Hope. It’s a powerful word. It’s something we all have deep inside. It’s that little voice that comes out and says, “It will be ok.”
Everyone has what I call a hope bucket, which is filled with thoughts of a better tomorrow. Sometimes the bucket is full, and sometimes it is close to empty. After my husband (ex-husband now) had an affair, surprisingly, I still had a little hope in my bucket. There was this tiny voice amid all of the pain that said you are going to get through this. And in my darkest moments, that little voice carried me though.
I started to think to myself if only I could get my husband to have the same mentality, everything would be ok. I started to use the hope that I had in my bucket on my husband. I started sharing with him my hope for us, expecting him to start to feel the same way I do. My hope bucket works for me, surely it would work on my husband?
I tried and tried to get him on board with the recovery of our marriage. I needed and wanted him to have hope for us and our future. But it wasn’t working, at all. I kept pouring my hope for us onto him, and it kept sliding right off. I was confused and upset. Why was this happening?
I still didn’t understand, and kept pouring more hope into my husband. My health started to take a turn for the worse and my energy was so low. I literally drained myself trying to give something to my husband that was never his to have – my hope.
Hope is not something you can give or will onto another person. Hope is the thought that everything that is happening is for your ultimate good. You might not see the entire picture as events are unfolding, but it is that thought that says, “I will get through this, and come out on top.” You cannot give that to anybody else. And if you try, you will empty your own hope bucket, which is what I did during my marriage.
If you are married, you can absolutely share with your husband how you feel. Tell him your expectations and desires. And you can even share your hope for the relationship. But that is where it should stop, the moment you try to convince your husband to have the same hope as you, your own bucket becomes empty.
Here is the good news. There was a time my hope bucket was so empty, I only had an ounce left, and it was the simple thought of “one day maybe I could smile again.” That was literally the only positive thought I had at the time, out of the hundreds of negative thoughts in my mind. But I held on to that thought, and it started to grow. And then the next day, I focused on it a little more, and I started to add to it, saying maybe I could smile and laugh again. And the next day, I added a little more. And no matter what happened, I held my hope close to my heart. At the time, I did not have the energy to try to will my hopeful thoughts to my husband or put together my own plan of how I could smile again, I just held on to the thought, and refused to let go. My low energy/health issue ended up being a blessing, because my hope bucket started to grow on its own. My positive thoughts kept growing into powerful statements like “I am going to get through this. I will go from devastation to empowerment.”
Keep your hope close to you, protect it. Don’t assign it to an outcome or another person. And if you have one ounce of hope, you have got a strong, strong chance of being able to get through this experience, be empowered, and most importantly, smile again.
Hugs to you!