Take a minute to read about Pandora’s Box on Wikipedia, apparently translations changed a few things from the original intent and meaning, it’s an interesting exercise. The message I took from reading it as a child was that hope can be a negative because it was kept with other things detrimental to humanity. Hope on its own seemed cruel to me.
Now vision, vision is something very different, right? Companies have vision statements, they brag about their vision, we follow people with compelling vision. Vision is the ability to see what is possible as well as what needs to happen to get there and beyond. A vision statement is the filter for all actions before being carried out, their purpose so to speak. Vision without action seems frivolous to me, so does action without purpose.
There have been times in my life where I have only had hope. Hope the doctors knew what they were doing, hope they got the diagnosis right, hope the treatment plans are correct for my situation. This hope gave me the energy I needed to make necessary changes in my life to support a positive prognosis, lose weight, move more, eat smarter and pay attention to my body.
Making those changes, taking those actions, gave way to a vision for my life including a family free of cancer, growing old with my husband, seeing our daughters and future grandkids grow up, helping other people and families deal with cancer in their lives.
I view hope and vision as a game of leapfrog in my life. Hope for something better leads to a vision of something specific and better which fuels purposeful action. The results of the actions spurs more hope for something even better and the cycle repeats propelling the hope and vision into reality.
I keep this in mind when the cycle stalls or the vision becomes slightly obscured. It happens from time to time. No worries, take a deep breath, make appropriate adjustments and keep working the cycle.
Chemo can obscure a vision pretty easily. When things were tough, I wrote “This family will be cancer free” or another statement that supports the vision of being present for more time as a family on the top of each page of my notebook. I used the notebook daily to take notes about the side effects and what worked and what didn’t work to alleviate them. Seeing it in print helped a lot and helped to filter my actions or even inaction for that matter, because inaction is a decision too and must pass through the vision filter.
Take a minute to acknowledge your hopes, see them as a vision, put words to it, write it down, use it mindfully as the filter it should be. This is how hope and vision become allies and it keeps hope from being cruel and vision from being frivolous.