Every morning for a couple of months now, I have had skin pain over much of my body that is like that hypersensitive, irritated, irritable feeling of freshly scraped skin. I am constantly aware of all my skin, making it hard to concentrate on work or other things. I have found a way to get it to calm down by about 10:30 am, but I know it will be back. I am generally a pretty positive person, but pain has a way of wearing a person down, and my positive has had streaks of negative running through it lately.
Some days are worse than others, and yesterday was one of the worst. I was lying in a hammock, feeling sorry for myself, when I started to think about the word 'hope'. Dictionary.com defines 'hope' as:the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. I do have hope, but I sometimes have to remind myself it is there.
Last weekend we went to an arts and music festival in Shaker Heights, OH. There I met a delightful woman named Deborah Brodie, who had a booth for her art, Dor L'Dor (Hebrew for generation to generation). She takes Hebrew words and makes the letters into a design. I had fun looking at each one, reading the word and figuring out the symbolism in the design. She makes each design into a variety of jewelry (necklaces, pins, earrings, etc.), as well as other items. How is this related to 'hope'? I bought a necklace from her, in the shape of a Star of David, with the word 'Tikvah", Hebrew for 'hope'.
I chose this design because it was the one I liked best, the one that talked to me. It wasn't until yesterday that I really started to think about what this necklace means to me. I have hope in my heart (a couple of inches away, actually) that I can handle the pain, and I will be okay.
Hope is a powerful word. To have hope means to have faith that the future will turn out okay. To have hope means that no matter how difficult today is, I know that I can get through it. To have hope means that when I am hurting and it feels like it will never get better, I know that it will. Hope can be the difference between survival and demise, and between merely existing and really living. Hope can give you the push you need to take care of yourself. Hope gives you a reason to get up in the morning, and a reason to smile as you go to bed at night. Hope makes life worth living, and each day a gift.