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What Is Hope…?

March 5, 2012

I’m really lucky that I am (normally) never sick, but as I work through some latent childhood issues via my artwork, and go through some major highs and lows with my ‘Pants-4-Art’ project, my immune system has taken a bit of a pounding, and I’ve been battling a severe cold for about two weeks now. What makes it worse, is that because I’m never sick, to actually BE sick, makes me feel bad…! Kind of a self-fulfilling prophesy of ‘bad’ stuff. <cough cough>

Well, it’s given me a lot of time to stare up at the ceiling, sleep, and do a great deal of thinking.

I’m also very lucky that I live in a world where every cloud most definitely has a silver lining (if not golden!), when one door closes, two or more open, if I take a wrong turn in life, it usually just leads me to greater opportunities to pick the right turn, etc. My life would be nothing without hope, though. It got me to thinking… What is hope exactly? Why do some people have hope, and others don’t?

In my life, I have experienced moments of utter dispair – thankfully, only fleeting, but definitely bordering on suicide at times – but something has always brought me back to ‘sanity’, ‘reality’, or whatever it is we all experience as ‘life’. Dispair, for me, is the complete absense of hope. It is darkness. It is abject sadness. It is an unshakable coldness. An empty, hollow feeling of complete aloneness. I could say an lack of connection to ‘spirit’. Hope on the other hand is a belief, a faith, a knowing, that no matter how bad things are, it could always be worse, and it can and will get better. I think, because I have always had a very strong sense of purpose in my life – I have known from a very young age that I was destined to do something extremely important with my life – THAT overriding thought has always propelled me back to hope in tough times. It has almost been a game on occasion, a battle of wills, one wanting me to give up, the other pushing me forward.

HOW TO MOVE FROM DISPAIR TO HOPE?

Right now, I have a couple of friends that are going through tough times. They need me to be strong for them. Certainly having a motivator outside of yourself can help you take the focus off yourself and your own troubles, often snapping you out of your dark reverie. Making a purposeful effort to make your life about others is a great way to keep yourself from falling into dispair. Look back objectively on the hard times in your life. Did those low moments last? What happened to give you hope, or change the mood? Were you dwelling on things beyond your control? Often all it takes (and I say ALL, but it can be harder at the time) is a small shift in focus, don’t try and think of being totally happy and content, take a small step, think of something that makes you smile. Perhaps you have a favorite (non-alcoholic) drink or a ‘happy’ food? Do you have a song that uplifts you? Perhaps a feel-good movie? Do something to change the mood. Even a brisk walk can do wonders.

The major key is to not dwell on the sadness. Even if you have friends, at our lowest ebb, it is often hard to reach out for help, but this is exactly the time we need to reach out for help. There are also professional organizations (The Samaritans and AA, as examples) that are ALWAYS there to listen and help. Just being around activity and other people can break the spell. Most of all, do something to get out of your head.

So, what is hope…? For me, I think hope is that essence, that spirit, the power that creates all things, it is the sun that gives life and nourishes us all, it is the energy that makes me who I am.

Thanks for reading… catch you next time!

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One Comment
  1. Aw, sorry you’re feeling peaky. My grandmother used to say With proper treatment, a cold can be cured in two weeks; otherwise, it takes a fortnight. I find the same is true with bouts of despair. I will ply myself with remedies, but basically I have to wait it out.

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