to the mom afraid to hope

It’s such a lonely place.

I know, my friend, I know. This is a safe space here, a sacred conversation between you and me, not filled with expectations and judgements and to-do lists and seemingly simple answers that are in reality, exponentially complex.

I know what it feels like to stifle that breath of hope, to squish down the potential of opportunity, to breathe half-way – in a way that it makes your chest tighten as you suffocate out the fullness of breath out of fear you might dare to hope.

I know what it feels like to lose hope.

I know what it feels like to look at the world and everyone else moving around it and wonder why you were given the short end of the life opportunity stick.

And I know what it feels like to give up on hope.

And I know what it feels like to dare to hope again.

Don’t stop reading. Please. I’ve lived through so much. Bankrupty. Divorce. Alone.

So I am real. Raw. I care.

That’s why I’m writing to you.

Not to judge you. Not to tell you that it is wrong that you are afraid to hope. But to be your friend. I know, I know, it’s so lonely. It’s hard to admit this to anyone because it feels like failing. But it is not failing to be real. It is not failing to tell someone that life isn’t what you thought it would be. It is not failing to admit you forgot how or are afraid to hope. It’s okay. It really is.

You see, when we give up on hope it is because we’ve dealt with some really hard stuff in life. That’s what is easy to forget on the outside. And chances are, if you’re like me, you’ve been dealt some repeat hard stuff cards in life. I know you didn’t intend to take this route, this seemingly safe anti-hope route, but sometimes this safe place seems easier.

Because when our hopes are dashed or lost or laughed at or don’t happen we feel disappointment.

And disappointment hurts. There is no kind and easy and rainbow and glitter way around that, is there? So if you are like I was, then it became easier to live just a bit numb to opportunity because there was the fear that the rug would get pulled out again.

But sweet sister, breathe with me, because I need you to do one thing again.

I need you to hope.

I know it is so hard. I know the rug might be pulled out again. I know you might feel disappointment. But dear friend, hope is the breath our hearts need. Our heart cannot starve and the absence of hope is like a noose around the lungs of our heart.

A life without hope leads to bitterness, apathy.

Now I’m not asking you to hope in the giant places. I’m asking you to hope that you can find the bravery to hope again. Seems silly, maybe, but I get it that you are busy and that there are many things pulling at you. I understand that you might be dealing with loss or finances or relationship issues. I hear you, I see you, okay? I just need you to inhale one more time and to dare to breathe just a bit deeper.

When you give yourself the gift of hope you ignite life.

Possibility. Freedom. Joy.

Our lives are going to pass by no matter what. In all the years I was afraid to hope nothing changed. Nothing at all, well, except I kept dealing with more and more hard things. And then one day, I made a choice – change my heart. And it started with the risk of hope.

You are worth that risk.

You really are, okay?

Dare to hope again. And then dare to act on that hope.

With love, from one who dared to hope and from that spark her life was changed, to all of you.

~Rachel

To read my journey of hope and bravery and to learn how to do this in your own life read my book

The Brave Art of Motherhood

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