Holding Hope for Yourself—and Others
How do you hold onto hope when everything looks hopeless? How do you look forward to the better when life grows worse?
We are living in challenging times. What makes these times even more difficult is that more and more complex, daunting issues continue to reveal themselves. Sometimes life feels like a boxing match that hits us over and over when we’re saying, “Hey! We don’t want to box! We want to take a leisurely walk!”
Then we get walloped again by something that surprises us.
"Hope is the instinct to inhale while suffocating," says filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro. "It is the hard choice, the brave choice. And it is most needed now, in the face of despair."
Even when life is challenging, we can find ways to build our resilience and our hope.
Identify what you hope for. “The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for,” says author Barbara Kingsolver. “And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right into it, right under its roof.” Then take action to move toward your hope.
Ask others to hold hope for you. When you feel hopeless and can’t find hope, ask others to hold hope for you. I’ve been doing it for a friend, and I’ve also asked others to do this for me during dark times. It helps to know that a large community is holding hope during hopeless times.
Find what soothes you. Choose nurturing, healthy activities that calm you. Soothe you. Support you. Listen to a piece of music. Journal. Take a walk. Meditate. Cook. Make art.
“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible,” said Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman and became quadriplegic after an accident. Choosing hope doesn’t mean you ignore the world or its long list of hardships. Instead, hope gives you the path to find your way, despite it all.
Live inside your hope.