March 21, 2010

The Hope Seed

"Once you choose hope, anything's possible."~ Christopher Reeve
I was on my way to the women's jail to lead an Al-Anon meeting and I wondered what I was doing.

Not for going to the facility itself but for my purpose.
Did I really think there was anything I could say to inspire these women?
Anything that could give them the belief in themselves to change their lives?

Here I was a woman with every freedom trying to encourage women who had little or none at all to believe that there was a better life awaiting them.
For them, that probably translates into 
'yeah right sister', ' somewhere over the rainbow' or 'in your dreams'!

And it is in my dreams.

I do want them to believe there is something better than what they now have.
I do want them to have hope.

And then I thought, 'I can do that!'
'I can plant a seed of hope!'

Although I have never been physically incarcerated could I share the prison I had lived in for much of my life?

Could I  share how life has not always the best for me and I have not always made the best choices but I have chosen now to make different choices?

Could I  share how I too have fear and am still working on liking/loving myself and how there have been hopeless and dark places in my heart and life?
And could I share how I have overcome those and continue to grow?

Could I share how unlovable I have felt?
How I believed I deserved to be treated badly?
How I even allowed it?
But how that has all changed?

Could I share it without portraying 'better than' or 'unattainable'?

I remember the first time I went to a meeting.
Sitting with twenty women, I recognized that
there was not even enough self-esteem in that room to fill a teaspoon.
It was non existent.
These women did/do not understand who they truly were/are.
They did/do not know their true worth.

I had been in that prison.

That broke my heart to think they may be feeling the same way.

And it also explained a lot of things.

I could share.

With many of them being there only a short time, ( because they are awaiting notice of new residency) I may only interact with them a few times if that much.

How do you instill in a woman who does not believe it is possible, the idea that she can change her life?

How do you plant that seed when all you have is a few short exchanges?

How do you give them hope?
How do I tell them they are already loved?
That they have Gods unconditional love?
And convince them the seed will grow if they care for it?

I could tell them if they have faith and are diligent and patient and long-suffering in nurturing the seed, that that seed will eventually bring forth fruit.

Fruit in the form of a better life.

That there really is a promise if they do what they can: That someday they will pluck the fruit.
That it will be the most precious and sweet above all that is sweet.
That the fruit that will come forth is enough to fill them, that they no longer will hunger nor thirst.

Imagine if no one hungered and thirsted anymore for love and acceptance!
If everyone had it?
If everyone had IT?
If everyone knew who they really are?

What a different place this world would be!

We would find full hearts and lives
And empty jails!
(Both physically and spiritually.)

"Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark."~George Iles

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