There is always somebody worse off

When I began my hope journey I wanted to write about the ups and downs of life and how hope came into that. Over recent days as I have shared my hope reservoirs are depleted for various reasons and I am drawing on other things to help carry me through. Thanks to those of you who have offered me kindness and support, it means a lot. Thank you to all followers who adventure along with me.

This morning I went for a walk and was stopped by a pavement dweller ( I avoid the word homeless), asking me for money. I was struck by his being in a worse position than myself. I have a lovely home and kindness and compassion from friends and family to help me. This man is on the streets, with all that entails. I don’t know his story, but it is probably a tragedy. So in my battles, I think of him.

There is always someone worse off than we are. I think of Lebanon and the awful crisis the people are facing there. I think of India and the tragic plane crash. I think of people sleeping on pavements and people on ventilators. And the list goes on.

And I think of people better off than I. I think of people who earn more money, have things I have never had, had dreams fulfilled that I have not. And I do not resent their happiness. Because that is life. There are those better off and those worse off. But the important thing is not to become bitter when life deals us bitter and tragic blows. To hold the hand of Hope and look to her smile as she offers a promise that tomorrow may be a bit easier.

Today’s recipe of hope is to look to hope, for yourself or for others. Carry hope for those who are hurting. Put your arm around those in pain and show them compassion. If you are happy then share something with those who are not. And if you are suffering, check your attitude. It is not very helpful to look at the temptation of self pity. Some may suffer more than others that is true. But comparing oneself with someone else is like comparing a giraffe and a gorilla. Different species.

Let us be grateful for what we have, even if it is not what we would wish for X

Fur therapy

One aspect of hope that we haven’t really discussed very much is the healing power of animals. I was sat in a garden yesterday and a beautiful baby robin appeared. A friend has recently become a foster mum to a brood of kittens and is posting lovely updates on this little family.

Animals are wonderful therapeutic beings. Dogs and cats in particular are family members and bring an added dimension to people’s lives. I think of the wonderful cat Bob, who changed his owner’s life. Bob was a priceless gift.

I love animals, especially rabbits. I am not able to have any at the present time, but one day I would love to have a pet. But for now I hope to visit the kittens. I would love to hear from pet owners on how their pet builds hope into their day.

So today’s recipe of hope is to enjoy our furry friends. Celebrate your pet today (quick shout out to Helen who is getting a puppy!) And for those who do not have pets, maybe you would like to offer a home to a rescued animal, or foster one. Or you could offer to walk a dog for a neighbour (in a safe way of course, as per covid guidelines). And let us always treat animals with love and kindness X

Hope In Practice

Today I was wondering what to write about and then about 10 minutes ago there was a knock on the door and a box arrived and in it were many lovely treats. This has lifted my spirits and made my day. Yesterday I was treated to lovely cinnamon buns. This again lifted my spirits.

We all need things to lift us and this has lifted me. I write this to illustrate how people’s thoughtfulness impacts on us. I have had a challenging few days this last week and my hope reservoir is very depleted being honest. And this has refilled the tank.

Small and thoughtful gestures make an enormous difference. At this point I want to offer my condolences to those in India affected by the aircrash today in Kerala. You are very much in my thoughts at this time. I am so saddened by this tragedy.

Today’s recipe of hope is to reach out our hands to those whose hope reservoirs are low. To show we care. We are not allowed to hug one another in the UK, but we can give a hug in many other ways and touch each other through acts of kindness.

Let us raise one another’s hopes in this world where there is so much tragedy X

Brotherhood

Some of you may remember that a while ago I said I would write a post on brotherhood. I am writing this from a female perspective, but as I have five brothers (one in heaven), I feel entitled to comment.

What is brotherhood? It is defined in The Free Dictionary as

1. The state or relationship of being brothers.2. Fellowship.3. An association of men, such as a fraternity or union, united for common purposes.4. All the members of a profession or trade.

