Hope Crusher or Spark Ignitor?

Judith Joy

Hope Crusher or Spark Ignitor?Are you a hope crusher or do you ignite sparks of possibility?

Thirty plus years ago, I had an au pair to help with my then three children. One of the first things she said to me was, “My job is to make your life easier.” Wow! I could feel my shoulders relax as I let go of a big sigh. I didn’t even know that it was possible. Her simple comment has stuck with me all these years. She was an ignitor of possibility. She gave me hope.

The hope was that something was possible. Many people look down upon hope as if it’s not doing anything. Nothing is manifested from hope. I disagree. Hope is one of the first steps that is taken in any dream. Hope is knowing that something is possible.

In today’s meditation, I saw the Statue of Liberty. This puzzled me, so I asked what it was about? The message I received was that it’s about being a beacon of hope. For immigrants like my great, great grandparents, seeing the statue brought tears to their eyes because they had the hope for a better life. They left Europe and the pogroms for the hope of something better. They didn’t know what it would look like, but they had the hope that it was possible.

This hope was the spark of possibility.

When someone finishes talking with you, are you a hope crusher? Do you put down others’ ideas and tell them it’s not possible? Or out of “love” do you tell them, “Yes, but...” and then fill them in with all the things that are wrong about their idea or dreams – or at least what we see as wrong?

Many times parents do this out of love, hoping to save their children from something the parent fears. What is actually happening is that the child on a deep subconscious level may be interpreting love as something is wrong with me. Can you see how this might lead to being confused about love and choosing a partner who criticizes? And very often the cycle continues, because when someone learns to love in this way, they pass it on to their own children and are subtly put them down.

Or do you ignite hope and people love to talk with you. Do people leave conversations with you and say, “Yes! It’s possible!”

So, how do you bridge from hope crusher to spark ignitor? Here are a five easy (if you are brave enough to do them) tips:

  1. Stop talking. When someone shares an idea, listen as you keep eye contact. Closing your mouth and opening your eyes makes a big difference.
  2. Say, “mmm hmm.” This lets the person know you are listening.
  3. Ask questions. These questions are focused around expanding the idea. For example, “What skills do you have, and what skills could you learn to do this?”
  4. Don’t share. Unless the person asks for your related story, don’t redirect the conversation to a related story that you have.
  5. Share love. While the person is talking, send them love energy. Feel love and then imagine the person being surrounded by it.

My mother was a master at being a spark ignitor and she did these tips naturally. In fact, after talking with her, everyone loved her and thought that she was wonderful. She didn’t share herself so much as ask about the other person.

She believed in people and possibilities. I remember when I said I wanted to write children’s books*, she gave me a book of James Madison and said, “You can do better than this.” She believed in me and didn’t say, “yes, but...” She believed, “Yes! It’s possible!”

So the next conversation you have when someone is sharing an idea, are you going to be a hope crusher or a spark ignitor? It’s your choice.

*My writing has taken many twists and turns, and currently I’m writing to help people believe in their personal power. While I haven’t written a children’s book yet, I know it’s still in me wanting to come out. And it will be better than the James Madison book Mom gave me./p>

When people feel stuck, I help them get unstuck.


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