• Finding Hope: Part One

     

    “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu

    The past six months have left many in a state of losing hope, questioning what is happening, and the overall frustration (coupled with despair at times). This week has our level of hope being examined at a different level. Hope for our future. Hope for our country. Hope for the next generation. Hope for truth and peace. And maybe if we were being honest, hope to go back to life as it was in late 2019.

    Hope is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen or a feeling of trust.”  It is an optimistic state of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes concerning events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.    

    Whether we think about it or not, hope is a part of everyone’s life. Everyone hopes for something. It’s an inherent part of being a human being. Hope helps us define what we want in our futures and is part of the self-narrative about our lives we all have running inside our minds.

    Hope is NOT the same as optimism. Hope is NOT candy coating a lousy situation.

    Hope is NOT impossible – it is critical.

    An optimistic generally is more hopeful than others. On the other hand, the most pessimistic person you ever met can still be hopeful about something. Hope is particular and focused, usually on just one issue.

    Most people associate hope with a dire situation. People hope to get out of difficult circumstances. That is frequently when people do find themselves hoping fervently! But hope also can provide the key to making everyday life better.

    In a way, having hope links your past and present to the future. You have a vision for what you hope will happen. Whether it does not, just envisioning it can make you feel better. And if it’s something you can somewhat control, then hope can motivate you to take whatever steps you need to take.

    What hope IS and what hope IS NOT:

    • Hope is not tied to a particular outcome.  
    • Hope does not depend on certainty. 
    • Hope is merely the belief that there is the potential for something good to happen.  
    • Hope is not just important; it is one of the most essential things in life.  
    • Hope keeps us going. It reminds us that bad times cannot last. It spurs us on to more extraordinary things.

    If you have lost hope, the challenges you face may seem insurmountable. This is why it’s vital that you try to find hope again – even if it’s just a tiny sliver, to begin with.

    I get asked a lot about what is there to be HOPEFUL for at this time in our world?

    My friends will say that I will never be Little Miss Mary Sunshine – but that I can always find a silver lining, a positive aspect, something small to focus on to give you that sliver to move forward and motivate yourself to the change you are seeking. Even now. Even amid the mess. Even with the uncertainty.

    So why is hope significant?

    Hope will help you get through a tough time and make it much more bearable. It will help you improve your future by thinking, feeling, and imagining the life you want.

    It will motivate and inspire you to take action.

    Having hope is of crucial importance for your future. Hope helps you identify how you want your life to become. Hope encourages you to stay focused on what you want.

    You also need hope to set realistic goals. Without hope, you either don’t set goals. Or set goals that are very easy to achieve or extremely challenging. With a good level of hope, you are more likely to set realistic goals.

    Hopeful people are better at school, college, or work. They have better ideas, more initiative, and creativity. As a result, they are more successful and happier.

    Martin Selligman says that “hope reduces stress and the feeling of helplessness, boosts happiness and improves the quality of your life”.

    “In our rush to do something about people in trouble, in our rush to do something about repairing damage, it never occurred to us to develop interventions to make people happier—positive interventions.” –Martin Seligman in his Ted Talk  

    Today is a day that is bringing emotions to the surface that they did not know existed. Families are fractured, friends are no longer communicating, and the divide that has always existed is growing into a fault line that may never be healed. Even as I am writing this blog, one of my clients emailed asking for an emergency appointment due to a family divide over the election and reactions to COVID-19. 

    The hope is lost with this particular client (and many others that I have spoken with – personally & professionally) that the relationship will be restored. A lack of hope impacts our emotional well being. A lack of hope affects our ability to “dream big.” A lack of hope results in feeling “stuck.”

    Tune in tomorrow for a bonus blog (felt this week needed a double post of hope!) on the benefits of embracing hope and how you can become more hopeful.

    If you have lost your hope, please know that I fully believe that it can be found. No matter what has happened, is happening or will happen in your life.

    There is always a reason to have hope.

    Check back tomorrow for ways to reignite your level of hope, and as always, I am here to support you in any way that you need. We are all in this together.

    Melissa’s key points for this week….

    1. The world is turned upside down, but there are still reasons to have grounded hope.
    2. You can achieve your realistic goals and dreams – no matter what life has thrown at you so far.
    3. You can be realistic and have hope at the same time.

    You can always SUBSCRIBE by clicking the word and you will be emailed each week as new content is posted so you will not lose your momentum changing you from the inside out as we continue our discussion next Monday.

    As I have stated previously, being known for who you uniquely are at the core is a freeing experience.  One that will take bravery and vulnerability, but one that can be achieved.

    Always remember to take care of you.  You are worth it!

    Melissa

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