Never give up hope for the future

My eyes were filled with tears last Saturday at the wedding of my nephew, Darwin. My only sibling, Jim, performed the ceremony—his 115th wedding ceremony.
It was a beautiful wedding and the outdoor reception was very festive. Because Darwin deals in old John Deere tractors (having an inventory of 150 tractors at a time), Annie and Darwin rode to the reception in a decorated cart pulled by a spiffy John Deere tractor.
Annie’s artistic taste was evident in the string quartet that played for the wedding, and her stunning bouquets and corsages featuring tiny cala lilies.
It was a happy occasion, yet the tears came.
My two nieces were married nearly 20 years ago. Of course, I had a few tears in my eyes when they walked down the aisle, but this time the tears wouldn’t stop.
In the invocation, Jim prayed “not for ease but for strength that we may live our lives courageously.” Later in the service, he spoke about the “tangled world” we live in.
I thought about all the difficult things our family had encountered since my nieces’ weddings. My gregarious mother is no longer here, smiling and talking to everybody.
We’ve had to deal with difficult health problems. And sadly, the world is more tangled and twisted than ever.
I needed some healing and I found it in Jim’s short meditation, “Three Building Blocks to a Happy Marriage.”
The building blocks for a happy marriage—or a happy life—are faith, hope, and love. Faith in your God. Hope for the future. And love for your fellow men.
Last Saturday, I needed hope most of all.
You need hope to get “through the difficult times,” said Jim. “It’s impossible to anticipate now what struggles may lie ahead, it’s hope that will allow you to be able to see the rainbow at the end of the storm, the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Hope will help you see good even in the midst of the bad, and hope will keep you hanging in there until things get better.”
In her book “On Hope and Happiness,” Marianne Williamson says we can learn to create hope and happiness in our lives by thinking about how wonderful life is instead of focusing on life’s difficulties.
It’s easy to feel sad sometimes. The longer we live, the more losses we have. And we’ve all made mistakes in our lives, so feelings of guilt and self-judgment often linger.
But it’s very important not to get stuck in the past—grieving our losses and regretting our mistakes.
Williamson challenges us to release our attachment to suffering and make a space within to accept good in our lives. Thus creating hope and happiness that will change our lives for the better.
The full title of Williamson’s book is “On Hope and Happiness: Hope and the Choice to Be Happy.” And that’s what it takes to live a full and rich life—consciously choosing hope and happiness.
So why not choose hope and happiness—even when life tries to get you down. Then when life’s difficulties come, as they surely will, you’ll have the strength to live your life courageously.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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