The power of hope
In many cases all hope dies following the ending of something.Tomorrow is full of uncertainty and today is smothered in painful emotions of all kinds. We have the feeling especially after a death that there can be no more hope. How could there be, when the dearest person, your own child or your parents have been taken from you far too soon. What is there to hope for when it is clear that this person will be gone from our lives forever?
On days like Christmas, Easter, birthdays or when an anniversary is coming up, the hopelessness is felt twice as strongly because someone is missing, a place is empty and the sadness competes with your own melancholy.
Losing your livelihood, your business or your current job can also be accompanied by great hopelessness. This is something I sense in many people in recent months, due to the Corona pandemic. If we are bankrupt we Germans land softly onto the state's social support and we will never starve on the street, yet people do take their own lives because their whole being is anchored in having and having seems more important than their own lives and the subsequent lives of their children, parents or siblings.
Those who have lost their job or their own company find themselves on the worst possible thought carousel. Immediately, thoughts are found that destroy any chance of finding a new job. I am too old. I am not good enough. I can no longer reorient myself. I no longer have the strength to take the step into self-employment again. I have no money. These are all examples of hope fading until it is lost altogether because we have talked ourselves to death. Especially those of us who are used to holding the reins, the so-called doers, fall into a deep hole because they believe that hope is unrealistic unless you take the matter into your own hands. They see the uncertainty as a danger, even as an enemy. But what if the uncertainty of hope is seem as an infinite space full of possibilities?
I often experience how my hiking companions send me a list even before the start of the tour, with all the things they cannot do. Never hike more than 15 km. Just don't sleep in the forest. Heat is not an option. I could make a long list. And what do I do? When asked how far we've hiked, I always lengthen or shorten the details in my answer, depending on the terrain we've covered, so that in the end we've actually hiked at least five kilometres more than "by no means more than 15 kilometres". Three days later we are doing 25 kilometres.
The best way to regain hope is to leave your own comfort zone. Only then will you find out what you are capable of. That's why I advise you, for example, to plan your hiking route a bit longer rather than too short. Or a steep tour up the mountain instead of a leisurely one along the river. The same applies in all other areas: leaving your comfort zone creates new space for surprising possibilities that give rise to hope.
If you learn, despite everything that has happened, that you can have hope again and that it is inexhaustible, you will become yourself again. If you are 100% yourself, there will be no more limits for you and hope will carry you to success. I see this every day in myself and in friends. Those who rarely deal with themselves, who don't meditate, who question everything and have never learned to trust in the great unknown, suffer greatly from the pandemic and all that it brings with it, and suffer psychological damage. The others, including me, shrug their shoulders, find it less fun and annoying, but none of us is shaken to the core. My life in particular has not changed. I sit in front of the computer and write. I make myself active, do Trees of Memory, and I focus on problem solving and not on the problem.
All of us have heard the story of Icarus, who wanted to fly and was laughed at and failed again and again to rise up into the air like a bird. For many millennia, it was impossible for humans to soar through the air. Everyone agreed: you can't fly without wings and feathers. That was the perceived truth until someone said: "Of course man can fly, just differently". Every failed attempt was met with nationwide ridicule and the visionaries were laughed at and not infrequently humiliated. And today? I am a paraglider and, if I catch a good thermal, I can circle in the air for many hours. Sometimes together with birds of prey that show me the way to unimagined heights. I feel like a bird and can lead the way. I never know if the flying day will be a good one. What sustains me is hope and since I am not a professional, hope is worth more than my flying skills.
When I made it public that I would be hiking around the world with TREES of MEMORY to plant trees in remembrance of suicide victims, many laughed at me. I even got emails saying that they had never heard such nonsense and that such a plan could never be implemented. The reasoning was often that I couldn't walk on water. It seemed to me that I was the only one who thought my vision was possible. But over time, people from all over Germany became infected with my perceived visions. Today, more than four years later, I have hiked many thousands of kilometres. An idea became an international project. From 11 visionary people, who found each other through me, a European non-profit association has grown with members from two countries. Dozens of trees in remembrance have already been planted all over Germany and there are invitations from 13 countries where trees are to be planted.
