Wow, what an unexpectedly inspiring round of comments I got back from each of you! I realized something important as I was reading through your responses: each of them is a perfect little gem; a tiny essay that encapsulates so much of who you are and what matters most to you right at this moment. That kind of knowledge is a beautiful thing.
Who knew that you fears would say so much about us? And it occurs to me now that our greatest fears are often the exact opposite of our greatest hopes. You accomplish the same goal by identifying one or the other.
Every single one of you who commented could take the statement you wrote and expand on it in your journal or on a scrapbook page. This is different from a resolution or a goal, because admitting our hopes and our fears acknowledges our lack of control over the outer world. We all do our best to make sense of the incoming and the outgoing and to respond to new challenges and opportunities with our best efforts—but our responses are often the only power we have.
We can't control other people; we can't control the weather; we can't control the economy or world governments; we can't control the earth's fault lines. But we can respond with courage and integrity and purpose and authenticity—we can be present in our lives and reach out when we can.
Here are some of your hopes and fears:
Lee said, "My
greatest hope for 2010 is that we manage to survive one more year with
everyone in the house talking. Slowly we are being overrun by teens and
pre-teens and I hope they continue to be open, honest and engaging. My
greatest fear is that they don't."
Leah said, "My greatest hope this year is that I get accepted to do my Masters and my greatest fear is that I get accepted to do my Masters."
Marty said, "My greatest hope is that my adopted kids continue to heal from their traumas."
(That sentence both breaks my heart and revives my faith in humanity. Thank you Marty for giving those kids a chance.)
Anne said, "I hope that my new baby granddaughter arrives safely and that she's healthy and gorgeous!"
Chris said, "My
greatest hope is selfish. I want a happy, healthy family. In 14 1/2
months I lost my sister in a car accident, my mother fell and died 3
months later from complications, and my 47-year-old husband had a
stroke. Rough times and I am hoping and praying for better days ahead."
(This doesn't sound one bit selfish to me. My heart goes out to you, Chris.)
Mellisa said, "My greatest HOPE is that I will become pregnant again. My greatest FEAR is that it will end in yet another loss."
Katie said, "My greatest hope for this year is a calmer, happier me. And my greatest fear is losing a close friend of mine who is fighting breast cancer."
Kelli said, "My
greatest fear is that my husband who has been traveling A LOT over the
last several years will have the opportunity to be home more with us on
a daily basis. That being said, my biggest fear is that my husband will
be home with us on daily basis... ;)"
(Everything is a mixed blessing, isn't it???)
Jennifer said, "My greatest hope is for the safe return of all our soldiers and for everyone to be at a good place in their own lives."
Rebecca said, "My greatest hope is to find a job, a new home to live in with my family. My greatest fear we don't get a job and will be forced to move in with parents. (11 months of unemployment is really old!)"
Betty said, "My greatest hope for 2010 is that this will be the year my 7 yr old son finally speaks so my loving DH can hear the word Daddy for the first time..."
Katherine said, "My greatest hope for 2010 is that the drought is over and we have a successful crop in each field and that the Cotton Gin has more than enough business to make up for the past 3 years of extremely severe drought."
Migdalis said, "My greatest hope for this year is to keep walking even if the world around me is falling apart!!!"
Jodee said, "My greatest hope for 2010 is that my hubby realizes his potential and starts his own business. He is kind of hesitant right now."
Margie said, "My greatest hope for 2010 is that I feel more peace than fear. And that I remember my blessings in this moment. It sounds cliche, but it's cliche for a reason! And I have to add that I hope the same for others, especially those with extreme difficulty these days. We've all been there and I hope they find relief & peace sooner than later."
Doesn't this list give you an amazing perspective on your own life and on other people's challenges and blessings?
I am very touched. Thank you, everyone.
p.s. This feels a bit anticlimactic now, but Random.org gave the random number 77, which came from Laura. I'll email the winner her prize!