What I want to focus on is a state of being brothers. In my mind this can be a friendship, or a brotherly fraternal relationship. In other words having one another’s backs.

In my mind men spending time together often involves activities rather than chatting. It may involve fishing, camping, quad biking, running and many other things. However the high rate of male suicide suggests that men may need another aspect of brotherhood, which is sharing their emotions and inner feelings. I think women do this well. I am not trying to be sexist here and would love to hear comments from male followers on this topic, but I think it is generally accepted that this is the case.

There is an amazing meeting of men called Man Club, held in Kent, where men can share and support one another in confidence. They also do wonderful walks which women can attend (I have been on one). Hats off to the excellent Man Club who are a life saver (literally).

Today’s recipe of hope is to look out and support men, especially those battling depression. We can all do our bit to help men, by being kind and supportive and speaking to them. We can notice if they aren’t okay. And please ask someone if they don’t seem okay. And if you are female, you can look out for your male friends, or partner, or brother/s.

Let’s encourage brotherhood of man in its truest sense X

References

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/brotherhood (accessed 06/08/2020)

Moving on with hope

As many of you may be aware, I run a community project and the aim is to offer hope to the community. Let’s explore how we can help our community to move on from difficult times.

These are the principles which I adhere to in running the project I work in.

Abundance; people can have as much as they like. If someone wants six t-shirts, then they can have six t-shirts if they are there to take. I give away what I have got in the hope that more will come in. And in that way nobody goes away feeling short changed

Offering a listening ear. I also run a befriending service, which is for lonely and isolated people. It is amazing how many people are alone and in need of someone just to ask how they are getting on.

Be kind. Showing kindness and respect to all is vital. People may be drug or alcohol users, but they are given the same respect as everyone else.

Give for nothing. There is a great deal of social deprivation in the area where I live and many people cannot survive on benefits. They may go hungry to feed their children. It is important to give free items of food and clothing. Some people give a donation, but it doesn’t matter if they do not, or even give a tiny amount.

Today’s recipe of hope is to consider your community and how to move forward with hope. Sir Captain Tom Moore united the nation of Britain with his wonderful walking, clapping for the NHS united the nation too. These things are so important. Consider whether you can offer your time to do something in the community, such as voluntary work, or even just bake a cake for someone, or offer to do shopping for somebody.

Let’s keep moving forward together X

Camaraderie

Today I want to write about the hope that comes from camaraderie. This is an interesting word and means: ‘mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together’.

I like the idea of camaraderie because I think it is a collective experience. I remember as a young woman, going on holiday with family friends. On the last day of one holiday, everyone jumped in the pool fully clothed. We had lots of camaraderie; eating cheese, drinking wine, lots of trips, crazy horse riding sessions and bucket loads of fun.

But can we do that with Covid? Yes we can. We can do lots of lovely outdoor things, like camping, glamping, walking, cycling and various other things.

And one lovely idea is sitting round a fire pit. This is a lovely aspect of camping. Chatting over toasted marshmallows. And lovely food. One thing I think is wonderful is wood fire ovens. And this is a shout out to Kennedy fire, who are a family business who make these and they are simply fabulous (I have had cinnamon buns baked in one of these ovens). You may want to check out their website: https://kennedyfire.co.uk/

So today’s recipe of hope is to cook up some camaraderie; arrange a camping trip, sit in a garden with a friend and a glass of wine, arrange to go cycling or walking with someone. Let’s enjoy sharing quality time together. And please let me know how you get on.

Happy camaraderie everybody X

Hope beyond ourselves

Today I want to write about options when our hope runs dry. As humans we face many challenges throughout our lives and sometimes things feel utterly desolate and desperate. This can be particularly true when we face bereavement or disappointment through tragedy, or terminal illness.

What do we do? I have a Christian faith and have found this an immense comfort for my dark times. There is a beautiful Psalm, where the writer, David asks:

‘Why am I discouraged?

‘Why is my heart so sad?’

