Hope Lite

Hope Lite

Hello, readers! I’ve decided to start writing again. I find that ongoing estrangement has many facets and new, sometimes unwelcome depths and challenges.

It’s the first day of fall, the Equinox. I’m sitting outside on my deck watching tropical birds fly over the lake, perching in trees, flaunting their beautiful feathers. There are roseate spoonbills, egrets, anhingas and a great blue heron sunning himself on the seawall. It’s a breezy day – windy really, and I’ve opened all the windows in my house after a long, hot summer cooped up in air-conditioning (which, of course, I’m eternally grateful for). I look up at the sky, searching the clouds for patterns, shapes, or symbols, but so far I haven’t discerned any.

My thoughts turn to a recent article I read, written by Beth Bruno, an estranged mother from Australia. Her discussion was about how she put aside hope after many years of being out of touch with her daughter. She found that she was too attached to the idea of reconciliation and wanted to free herself from always thinking and hoping that it would happen.

It gave me pause at first, because I have talked about keeping hope alive while going on with your life. I just can’t imagine a life without hope as it would be dreary, indeed.

We can hope for a change of heart on the part of our adult child without attaching ourselves to certain timing, expectations or outcomes. We can hold our hope lightly, making it our friend, not our jailor. We can view hope as a preference, not a necessity. We can live a full life without letting our hopes for reconciliation be the reason or condition for our happiness. We can face reality and live a fulfilling life, even with the ever present uncertainty of not knowing if our adult child will come back.

If we hold on too tightly by insisting that we’ll never be happy until we’ve healed our relationship and reconciled with our child, we will live like a prisoner. We’ll never be happy and will experience despair and grief if it doesn’t happen. Being flexible, going with the flow of life, accepting the possibility that it may or may not happen the way we’d like will set us free. Have hope that it will all change for the better, let go of attachment to outcome and set yourself free.

The giant blue heron dips his long neck and drinks water from the lake. I love it when he visits. I hope he’ll come back soon – he may or may not.

You just never know.