I am devoted to my idea and abandoned all pragmatic conventional thinking. What seemed impossible in the first few weeks is now a lived reality. This reality has become a vast space of infinite possibilities in which hope is inexhaustible. I don't have to let that be ruined by those who say: "You're not hiking around the world, you're still in Germany". Would you tell a marathon runner that he's not running a marathon just because he's on his first 5 kilometres? Do you see what I'm getting at?
One day you will have a vision that others don't feel. You will walk towards a goal whose great whole will remain hidden from the spectators at the side of the track. Yes, even your competitors will reject new points of view and look straight ahead from their corner, unaware that you are looking around the corner where great things are opening up. It doesn't matter what others see. It is your project, your dream, your vision, your goal and most importantly: your life. A life that, beyond all drama, sadness and misfortunes, will still deliver many great moments. Just because you don't feel and see them yet, doesn't mean they are not there.
It may be time for you to question your limiting of your actions to what feels safe. You wanted and still want to control the unknown by imposing your stance on it. Have you not learned that you are at this difficult point in your life today because you have no control over the unknown and the great movement in which our lives are involved?
Be willing to live in the now of reality and allow yourself a new perspective full of openness. Don't close yourself off any longer and take notice when something encouraging happens outside your comfort zone. Take a step back from old behaviours. Be mindful, watch out if you are replaying an old pattern or telling your friends and acquaintances the same story for the umpteenth time. Don't refer to old habits, because they only reflect your careless thinking and acting.
When you become aware of what you are doing and try a new way within the framework of self-knowledge, then - but only then - change happens. If you let yourself go and allow hope to present a good result without wanting to control it, you will not be disappointed. But beware of sending a worked out wish list to the universe like a little child. It is not necessary to wish for a light blue Lamborghini when you desperately need a car. You can always trust that the images of your goal sent to the universe as visionary hope will lead you to the best outcome. Trust it, even if you don't know what the result will be and how you will get to the goal of your wishes.
For years I have had no idea how to achieve this or that, even in the context of my hiking around the world. Of course, I often think to myself: "Lord, let me win the lottery, then everything would be easier". But would it be good for me and all that is yet to come if I were to hike around the world with millions in my pocket? Then I would no longer be able to hike as an encouraging role model if I could simply afford all that and have my tired bones soothed by a nice masseur in the Hilton Hotel and in the evening to end the day with a juicy steak and a little champagne. In such a case, everyone would say: "Easy for him to say". Even without a million, or precisely because of it, TREES of MEMORY became much bigger than I ever imagined or dreamed. Isn't that worth much more than everything else and my thoughts of luxury?
As a child I often dreamed of becoming a famous author and I still look with envy at stories like Harry Potter or authors like Ken Follett, whom I have had the pleasure of interviewing. By the time you read these lines, I will have published my third book and no one will know me. Maybe it's better not to be famous. But I am doing what I have always dreamed of. I always wanted to see the world and become an author. Now I hike around the world and write a book now and then. I am living my dreams, having paid a high price and only through that have I been able to do so. Perhaps you must first give in order to receive?
The path of hope and your own fulfilment is and remains a mystery and always unpredictable, just as, praise God, we cannot foresee misfortunes either. That does not make the feeling of having hope any less trustworthy. On the contrary, I find it extremely exciting and incredibly beautiful. But I don't have to hold the reins in my hand, I allow the horse to carry me where it is good for me, even if I don't recognise that at first glance.
When you go for a walk today, and your thoughts are circling madly and wandering away from everyday life, bring them back under control by saying to yourself again and again, aloud or silently:
I have all the hope in the world.
Use it like a mantra. It will calm your mind. Take ten steps and say "I have all the hope in the world". Ten steps ...
When times are difficult you could dedicate the hours to the theme of hope and help yourself to let go of control. To do this, it is important that you learn to trust in the unknown, even in the completely alien. Experience how your consciousness contains an infinite source of creativity in which you can place your trust. Be yourself and feel how the hope which comes will give you strength and courage for every step you take.
Don't let fate, pandemics, stupid employers and people who don't care about you and those who only see their own little hopeless bubble, rob you of your dreams, abilities, desires and hope.
Tell yourself every day when you wake up in the morning: "I have all the hope in the world" and let yourself fall into the emptiness of the infinite space full of possibilities. You are worth it.