Friday, September 18, 2009

Coping => Hoping => Renewing

Every Friday, members of the Loose Blog Consortium (LBC), post on a topic suggested by one of the members. Please visit the blogs of Ashok, Conrad, David, Grannymar, Maria and Ramana to see what they've done with the topic that was suggested by Conrad - Hope and Renewal.

My sister recently reminded me that for a short time in my twenties, I used to sign my name Marianna Lauren. What is unusual about that is that Lauren is not my second name. In fact, I don't even have a second name.

Now that I think of it, perhaps Hope may have been a more appropriate choice. I seem to have an abundance of hope, perhaps long after I should have given up on hoping.

Hope comes in many guises - big and small, private and public, whispered and shouted.

There is the unexpressed, yet understood hope I have for health:
  • cook nutritious meals from scratch
  • get enough exercise and rest
  • be aware of the need to protect my joints from further deterioration and dislocation
  • do what brings me joy by ensuring that my values are met in various ways
  • stay connected and be involved to the extent that is right for me
  • regularly transform my stress
There is the hope that I extend to others:
  • I wish you a safe journey!
  • Good luck!
  • Many happy returns!
  • I hope you have a speedy recovery. (Grannymar & Laurel)
  • My fingers (eyes and toes) are crossed for you!
Finally, there are the hopes and wishes we sprinkle over the things a part of us knows most likely will not come to pass, but we do it anyway, for good measure. I hope that:
  • by showering Murphy with love his cancer will go into remission.
  • I'll win that contest.
  • he'll do things differently this time around.
  • I can help my sister find a home for the stray cat that is in her neighbourhood.
  • I can ease some of your pain.
Hope is that thing that allows me to move forward, in spite of knowing that some of the things one hopes for won't come to pass. It's almost as if it's the breath in between - the one that allows you to come to terms with the realisation that some things won't come to pass. It's the make-peace-with-it sentiment.

It is also the holding of a dream - a wish that things will get better. And, sometimes they do.

Having an abundance of hope allows me to get out of bed each day and get through my day, when often doing the simplest of things (holding the milk carton, opening a water bottle or typing) can cause pain or can be a drain on energy.

There is a positive change in physiology with hope. This is the difference between the Stress Zone and the Stress-Free Zone. Positive emotions change our heart rhythms so that they begin to smoothen out. This signals the brain that there is is no need to activate the stress response - a cascade of 1400 chemical changes complete with side-effects that are necessary in a true emergency. Remember, our system dates back to the time when we had to catch our dinner or run from it!

Plain and simple, hope feels better. Having hope increases our ability to renew - whether it be our emotional, mental, physical or spiritual self. Sometimes we may want healing of one type, when it's another realm of healing that occurs.

Can there be too much hope? I don't think so. Hope is the pause that refreshes and renews. Some may call it denial, but I call it coping by hoping. Is it genetic? Perhaps. Can it be learned? Definitely.

I hope you will...

Count your night by stars, count your life with smiles, not tears. ~ Italian proverb

Image courtesy of 4younity.

8 comments:

  1. None of the rest of LCB could have written this with such sensitivity. I congratulate you. Beautiful.

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  2. If ever I've known a person living hopefully, you are it, Marianna! As I put on my entry, what I am delighted with in your story is your willingness to back it with belief and action.

    I hope you have a pain-free day, but I cannot believe that with Murphy and everything you are facing that this is fully realistic. However, I believe that you will find goodness and peace in all your experience, that none of it will dim your hopes. Because I totally believe that you are made from VERY good stuff, Marianna Hope!

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  3. Hope would be a beautiful middle name.

    I have a cousin, Prudence. She takes to heart her name (Prude(nce). I can't have her on my email list anymore, because she gets upset when I send risque -off color- cartoons.

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  4. I'm beginning to feel like the spectre at the feast..or whatever...
    I suspect that my wine glass last evening was half empty. ;-)

    You've reminded me of what hope really means.
    I hope everything you hope for comes to pass.

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  5. Ramana,
    Your kind words are so encouraging. Thank you.

    Conrad,
    Thanks for your concern and your support! The flare-ups have reduced, mainly because I've learned to transform my stress. It's the damage from the previous years of inflammation that creates the problems. Where is that Star Trek transponder, or whatever it's called?

    BHB,
    There is something afoot about names. Kooky as it sounds. I've noticed that when I was teaching - of course, my lips are sealed!

    Magpie 11,
    We can all experience that 1/2 full/empty glass scenario - if it only lasted an evening, then that's a blessing!

    It brought a smile to my face when you commented on your blog that you were just as surprised with the ending as I was. That's a sure sign that you are in the flow! Love it!

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  6. Hope is all that you make it to be and more :) May everything you hope for turn true!

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  7. It has taken me a long time to get around to comment. Such a wonderful piece and thank you for the good wishes. Each day brings new relief and also another challenge.

    May your pain ease with each day that passes and todays troubles pass quickly.

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Welcome! I know your life is busy. That's why I appreciate your stopping by to comment.