Hope

I was watching the season finale of Supergirl on Netflix this week, and something from the show really resonated with me. Kara Zor-El gave the following speech to the residents of National City, the ones she protects on a daily basis:

“There is so much love in this world, out there for the taking. You let me be who I’m meant to me. You gave me back to myself. You made me stronger than I ever thought possible, and I love you for that. Now, in each and every one of you, there is a light, a spirit, that cannot be sniffed out, that won’t give up. I need you to hope… Hope, that you can all be heroes. Hope, that when faced with an enemy determined to destroy your spirit, you will fight back, and thrive. Hope, that those who once may have shunned you, will, in a moment of crisis, come to your aid. Hope, that you will see again the faces of those you have loved… and perhaps those you have lost.”

Supergirl had been in the midst of an identity crisis of sorts, and found that she was most herself when helping other people. There was so much gratitude in her heart for the people she worked to save. Those words above moved me. They could have been words I said about my own friends, when I was going through my own hard times. Those times are very much in the rear view mirror, and appear closer than they are. I loved her message of hope to them, sharing her strength with them so they might feel her appreciation of them for accepting her.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to go through is someone actively killing my hope – hope of the future with somebody, hope for all the good times that might have been. When someone tries squash your hope, and you have a grateful spirit like Supergirl, it’s one of the hardest things to bear. It’s like someone is trying to change the very soul of your being, who you are, your very reason for getting up out of bed every morning, your reason for putting one foot in front of the other, despite how futile it seems.

It’s funny because if I think about how much I needed that hope then versus how much I need hope now, it’s like night and day. During hard times, when your heart is hurting and you are most vulnerable, you need hope like you need air. Right now, I don’t need it so much. When I try to understand why I don’t need it so much now, it’s hard to put my finger on. I’m stronger, I’m away from those things and those people that caused me hurt. Time has healed many of the invisible wounds from the death of my father. I’m in a new city, new soil where I’ve planted myself, and my roots have taken hold. I’m blooming both because of and despite the rain.

Another passage that moved me in a similar frequency is from one of my favorite TV shows, Orange is the New Black:

“The garden is one of the two great metaphors for humanity. The garden is about life and beauty and the impermanence of all living things. The garden is about feeding your children, providing food for the tribe. It’s part of an urgent territorial drive that we can probably trace back to animals storing food. It’s a competitive display mechanism, like having a prize bull, this greed for the best tomatoes and English tea roses. It’s about winning, about providing society with superior things, and about proving that you have taste, and good values and you work hard. And what a wonderful relief, every so often, to know who the enemy is. Because in the garden, the enemy is everything. The aphids, the weather, time. And so you pour yourself into it, care so much, and see up close so much birth, and growth, and beauty, and danger, and triumph. And then everything dies anyway, right? But you just keep doing it.”

Whenever we’re up against something, we want to know who our enemy is. The enemy is everything that tries to feed off of you, to take your blooming away from you, to take away your hope. Whether you need it or not right now, you’ll need it at some point in your life. Don’t stand for those people or things who try to take it away from you. When someone gives you hope, it’s like Supergirl said, you’re giving the gift of giving someone back to themselves. You’re reclaiming yourself, as the gift you are. It’s amazing.

So my message to you on this last Friday of October before Halloween, before Election Day, is one of hope. Don’t lose it; share it if you’ve got it. Don’t try to take it away from anyone, even if you think they have no reason to hope. It is theirs; let it burn.