This Labor Day weekend, I find myself reflecting on “hope” and all the ways in which I and others continue to work, strive, and labor with the hope that the next minute, day, month, or year will feel different or better. Especially in the early days of my recovery from Binge-Eating Disorder, I looked forward with hope to a day when I would wake up and not hate my body. As I worked hard to decrease negative self-talk, express my feelings, and reconnect with my spiritual self, hope was my bridge from one moment to the next. Indeed, some of my clients have used hope as their foundation to taking the next step, however difficult, however labored.
Practitioners of “mindfulness” (being fully aware of and engaged in the present moment exactly as it is) might argue that focusing on the next moment distracts us from the present. I have definitely fallen into this trap; my partner notes that I often set my eyes on the “horizon” and hurry forward to “the next big thing” while losing sight of and appreciation for the unfolding journey. So maybe the idea here is to appreciate the ways in which hope acts as a bridge, making it possible to find peace in the midst of confusion, joy in the midst of sorrow, and rest in the midst of pain.
For all those struggling to see hope on the horizon, take a deep breath, exhale, and look beneath you. It just might be the very thing supporting you in this moment.
Peace, joy, and hope,