Years ago, I clipped a powerful quote out of Essence and pinned it to a cork board in my apartment. The quote read,
The three pillars of deep spirituality are faith, hope, and love—yet it is courage that enables all three.
Listen, man. That quote blew my mind at the time. When I decided to focus on 1 Corinthians 13:13, I made my way back to those words and decided to really spend some time thinking about what the writer was trying to convey.
“Hope” is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” It is a word that we often use lightly like, “I hope they have this dress in my size” or “I hope Rihanna hurries up with her album.” Yet, to hope deeply for something requires an immense amount of courage. One has to really believe that it can happen and that can be scary. At least, it can be for me. There are so many projects and businesses that I have always wanted to launch but I haven’t because of fear. I’m talking the kind of fear that holds me back and keeps me from feeling hopeful about the future.
That feeling of expectation and desire referenced above has given me full on anxiety in the past. When you expect something incredible, there is always that chance of being disappointed. I don’t like to be disappointed. Who does? So, to avoid that disappointment, I used to skip the hope and barrage myself with questions to ultimately talk myself out of things. “Can I make this happen? Do I deserve this to happen to me?” On and on.
Today, I’m saying “Yes” to those questions and to any others that stops me from having hope (shoutout to Shonda).
You know why I can do that? Because I am elevating my faith. Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…” Faith supports the things for which we hope. If we are going to dream big and go big this year, we have to BOTH believe that we can REALLY make it happen (faith) and have the balls to do something about it (courage) and then take the action needed to make it happen.
Goal-setting before the start of this year has really helped me take the limits off of my thinking and cast aside a lot of fears. For the first time in a long time, I feel like empowered to create the vision that I have for my life. I am filled with hope without the fear of disappointment and it is freeing.
I want to leave you with this quote from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.
Optimism is a passive virtue, hope an active one. It needs no courage, only a certain naiveté, to be an optimist. It needs a great deal of courage to have hope.
Do you have the courage to hope?