Celebrating Ma’at: Hope and the 8 of Pentacles

Hope is the thing with feathers
Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. John F. Kennedy

Hope keeps us moving forward. Its whispers, “Don’t give up…” Its the idea that things can improve, that things will get better. It feeds our persistence.

I drew the 8 of Pentacles for this daily draw. My interpretation is that, just as we make our own luck (as they say), we make our own hope.

Something I’ve learned, in this short life of mine, is that even when you’re barely treading water or spinning in circles or stuck in a rut or unable to really make progress…keep doing something. Keep learning. Keep gaining a skill. Try your best not to let any chapter be one of fruitlessness.

It sounds like I’m telling you to join the rat race. Not necessarily. I’m not saying “YOU MUST BE THE MOST COMPETITIVE THING ON THE MARKET.” I am saying always be involved in some manner of self improvement, be it spiritual, career-related, emotionally, or in your relationships. It doesn’t have to be a difficult challenge. It can be something easy and enjoyable. But you have to work towards some little goal that will give you worth or value in some way.

Even if you labor to death and in the end, you lose it all…you’ve gain the skills and experiences of laboring. I know, in the darkest moment, it seems as if that doesn’t matter. You are no further to the happiness or security for which you aimed. But in time, when you do reach brighter skies (and you will, for nothing stays the same), you will what you have gained.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after college. I knew what I valued, I knew I wanted a meaningful job. So I went into education. This was not the best choice for me. When I got started on my current path, it felt “late”. What had I gained? Education seemed nothing like the field I am in now. To boot, I had lost touch with a lot of the skills and knowledge I needed for the field I was going into.

But over time, the maturity and growth that experience afforded me has made itself very useful, not to mention there is some overlap in the fields…it just took time to see it. And the skills I thought I’d lost came back quickly.

Not to mention, my stint in education was what gave me the confidence to do what I am doing now…and allow me to see how right it is. Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am.

So, I’ve learned never to stop moving. Sure, take some days off. If you need to wallow in sadness for a while, do it. Its therapeutic. We need it to gain perspective and release. If you want to wander with no place to go, that’s fine, too. In fact, that’s great. Because in the end, its doesn’t really matter if you know whether you are headed in the right direction…in only matters that you keep wandering…preferably forward.

This is how we manufacture hope.

We continue to afford ourselves with new insights and skills, however those are gained. You have to remember that change in inevitable. If you continue to change yourself or aspects of your environment, eventually, some larger change will occur that will make those things worth it. But YOU have to be the agent of that change.

In many ways, we can inhibit that change. A negative attitude can blind you to the mirco-opportunities that lead to bigger and better things. It can influence those in your social circles and create a bog of stagnation and inertia.

We live in a world that spins by quickly, where people are either so optimistic as to seem niave or so negative as to be jaded. Find the happy medium. Be realistic, but don’t lose hope. A good outlook is the first step (even if it takes a while to gain in…bad things happen and we are all entitled to cope with them as we do).

But even if you can’t have the chipper outlook…keep moving. Keep working. Keep thinking. So that the justification for your hope can manifest.

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