win either way–by staying on this earth or by entering heaven’s gates.
I was able to visit his wife, Dar, several months after his passing. He had secretly saved and given her a Tiffany bracelet–one that has to be taken off with a special tool–weeks before he died as he wanted her to remember how much he loved her. He also told her of our interview and wanted to make sure she got to meet me and get my book. (Bad Code) I again asked myself the question, how can you properly prepare for those times of your life where you feel hopeless? As the decades of life roll by, health changes, job changes, financial changes and relationship changes all will occur, guaranteed. Funding your emotional resource bank is important at every decade of your life. In fact, that’s one of the main subjects I speak on in getting unstuck and managing your mental code as needs are escalating in a society of fake friends and phantom support groups.
Emotional Resource Bank
You can never be fully prepared for all life brings, but you can keep adding to your emotional bank with your close circle of friends, colleagues and network. You can keep growing with an attitude of lifelong learning. You are not too old to learn a new skill; not too weak to get up and walk forward; and not so bad that you can’t fully embrace faith and a true sense of peace for your personal destiny. Every decade of life brings changes and even though watching a healthy man like Dr. Tracey succumb to colon cancer doesn’t seem fair, life doesn’t guarantee you fairness–ask any attorney! (Yes, I have another son who’s an attorney!) But you can up your odds of hope and hopefulness_ by filling up your own emotional resource bank with the life tools that will help you get up and walk forward, no matter what the circumstance. I’m rooting for you!
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