Searching for hope

Carole Fawcett writes about hopelessness and importance of regaining hope

Hope.  The stand-alone six inch sign leapt out at me when I walked into the dollar store.  It is black and made out of some type of plastic.

Hope.  It is one of the most powerful words in any language.

The sign had impact as I had just been speaking with someone who seemed to have lost their personal grip on hope.  It had been erased from their life, due to many life issues left unchallenged for a long time.

You may know what I am speaking of.

A lack of hope is sometimes seeded by the belief that we are not in control of our lives.  We may not be in control of some of the events that occur in our lives, but we are always in control of how we respond to them.

Hopelessness frequently finds its not-so-distant relative, worthlessness.   Without hope, there isn’t much left to look forward to and as a result we can feel worthless.  This can also team up with helplessness, as without hope and self worth, helplessness willingly jumps into the fray.

They are a pretty depressing group and one of them alone would not be welcomed into our lives.

But, regardless, they come, uninvited and visit for a short time, or (gawd forbid) a long time.

We do not need to make them feel so welcome as to settle in for the long haul.  Sometimes it is difficult to get rid of unwanted guests, and as with anything that is worthwhile, the effort may feel like it is too big to take on.

Hope allows us to keep trying, to stay motivated, to get out of bed, to connect with others, to believe it will get better, to help us to focus on the things we want to “grow” in our mind and basically, it helps us to persevere and endure almost anything.

Hope has emotional impact.

If a doctor gives you bad news, without any hope attached to it, it will have double the impact.  With negatively delivered news, our own minds will take up where the doc left off.

If the doctor gives the news, with a large dollop of hope, then it is likely the impact on the mind and body will be lessened, and the door remains open for improved health.

I wonder if by our actions, we can gift another human being with hope.

I believe we can. I know that at a rough time in my life, I was given the gift of hope by others.

It had an enormous impact on my sense of well being.

It wasn’t hard for them to do this.  They listened, validated me and made me feel like someone cared – just when I thought nobody did.

So, if you feel that your grip on hope is tentative, reach out to a friend or family member.

If you can afford to, speak to a professional and start on the journey to reclaim your hope.

If we can find the key that opens the door to our personal resilience, we will stay emotionally strong, regardless of what life dishes out.

We can only hope.

Carole Fawcett is a registered professional counsellor and clinical hypnotherapist.  She belongs to the Professional Writers Association of Canada.