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My commute each day takes about an hour round trip. I used to listen to the radio, especially NPR. When the news aired, I was listening. But how depressing and boring that got, especially during an election year. One candidate said this about the other candidate and back and forth they went. So I started listening to books on discs. My commute has been transformed into a refreshing, enlightening experience. For those road warriors, if you are not yet doing this, I highly recommend it.

The most recent book I finished is called The Anatomy of Hope by Dr. Gerome Groopman. Dr. Groopman specializes in cancer and other blood diseases. The book deals with his growth as a doctor and an individual in regard to how hope plays a decisive factor in his own life and the lives of his patients. He then sets out to find clinical evidence that hope or the lack thereof can actually influence the healing ability of the body. He goes on to outline how the core components of hope are belief and expectations. Through different types of studies, it has been proven that the brain releases chemicals in the body that can actually mask the effects of pain. Whether hope actually aids in curing certain diseases is still unknown. But what is known is that a person’s ability to heal and move forward step by step largely depends on one’s ability to continue treatment. Hope has a remarkable way of giving a person the strength and courage necessary to endure. Dr. Groopman concludes by commenting that, “I see hope as the very heart of healing. For those who have hope, it may help some to live longer and it will help all to live better.”

I am sure most of us have been faced with difficult physical and emotional situations in our lives. We are left grasping for someone or something to cling to that can give us the hope to persevere. If your resilience has not yet been tested, I am sure at some point, it will be. Here is a poem I wrote to keep in mind when all seems lost and you are deciding what your future may hold and which path to travel.

My Path of Hope

I stand alone on a path
The fork of decision at my feet
The journey of hope I want to follow
But the voice of fear calls to me
Singing sweetly in my ear
It wants me to fail, to give up, to give in
It begs me to forget all I hold dear
I want to surrender to its muse
But there is something, something tugging at my spirit
A faint but unquestionable flicker
A spark of belief, growing, blossoming
My reticence shrinks
Conviction takes hold
The direction I travel may be grueling
But it is my path of hope
Where my choices define me
I choose to be strong, not feeble
I choose neither blame nor denial, but acceptance
I choose to handle my plight with truth
I remain steadfast in my resolve
Whatever the end, I arrive with dignity and grace
Knowing I poured out every last drop of my soul
Regardless the outcome, I will do wonders

Thanks for reading!

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