Decisions are hard, knowing where to start is the hardest of all. Choosing whether to allow to let fear lead you, or hope lead you is one of those things that you and no one else can choose. Sometimes the outside can be deceiving, and what may seem easy isn’t always the best.
What does it mean to allow fear to lead us? How different is it when hope steps in and takes the wheel for a while?
Hope needs a helping hand, needs quite a bit of motivation to get it going. They are like buddies and tend follow each other around.
Part of recovering from any form of trauma, life event, life blip, illness, whatever you wish to ‘label’ it, (we will touch on labels another time, that’s a whole other post in itself) is realising that you need to learn. I don’t claim to know everything, or indeed want to know it all. I am still learning how to find hope as well as you are, and I trip up sometimes. I don’t always have the motivation, and I need days where I stay in bed. I do however know the importance of not staying there, only from having done that, seen the consequences, and dealt with the aftermath of an incredibly frustrating amount input from A LOT of services that I didn’t really want or need. I learnt what I needed was to hold on to hope. Whereas before I was holding on to fear.
So, what’s the difference?
What are differences between the paths that hope, and fear can lead us down?
Following the path of fear is easy. It always seems to be the easy option in my experience. The simple choices, you know the ones I’m talking about. The ones which in the heat of the moment make sense but that little feeling inside of your gut tries to deter you. That feeling you ignore and push aside. The choices which you make in that moment seem so right, but the fall out is painful. The consequences catch up with you and that path which seemed so attractive to begin with, and so easy to travel down becomes an extremely dangerous one indeed. The phrase “living life on the edge” becomes more literal as each choice and decision becomes a risk, everything becomes a necessity to cancel out the consequence of the previous choice. The path of fear is no longer attractive, the beauty of it fades as it soon has you entrapped and feeling like there is no way out.
The path of hope, from the very beginning never looks attractive or welcoming. Why would a dark, lifeless, empty, lonely path be something anyone would want to walk down? This path as unwelcoming as it looks from the outside has its advantages. They are difficult to see unless you are brave enough to start walking along the very untrodden path. Finding the courage and energy to take those first steps can be really hard. So, what can you expect if you choose this option? Well for starters, you can expect a lot of ups and downs. You can expect that there won’t be any quick answers, that the journey you are about to take will be long, emotional, tiresome and at times stressful. It may also be lonely; does that mean it isn’t worth it? Not one little bit. The difficult road, with the unclear endings and answers that have to be hunted for will be the most rewarding journey. The obstacles you overcome to uncover those glimmers of hope, all of which piece together, creating this magical art piece for you to work towards.
Even if this path of hope has been the hardest one to travel along, and it’s left you with bumps, bruises, scratches, and knocks all over. You get to find the motivation to keep you going, to explore your journey, and decorate your path with your own identity along the way. There will be many opportunities to meet amazing and supportive people. To learn and discover who you are and uncover your strengths.
The choice of both paths is there for the taking, the decision is up to you. Both will be laden with challenges; the outcome though is dependent on which you choose. Fear or hope?
What path would you choose? I know there are times the easiest option is the most tempting, especially when feeling drained, emotionally exhausted and feeling the need for a quick solution. It is these times we all need to remember that it is ok to stop, breathe, take a few minutes and if needed ask for support, advice or just for some time. Hope can come in many shapes and forms, and sometimes disguised in plain sight. Not always along the most attractive path.