HOPE by Joe Mannetti
I wanted to leave everyone with something positive today. The biggest tragedy, to me, is seeing so many people give up hope. There is always hope. Life is always worth the struggles. Hard times can help us to grow and make important changes in our lives – necessary life saving changes. It does not matter if others don’t understand or agree with you all of the time. Sometimes, you need to assess how well you have been selecting your “friends” and take responsibility for making some choices for the future. Never regret what you have done. It’s over. You cannot change it. You did it for a reason and, at that moment, it is what you had to do. Move on! In some cases, you are not losing friends you let go of so much as you are gaining insight. Nothing stays the same, including relationships. It is very empowering to gain the confidence to let go of what needs to be left behind. It is not easy. But you have to be strong enough to do it, even when EVERYONE else may be telling you that you are wrong. You guide your own life! Don’t take dictation on how to run your journey from others who don’t support you. Find your own inner voice of strength, and create your own path. The pain does not go away immediately – or the sense of being alone in your journey. But, as time goes by, the negative feedback from others matters less than the confidence that you develop to be your own person.
This too shall pass. I am living this process right now, and I am embracing the challenges of each new day. I am stronger. I have never stopped working as a counselor or volunteering as a community outreach activist. I am looking forward to the event that I have the honor of co-hosting with my friend Jed Ryan. I will be working with some truly caring people who are all volunteering their services just to help others in the community. This is a gift. I accept it, and I am thankful to have a life that allows me to have true friends and “family” in it. People like Christine O’Leary have been wonderful to me. Life is not “good.” It is AMAZING! Cherish it.