The Hunger Games and the Gift of Hope

Hunger Games and the Gift of Hope

Last weekend, I watched The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Having never read the books (please hold your contempt :)), I had no idea what to expect as much as I didn’t know what to expect from the first movie. I must say I was thoroughly entertained even with my hands going up in my face half of the time to block the view of all the impending violence (I’m a scaredy-cat, what can I say?). But I was surprised at the thing that struck me most about the movie, and that I really didn’t expect to see in the development of this story; that is the overarching theme that fear only works so long as people lack the gift of hope. It’s such a simple, yet powerful message. Dontcha think?

I won’t attempt to summarize the movie, because I am sure most of you are familiar with the story or might be planning to go see the movie, read the books, or both. But just for some context, essentially the main character, Katniss Everdeen, through her strong and rebellious spirit, manages to give the gift of hope to a society that has been bogged down by the government-led fear tactics they have endured their entire lives. When the leader of this society, President Snow, starts to realize that Katniss has become a symbol of hope for his people, he begins to worry that his fear tactics will become increasingly unsuccessful, because fear only works when there is no hope. In other words, the gift hope is stronger than the threat of fear.

Those words really struck a chord in me, and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. Today, on Thanksgiving, I have to say that the thing I am definitely most thankful for in 2013 is the realization that the gift of hope in my heart really is and always will be stronger than any threat of fear in my mind. I have fought some demons this year, particularly in the shape of toxic people, but through the gift of hope, I was able to let go, and come out of it all stronger, more determined and more confident.

This year, I realized that I have enough belief in myself that I rather wait for the right things, than to accept the mediocre things that deplete instead of nourish my soul. I realized that no matter what is happening around me, I always have hope that tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year holds something spectacular for me and usually, little by little, it does. I realized that flowers always blossom out of just buds, that strength can be derived from pain, and that fear will never win, so long as I have the gift of hope with me.

So my point is, if you are not feeling too hopeful, I suggest you dig deep, because that little hope sucka is quite helpful, even when you’re dealing with the likes of President Snow! And when you find it, hold on to it, because it will save you and give you so much.

So, what are you most thankful for this year? Even if you don’t wish to share it, it’s definitely a worthwhile reflection. Just stop, take a deep breath and find a moment to be truly grateful for whatever that might be.

Happy Thanksgiving ya’ll!

Love,

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Reaching 30: Growth Hurts Before it Heals

After the ending of my latest pseudo relationship, I swear I feel like I’ve just been through a war. Good news is, I survived and I’m much, much better for the experience. During 10, long, often bitterly unhappy months (I still managed to ride that sucker out kicking and screaming with my positivity and commitment to the big, HAPPY fight :)), I learned an immense amount about myself, the issues I still need to work through, what I want in a partner and what I am willing to accept, and in-turn, what is absolutely unacceptable to me in the realm of love and relationships, and well, in life.

I also learned that I am considerably stronger than I might think at times, and I bet if you dig a little, you will find that you are too. Sure, that situation bordered on emotionally abusive or perhaps it really was, but I walked away from it, and that is all that counts. I might have stuck around for longer than any of it ever deserved, but the whole time I continued to fight. The real problem was that the biggest battle existed between my heart and my logic. But in the end, and thank goodness, my logic won.

Now I’m in the process of straying away from beating myself up for participating in the whole crazy thing in the first place, and instead, focusing on all the lessons and renewed strength it has given me. You see, that is the thing about growth; it hurts like hell before it heals.

As more and more days go by since that last encounter, I’m beginning to feel more like myself than I have in months. My energy is up, my smile is making more frequent appearances on the Sonia show, and my heart feels about a billion pounds lighter. I find myself laughing more, breathing deeper, finding more things that I love to do, and doing them. Most importantly, I know now more than ever that I am not in fact desperate, and that I still do have hope that I will someday find the healthy, passionate, understanding, lasting love I crave and deserve, with the right person at the right time. Always focus on the outcomes, and not so much on what got you there. Pain often provides great revelations for us and our lives.

And, at times, as we get older, we wish we could be as carefree and consequence-free as we were or thought we were in our teenage years and early 20s. At least I do. But, as I sit here turning down the less-than-thrilling advances I’d gladly welcome just a few years ago, demanding more respect, nurturing my own needs, wants and dreams, and more and more frequently standing up for Sonia, I realize I’ll gladly leave my youth at the door. Because this place, where you know who you are and who you wish to become, where you rather have nothing than accept scraps, where instant gratification has been replaced by the hope in the bigger picture that awaits  – that is a much better place to be.

To everyone out there reaching their 30s as I am (it can be quite a transition I’m finding), when you think you used to be more fun, wilder, or more adventurous, you’re not by any means boring now, you’ve simply experienced growth. And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Breathe it in deep, and thank it for hurting so much in return for inner calm, peace of mind, and a stronger sense of self.

Love,
Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Be Happier with One Very Simple Life Hack

Be Happier with a Smile

Start being happier today! Did you know the most critical time to smile, laugh and dance is when you’re not feeling you’re best? That’s right. When you’re having a tough time with certain situations in your life, when goals seem to be walking farther and farther away from you, when things seem a little or a lot off-balance, when your heart is broken, when you find yourself a bit lost – that is the time to smile.

That is the time to push harder. It’s the time to give yourself a pep-talk as often as you feel you need it. It’s the time to read corny, motivational things, to scatter affirmation sticky notes all over your apartment, to blast a nice Wilson Phillips jam (or some other free-your-soul, sing-your-heart-out kind of jam you might like). That is the time to tell yourself everything is going to be OK over and over again, because if we’ve all learned anything from tough times, it’s that everything always turns out OK. Sure there are scars, and big changes, and loss, but in the end, everything turns out alright, life goes on, and you find happiness again.

Stop thinking tough or confused times are not times for smiles, laughter and dancing. Those are the times when it matters the most to push yourself to be positive, to get up, dress up and show up (as Regina Brett would say), to find joy in small things, to try new things, and fight, fight, fight. It is the time to believe the hardest in yourself, in your potential, and in the good things that are destined for you. It’s the most important time to do all of the things that make you happier. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my Sunday night pep-talk to you and to myself. I hope it helps get your week started off right! It’s so simple. Cheese it up more, especially on the bad days, and see how you start to feel happier in no time!

Love,
Sonia, Word Share Junkie