The Key to Survival When All Hope is Lost
Do you ever get tired of fighting the good fight?
Do you feel as though you do your best to be a good person and work hard, yet you just don’t get the results you deserve?
Do you get discouraged because your neighbors, those pesky Jones’, are always ahead, yet they stress less and play more?
Do you sometimes just want to give up because you feel as though all hope is lost?
I feel all of these things sometimes.
And trust me…everyone (if they are being honest) experiences the exact same struggles at different points in life.
Wanting something better…something different…and something more for yourself…What is that? It’s called being a human.
And…as luck would have it, feelings of unhappiness, discontent and inadequacy often come with wanting something better…something different…and something more.
You can create the life you want.
EVEN IF you think all hope is lost.
EVEN IF people aren’t doing what you think they should be or what you want.
EVEN IF life’s circumstances have caused your divorce, your financial ruin, or your deadly disease.
Here’s the key:
Stop focusing on your own depressing life. Start focusing on someone else’s.
In other words, bring value to someone else’s life.
Find someone who also feels that all hope is lost and help them survive. (Believe it or not, the person who most needs your help might be one of your “cheery” neighbors…Mr. or Mrs. Jones.)
Help someone else face their own fears by telling them to just hold on.
Share the gifts that are unique to you by giving them to someone who really needs them. By bringing value to someone else’s life, you do two things:
1. You take your mind off your own dismal situation.
This is a good thing. Fixating on how much your life, your job, your partner or your kids suck almost never helps. Finding ways to help other people WILL help.
2. You focus on service to others.
This, too, is also a good thing. In serving others, you let down your guard, you open your heart, and you release your love into the world. This love will be returned to you ten thousandfold.
Other Thoughts on Service When All Hope Is Lost
The best person I have ever met in my life is my husband. He is the one who inspired today’s post.
James would give the shirt off his back to anyone even if he needed it more. While he can be a slob around our house, I do observe him perform acts of service for others almost daily.
This is despite his own obligations.
Despite his own fears.
And despite his own stresses in life.
Because I had been a divorce attorney for years before James and I started dating, I was skeptical of settling down with someone (with him) for a long time. This fact was in direct conflict with my deep desire to get married and start having babies. Kinda doesn’t make sense, huh?
Anyway…one day I saw James perform an act of service that sealed the deal for “me” and for “us.”
We were walking in downtown San Diego on a mission to get me fed…fast. As we walked past a water fountain, James told me he would be right back, and he left my side. From where I was standing, I could see him peering into the fountain. Then, he leaned over as far as he could without falling in, as he tried to scoop something up with his hands.
I walked closer just in time to see James fish a drowning bee out of the water and release it into the air. The bee flew away. James gave this little bee its life back…even when the bee probably thought all hope was lost.
When I saw James save this poor bee, I knew right then he would always take care of the people who needed him most (i.e., me and our future children).
Since that day, I have witnessed James comfort a hummingbird who flew straight into the glass at my office building only to knock himself out. I have seen James stop traffic on Camelback Road during rush hour so a momma duck and her 12 babies could safely cross to the other side of the street. I have known him to forget about his own worries and pain to give someone else comfort when THEY thought all hope was lost.
James is the perfect of example of what it means to devote one’s life to serving others only in the interests of love.
YOU too can be that person who gives someone else life, even when all hope is lost.
Do You Feel Like the Bee?
James has had 9 lives. He was married before we were married. He has grown children. He was in the military. He was a DJ in the UK. He is a husband once again, a daddy to a toddler, a football fanatic, a custom car guy…and a lover. Yes…he’s messy, but he’s also deep (which kinda makes up for his dirty socks lying around everywhere).
The other day, James wrote this poem about the bee. It’s beautiful, so I wanted to share it.
You are the bee. I am the bee. We are both strong. And we will survive. Even when all hope is lost.
Here it is:
I’m feeling like…
I forget too soon and remember all too late.
Like a drowning bee with his feet resting in a lake.
I worry about buzzing too loudly.
I’m afraid to create some interest
of fish below who may crave a bite.
So while I float here and ponder about my next move,
the water soaks in deeper,
forcing the needle from the groove.
The record starts to skip.
Repeating the line over and over again, while the dance floor clears,
I bite my lip.
I won’t blame it on the deck, it’s operating as designed, operator error is what’s on everybody’s mind.
Like a trucker’s hat wielding “Dad of the Year” covering the bald spot that was double checked in the mirror.
With some grey in my mustache and more in my beard, the crow’s feet lines stretch from ear to effing ear, I think back.
Back to a time when I had nothing at all, just a box full of vinyl and a burning in my soul to dive in.
So I did.
The water it was cold, the current, it was slow,
but it held me,
with no place I could go.
So I rested.
Until behind me the water crested, and from it came a fin moving towards me.
Not a panic but a knowing, caused my wings to start to move. But won’t that bring attention to my situation? I thought, as the fear began to grow.
And it did.
I noticed movement from below as the fin came much closer.
What was light was getting darker the water has lost it’s glow.
So I waited.
I didn’t fight it anymore.
I allowed the inevitable to happen, I chose to accept my fate.
It was me who asked for it by landing on this lake.
So I waited.
Now the fin is only inches from ending my time here with you.
Below me the current shifted as I felt pressure on my back, lifting me out of the water from a vicious hungry attack.
I moved my wings out of instinct and I fought to stay alive.
I saw the darkness from below me even larger than behind, I felt the grip that held me release with a shove.
Then the darkness swallowed up the fin, I felt warmth and light above.
I was free.
It seemed the issue that had chased me was solved with another’s love.
While survival doesn’t always favor the strongest and brave,
sometimes it favors those that need it most,
when times are looking grave.
So I flew.
Up and away, through the sky when I noticed a shiny patch below me.
I started to descend and smile of the thought of being thirsty.
Sending you my wishes for a week in which you save someone’s life.
All my best,
P.S. Tell me your ideas on how you can serve someone else this week.
P.P.S. James- If you read this…I love you.