What Are You Hoping For?

In years past…when someone I loved was struggling, I used to pretty well harness my heart to their situation.

It’s been a long, messy process of learning to take a broader perspective in order to get free of the madness my dysfunction, codependency and obsessive behavior created in my life.

In the midst of some of my family’s darkest times, I met a friend who was a family dysfunction counselor and quite naturally began lean on her during intense times of struggle.

She was very healthy in her responses to me, but being in over my head and not yet educated in behavioral dynamics relating to family dysfunction, addiction, codependency etc. (including my own), she often spoke in terms that would confuse and even sometimes infuriate me.

Until I was able to accept the truth of them.

Don’t we desperately not want the truth to be true sometimes?

When I would call upset or ranting about whatever crisis was happening within my family, listing all the ways I felt pinned to the wall and desperate for a breakthrough, she would often remind me that there was “so much hope” for me…

“But,” she would add, “that hope is not in that person, situation, or to be placed at the mercy of anyone else’s decisions, behavior or struggles.”

“Your hope,” she would tell me, “needed to be in a Greater Source; a Higher Power, who has all final say and has a good plan through all of it.”

It sounded good.

Still I would burn for a moment, and try to breathe it in.

I’d think, “What is she talking about?”

Of course my hope is in this person!  My whole life depends upon them changing, becoming healthy, and getting their act together.

They’re the problem!  I’m hoping the situation I’m drowning in (which was pretty major, and very scary) has a breakthrough and this person turns it around…or I’ll die in the midst of it.

How could I not put my hope there? I had my entire heart invested.

With my heart pounding and adrenaline surging, I would try to agree with her and gain strength from her words, but internally I really didn’t get it.

* * * 

What I needed to come to an understanding of  was yes, behavior changing and circumstances turning around were exactly what I was hoping FOR. But my hope wasn’t IN that happening, or even in this person I loved so much (who was in a life and death struggle).

My hope needed to be propped up on something that transcended all of us.

My hope had to go beyond and above it all.

My hope needed to be placed on a Living Force, a Higher Power Source, in order to get me outside of my head, and untangled from the chaos.

I needed to anchor my hope to a Source with solutions superseding my limitations knowledge, and abilities.

A power Source with knowledge, ability and authority beyond the realms of anyone and anything else.

(I’d like to add that Who and What is to be our Source upon which to anchor hope and turn to for help is something we all have to flesh out for ourselves. I know who mine is, I have no intention of telling you what to do about yours.  But I do wish the peace and strength I’ve experienced as a result of my personal faith in abundance for you.)

This revelation of a Greater Authority began to develop a trusting relationship for me that continues to this day.

I learned to allow space with people, to put separation on situations. To lift situations up, off of me and hand them over to my Source.

This also freed me to not allow anyone to have too much power over me.

I am now on the other side of those desperate years; years when a life that was anything other than depressing, chaotic and crazy didn’t seem possible.

When troubles arise on this side of those years, and triggers or old pains present, instead of reacting immediately, or collapsing into a puddle, I respond by taking a moment to submit myself and all things concerning me to my Source.

* * * 

My hope today remains firmly harnessed to the One who engineers all things to work out in my favor, no matter how bitter they may appear when I’m in the struggle.

Hope placed solely in people and circumstances isn’t stable or healthy (not for me anyway). Hope placed in something bigger, something above and beyond, greater than myself or anyone else…gives me a way out of the madness of worry, obsession, and urges to control and interfere.

I remind myself often that no person, resource, process or method can take complete care of me beyond what my Source is able to.

Thank you, recovery!

Because that area of my life was a complete mess.

* * * 

Whether a heavy, scary thing occurs in my life, or a door I have much hope for slams shut in my face – it helps tremendously to come back to the reminder that; “No matter what I’m hoping for, my hope is not in this person, place or thing.

There’s a grander Source at work.

Once you begin to find that Source for yourself and turn things over to it, hope will begin to transcend your situations.

Hope will anchor you to your Source, and that offers more strength and relief than I can describe.

It gives peace like a river.

Strength in daily supply.

Grace, grit and bold determination to persevere.

And the promise that there is a grand design setting things in motion to work together for a purpose.

While I absolutely continue to visualize and have specific ideas for situations (and people) to go this way or that…and always will, my hope is always foundationally IN and connected to a power far greater than any of us.

I believe no one has more authority or ability than my Higher Power, the Force who has the final say over every area my life, my son’s life, my family, our circumstances, and even all things adversarial (including enemies and malicious, harmful people).

I turn all of that over, and my Source works it all together for my good. That’s my first line of defense.

In coming to an understanding of that, I finally found peace.

Wishing you faith, hope, love, and a keen awareness of your Source.

Love and light,


Author of books: Unhooked, and Unbroken, Navigating the Madness of Family Dysfunction, Addiction, Alcoholism and Heartache

Host of:  The Unhooked Podcast

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For information, comfort, encouragement and support:

Codependents Anonymous

Parent Support – TAPU

Family Recovery Support

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