Having Hope

02/23/15 Having Hope
by Marcia J. McKinley, JD, PhD, LCPC

I left yesterday’s post on the note that each moment is the beginning of a new year filled with promise. I believe that. Yet I also know that for many people who struggle with adult ADHD, anxiety issues, or the effects of trauma, it is difficult, if not impossible, to see the future at all, let alone a future that holds promises of safety, contentment, or joy. Setting any goals, SMART or otherwise, may seem pointless in those circumstances.

Whenever I think of how people cope with these dark nights of the soul, I am reminded of a passage from Chris Cleeve’s novel, Little Bee. In it, the narrator and title character, who is a young, traumatized Nigerian woman, addresses the reader:

“On the girl’s brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.

In a few breaths’ time I will speak some sad words to you. But you must hear them the same way we have agreed to see scars now. Sad words are just another beauty. A sad story means, this storyteller is alive. The next thing you know, something fine will happen to her, something marvelous, and then she will turn around and smile.”

Too many of us have scars on our hearts, minds, bodies; but, we are alive and so, there is hope.  Not only is there hope that something marvelous will happen, but there is also the hope that we can make something marvelous happen. So, while we wait and pray for the Universe to deliver something marvelous, we can also work toward that end.  In my case, I will set a SMART goal, in this case working toward a blog that touches at least a few people.  That will be marvelous and will make me smile.

Copyright©2015.  Marcia J. McKinley.

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