He is struggling and many of us may relate to this. He has run out of hope. But he then states:

‘I will put my hope in God’

For myself, I have found putting my hope in God a wonderful comfort and source of strength. Placing my hope in God means I trust Him to lead and guide me.

And what if you do not believe in God? That is your choice and I respect people’s right to choose their belief system, and you may also like to have faith in your own ability to cope. But a suggestion is to also have the support of others, just in case your own strength fails you.

So today’s recipe of Hope if you have a Christian faith is to reflect on what God’s Hopes for you are right now. And if you are running dry on the Hope fronmt, ask Him to send you a Hope carrier. If you do not believe in God, or any other faith and have run out of hope, ask someone to help you to hope again. Reach out for support. Others will be more than happy to help you. And professional help is wonderful; through a GP or advice service.

May you all find your hope wells overflowing again X

References

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible. New Living Translation, copyright

See the source image

1986,2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by Permission of Tyndale Houe publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Hope heals

Hello everyone and welcome to a new week. Today we have our second hope story and I would like to introduce you to Katherine and Jay Wolf. This is a remarkable story of hope against the odds. It is a long video, but well worth watching and very inspiring.

Acknowledgements

Thank you to You Tube for this video.

Milestone Award

Congratulations to Jeremy Jain Babu who receives today’s Milestone Award. The Milestone Award is an award from my blog. Jeremy Jain has today posted my 100th comment and I want to thank her for following and encouraging me throughout my blogging journey.

Jeremy Jain’s site is called Thea Thoolika and she is also celebrating a milestone, so take a look at her wonderful blog.

Without likes, follows and comments, we would have an audience of 1=ourselves. So thank you followers for making the blog happen. I will let you know the next milestone which will be very soon.

Courage

(also posted on Hope 2018)

When I first started writing this blog on January 1st 2020, I promised to have integrity in writing and be transparent. So I will be. So, I want to speak about courage today. The courage and strength to battle on. Because for some of us life would be described as joyous, invigorating and exciting. And for others it would probably be described as a battle.

At the moment, life for me would definitely be described as a battle. I personally have not found the life path very easy and that is why I cling to Hope, to help me get through. Life does not come in a gift wrapped bow for everyone; there are many challenges and sometimes it is hard to find Hope when things have gone awry. But I write this for those who have had a blessed path and those who have not. I particularly want to reach out to anyone battling depression or mental illness today and congratulate you. Because if you are fighting those things, you have courage.

Courage may be deemed strength in battle as in soldiers fighting in a war. But I view courage as strength in life; the unsung heroes who have mental illness and get up every morning with heaviness and pain in their heart, fight against becoming bitter, fight to celebrate other people’s happiness and Facebook pages, when their lives feel empty and bereft, fight to keep going, fight to present a public face when all they want to do is crawl under a duvet, fight to not exit stage left but see a stage that extends beyond today’s suffering.

And the same is true of those battling physical illness; those who are fighting cancer, or chronic pain and keep joyous, keep giving out, keep blessing others. You are all unsung heroes and I salute you today. Courage is made for adversity

And those who are bereaved and are courageously rebuilding their lives that grief has bulldozed through, I salute you. You are amazing.

To all fellow sufferers today who are clinging to hope like a life-raft, I celebrate you. To those who are happy, enjoy and keep hoping. To those who are deeply unhappy, Hope is there for you at this time. She offers her arms of comfort that you are not alone.

And I also want to celebrate those who offer a hope life-raft to the suffering souls. |I want to do a shout out to The Samaritans who hold a hand of non-judgmental hope to those in distress, those who are battling suicide and cannot carry on, those with no-one to listen at 3am. Thank you for being a hero.

Today’s recipe of hope is to celebrate if you have battled on against the odds. Give yourself a massive pat on the back. If you are in a great place and know of someone who is struggling, please look out for them. Please keep in mind those who may seem strong and independent, who live alone. Because they maybe more vulnerable than they appear. Above all, let us be kind to ourselves and one another

May you all know the Hope that comes through courage X

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