#AddictedToHope: Catching Sunlight in Jars
Out of all my years in school, Kindergarten has to be in my favorite top three of all time. I mean, you get to do crafts, there’s nap time, story circles, and in so many ways, it is the beginning of all the possibilities and dreams of what you will become. Best of all, you get asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” That simple question holds so many possibilities! You get to imagine yourself as a firefighter, policeman, astronaut, engineer, ballerina, teacher, artist, doctor, etc. So much awe and wonder! Kindergarten was the grade for dreaming big dreams.
One memory that still sticks with me was a craft we did on the last day of school. We were given a mason jar and instructed to cover it with homemade clay that would harden over time. After it dried, we got to make them our own by decorating them with markers, paint, glitter, and whatever our little hearts desired. Then our teacher took us outside and told us we would capture some sunlight that we would be able to keep inside the jar forever. I vividly remember opening the top of my mason jar, thrusting it high up into the air, and frantically putting the lid back on, sealing it tight!
It was funny. I was always curious to look inside the jar and see if the sunlight was still securely inside, but I didn’t dare open it because I was worried about losing it, so I kept it shut. The thoughts of a child are amazing! Just think of how a simple idea could capture one’s imagination and instill such a profound idea to this day.
Have you ever had a dream for your life? Be honest. Have you ever wished for something in your life and at the same time wondered how it would happen? Have you ever aspired to become something or accomplish something great? Have you ever wondered if the state of things could be different? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you are not alone.
Looking back at that moment in my life, I laugh a little bit. We obviously couldn’t capture light in a jar, but that idea got me thinking: Hope can sometimes feel just like that. Hope is this sort of elusive thing that we chase after — something we continually strive for but seems to be just out of reach. We almost wish we could capture it in a jar for safekeeping and seal it away for when we need it most, and if we were able to put it in a jar, we wouldn’t dare open it up again in fear of losing it. But what if hope wasn’t something to be captured but invited into and released in our lives and this world?
There is an innate drive in the human psyche: always looking to self-improve, dream bigger dreams, and wonder about the possibilities on the other side of the next hill. That very nature allows us, as a human race, to find advancement in society, build cities, create cures for diseases, plan for the future of our kids, seek higher education, learn a new skill, and work towards a better world! No matter if it is big or small, we have this drive to move forward. But as life would have it, that movement is rarely easy.
When we are honest enough with ourselves and let other people under the surface, we reveal the blemishes, scars, addictions, baggage, struggles, and hurts in our lives, as well as our dreams, aspirations, battles fought, and victories celebrated. Life is a mixed bag of the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. In the midst of all of it, there is a source of incredible strength that grounds and propels us. It is a simple word but a tremendous force. It is hope.
Hope is a powerful thing! It gives a picture for a better tomorrow, new ideas, and an optimistic perspective of what could be. So, it may seem odd to pair the words addicted and hope in the same sentence, let alone combine them into a singular idea. Addiction has power over a person that almost seems unquenchable. The very word would generally invoke a sense of hopelessness rather than hope. But it is for this very fact; I choose to use it or, better, hijack it.
I mean to be provocative when I push the idea of being #AddictedToHope. The very contrast of these words, put together, invokes something disruptive and hopefully stirs something inside of you. Track with me for a second. Imagine clinging to an idea, like hope, with the same obsession as an addict would for their next fix. Imagine what would happen if the concept of hope had that sort of hold on you — consuming your every thought, desire, attention, and your actions and, ultimately, your future. What would happen if we were people who were #AddictedToHope? All it takes is a spark that ignites in you a movement towards true hope!
Want to explore this incredible idea of hope further? All it takes is a spark that ignites in you a movement towards true hope!
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In #AddictedToHope, you will begin your journey to change by learning about a simple, yet transformational shift that I’ve seen work over and over again. Join me — and everyone else — who have discovered what it means to be #AddictedToHope.