Having looked honestly and with as much objectivity as possible at the realities of my life and acknowledging the intransigence of certain realities, what realistically might hope look like?

The problem with hope is that it is centimeters away from demand. When my hope becomes a requirement, I am doomed. If I demand a situation change that is presently unchangeable, I am setting myself up for greater frustration, anger, disappointment, and resentment. Caught in this tangled web of dark and destructive emotion, the possibility of healthy change recedes into the shadows.

Life-giving change becomes a possibility when I am able to lay aside my resentment and bitterness. When I stop dividing the world into fair and unfair, good and bad, right and wrong, I open to the possibility of a deeper wisdom than might otherwise have been available.

The hope that makes life-giving change possible is the hope that, whatever my circumstances may be, however much I may struggle, I trust there is a deeper reality. Real hope is not focused first on changing circumstances. Hope that is truly hopeful, is found in the deep inner strength, resilience, and resourcefulness that is the presence of the Spirit at work in my life.

Hope does not need anything to change. And so hope opens to that place within myself from which real change can begin to unfold.

What practices help me open to a deeper reality in the midst of circumstances that may seem hopeless?