Lessons in Hope
By: Lisa Jackson, NLP Master Practitioner & Executive Coach
dis·ap·point-verb (used with object)
|1.||to fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of: His gross ingratitude disappointed us.|
|2.||to defeat the fulfillment of (hopes, plans, etc.); thwart; frustrate: to be disappointed in love.|
When was the last time you lost something you really cared about?
How did you feel?
In 2006, in the space of one year, I lost my home, my father, my business, my financial resources, and my sense of hope.
That last one (hope) was where I really GOT the life lesson. Everything else was just the natural course of change.
There is a funny belief human beings seem to carry, that death is unnatural. Whether it’s the physical death of a loved one, the death of a dream, or the death of a life stage, we often confuse grief and disappointment. Even if we aren’t aware of it, we cling to the belief that it is our God-given right for an endless stream of good things to happen, forever and ever and ever. As for painful things … well, it’s unfortunate when they happen to OTHER people, but they’re not really supposed to happen to us.
This belief produces expectations that are the source of a lot of our trouble in the world: Failed marriages, unhappy families, corporate cynicism, broken spirits, even national wars.
NLP offers a very powerful process for belief change, which can’t happen fast enough in an age of accelerating change and challenge. If I could wave a magic wand across humanity, it would be to embed each of us with a “chip” upon birth that carried the belief “Change and Death are Natural and Good.”
Here’s my version of the world when everyone has this chip:
1. When someone dies, we feel both sad and glad, knowing it was simply another version of sunset (even when the time or the method by which they exit is inconvenient).
2. When business profits sink or growth plateaus, we immediately see that something new wants to happen (even when we can’t see what that is).
3. When a hurricane blows through and devastates and ruins our lives and homes, we know that fierce wind and rain are common near the ocean, and after an appropriate process of regrouping, we move on (even when it means starting over).
No, I’m not advocating “Pollyanna-for-President.”
But through my “loss of hope” came a powerful shift: The ability to see how my unfulfilled expectations created misery. Through the gifted skill of great mentors, I was able to see that what really led to happiness in my life had little to do with my house, my work, or the people around me. Those were only an external reflection of the internal mindset I cultivated on a daily basis.
I saw that happiness was my God-given right, not sameness.
Feelings of sadness will accompany loss. Grief is the contrast by which we know joy and love. NLP is NOT a hypnotic “happy pill” that makes everything feel good.
NLP simply shows us how to walk the pathway of great human beings – including those who learned to create a peaceful interior world. These are my role models, who live like the candle: Casting away shadows, unconcerned for the day we will be extinguished, and a beacon for others to find their way.
It has made me more valuable as a coach and consultant to my clients, and a lot more available and interesting to my friends and family.
In the words of the infamous Forrest Gump, “That’s what I have to say about that.”