Hope and faith are very closely interlinked. When you look forward to the future and believe that the best is waiting for you, even if the road there looks rocky, you can allow yourself to feel peaceful and comfortable in the midst of turmoil. Keeping the belief that your Higher Power has your best interest at heart and is asking you to let it see you through hard times is a staple of being faithful and allowing yourself to trust in your divine source for guidance.

However, there may come a time when putting too much faith in another person, or becoming an idle passenger on your journey through life can lead you astray, and lead you out from the liberty of hope into the shackles of denial.

Hope vs. denial

Hope is believing that the future can be brighter and more bountiful. Denial is an unwillingness to accept the past or present as it is. Those in denial often focus on the future as a way to escape the present or past. You can have hope without denying the realities of your experiences. And certainly without denying your faith.

Making excuses

Relying on your faith in your Source to keep hope alive does not mean you are blind to what is right in front of you. And doesn't mean you must turn a blind eye to a harmful or abusive life circumstance. This means if your spouse or children are battling an addiction or abusive behaviors, you can certainly find strength in your Source to support them through their struggle, and hope for a swift and encompassing recovery. But during this process, you do not have to keep your partner or child in the home and subject the rest of your family to their abusiveness. You certainly can love and support them and hope they change for the better while acknowledging there is a major problem and addressing it. Hoping your loved one will change does not negate the current situation nor excuse their behavior now.

Defensive position

Hope does not need to be defended. Faith does not need to be defended. If you carry the light of your Source in your heart, you may not even have words to explain all the ways you've been inspired to live your life. Particularly in the face of adversity. But if you become defensive and rattle off reasons why keeping something or someone harmful within arm's reach is acceptable to you, you may be slipping from hope into denial. Rationalizing detrimental decisions, or meeting someone who genuinely worries about how you view your situation with an aggressive attitude may be a clue that your inspiration is not coming from faith but from fear.

Since I was a small child, I felt within me that the expression "everything happens for a reason" somehow rang true. I did not fully understand what it meant at the time, but it has been a source of inspiration and hope that has helped me navigate life with more faith and enthusiasm and less worry. This helps me believe that things can be different in my life and lives of others without masking the realities of life or the decisions being made. I trust that those around me who are struggling can change, yet make sure they are not detrimental to my experience in the process.

Hope and denial are vital lessons to practice within your marriage and teach your children. Discuss with your life partner what in your relationship or individual lives you are hoping will change for the better. Then really decipher if this view is clear or clouded, or if this desire for change is rooted in fear or love. Do the same with your children, especially if they are struggling in their relationships, in their life path, or in their faith.

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