Living in Hope

It’s that time of the year when the countdown to new beginnings is just around the corner. While I’m part excited and part mellow, I’m also a little hesitant at making new plans because one never knows what’s in store for us in the days to come.

As I look back on the year that’s been, I can only say I’ve so much to be grateful for, from having witnessed and experienced life, up close, through the prism of losses, heartbreaks, failures and disasters in the course of the last twelve months that I can only think of as cataclysmic. Through all of this, if I had to think of one single thing that’s been common to all of us, it would be this one realisation that we cannot take anything for granted, nothing, absolutely nothing in the world—least of all, this precious life of ours and that of our near and dear ones.

2021 has taught us yet another a lesson in embracing the impermanence of life, as we’ve all struggled to navigate ourselves through this state of flux that has become a constant…everything around us reminding us, every single day, through multiple ways, that there never was a better time to live in the present moment. It’s written in stone—the here and the now, that we need to live by, from now on, for the rest of our lives.

And yet, we all live in hope, for better times to come, because, that is what will make us jump out of bed every morning to work to work towards new beginnings. Our darkest times, whilst being a stark reminder of the reality of life, will also goad us to dream of beautiful dawns and dusks. Through the course of our lives, even as we seem to dangle between hope and despair, our minds and our hearts will conspire to nudge us to forge new pathways, to build, create and produce new objects, systems, processes and what not, because, at the end of the day, we all know that life must go on. We know, that in the midst of all the uncertainty and the chaos of our very fragile existence, we will also have some of our most beautiful and cherished moments this life has to offer. The dichotomy of life is an irreplaceable aspect of this duality, within which humanity continues to thrive.

Of course, there will be setbacks, as they’ve always been. They are a part of the human condition. Like, for instance, the disproportionately high number of instances when things didn’t work out in a certain way for you or me, but, then, on hindsight, it turns out there must have been a very good reason for that. Everything that happens to us happens because the Universe has willed it so. Life happens. Every big and small thing that became an obstacle for us, happened because there was a lesson in it that had to be learnt, which couldn’t have come if things had gone otherwise.

Time and again, life has taught us, how it is the obstacle that is the way. Negativity, pessimism and fear cannot take us forward. That is a known.

So, I’m keeping my sights fixed on learning and growing, even as I’m counting my blessings and bracing up to face 2022! I do not know what lies ahead. But, I do remind myself, every day, that there is a world of possibilities out there, and there’s not one or two, but a total of 365 days to go for whatever it is, that my heart is willing to seek—you, me, we all are in this together—our personal and professional goals included, our journeys into known and unknown paths, that only we have to walk upon and discover for ourselves.

We’ve lived in fear and darkness for the longest time, over the past eighteen months. I wonder how things would be, if we now learn to embrace the light and live in hope, instead?

Leaving you with the words of the famous poet, T.S. Eliot:

The question to ask is—

Are we ready to make a new beginning?

*******

Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday free writing exercise, along with my friends, Vinitha and Shilpa.

15 thoughts

  1. I don’t think I’ve lived in fear or in hope, these last two years – more of an attempt to accept what is, today. Sure, of course I hope for things that may or may not come to pass. We traveled more, last year, than I would have believed possible two years ago. It was disappointing to retire at the start of the pandemic, only to have travel plans canceled. In the wake of disappointment, I’d abandoned the hope that we would be able to travel again in my lifetime. To have that “hope” (never mind actual plans) dashed over and over kills joy faster than finding other things to focus on and enjoy in the now. I feel fear, now and then, but it is a pointless emotion unless there’s a very real and immediate danger. That kind of fear keeps us on our toes, alert, and serves us well. But vague fear and worry about an uncertain future aren’t really productive; they, too, steal joy. Even tomorrow isn’t a given, so we might as well not rob today of its happiness in worrying over what may or may not ever come to pass.

  2. Uncertainty and chaos are part of life. The truth is we will find our way, our sunshine, and move forward with gratitude in our hearts for all the little moments that give us happiness, clarity, and the will to keep going. I know, for the past 22 months we are living in a different, scary, uncertain world. But this scary world, too, has given us moments of joy, moments that we cherish, hasn’t it? I believe no matter how scary and uncertain it all appears, we will be okay. This year I am keeping hope alive in me. Everything is going to turn out better than we hope. I believe so. I see that in your year-end reflection too, Esha. May the coming days, weeks, and months be filled with happiness and peace for all of us!

  3. I agree, Esha. Everything happens for a reason, for we wouldn’t learn the valuable lessons otherwise.
    I am grateful for being safe and alive today. I am grateful for everything that happened and for everything that is happening. The Universe is taking care of us all in ways we wouldn’t realize!
    About 2022? I dont want to think about it. I want to be in this moment and be grateful for it.

  4. We all have lived in fear over the last couple of years. TBH, I don’t think 2022 will be any different, especially with Omicron lurking around. But we should live in hope. We should try to find happiness, love and gratitude during these uncertain times. A tight hug to you for being so strong and surviving with a never-give-up attitude through all that is going on. Lots of love Di.

  5. I am definitely ready and eagerly awaiting a Covid-free year and world. This uncertainty is so harsh on all of us. Filled with a lot of gratitude for surviving this and the last year. Fingers crossed that new year will be much better.

    1. Well said, Rachna! I think we’re all tired to the core of being caught up in this pandemic for so long. A change for the better would be the best thing for all of us.
      Fingers crossed indeed for 2022!

  6. It’s been a tough couple of years! And there’s still so much uncertainty, which makes it difficult to make any plans for next year. I’m also just reflecting on my many blessings this year, and being more open and gentle with year end plans. But as you rightly said, we do live in hope!

    1. Totally agree, Shinjini! The uncertainty and the dread of the virus has taken a huge toll on our mental and physical health. It’s been tough on so many levels for most of us.
      Couldn’t ask for anything other than a break from this sense of constant dread and uncertainty.
      Desperately hoping and praying for a better year ahead.

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