We are entering a space between stories. Something hurts in there. Can you feel it? We are one earth, one tribe, one people, and we are all in this together. We all go through times in life that challenge us and that require a deeper strength to get us through like those times when we can’t clearly see how or even if the path ahead will unfold. Sometimes the darkness is a personal situation and sometimes it is a global one.
There have been many times in my personal life situations when hope became a cornerstone for survival from growing up with a mother who was clinically depressed, having a miscarriage after seeing my child’s heartbeat, my daughter’s open-heart surgery, to being diagnosed with breast cancer. It was during these darkest times in my life that hope whispered, “This too shall pass. Something better is ahead.”
There have been times during my life when world situations gave rise to the need for a strong foundation of hope. I remember the day that President Reagan was shot, where I was, what I was doing, and the fear and feelings of uncertainty that it brought to my then teenage mind. I remember everything about 911. The sheer terror and uncertainly that I and we all felt.
We are as individuals, a nation, and a world entering into what feels like a time of great uncertainty. Normal is coming unhinged. Things are changing and we are not sure how they will. It is in these times that we must hold onto hope.
Hope is a foundation in all that we do and all that we are. Our degree of hope, or lack of hope, defines us. It influences everything we do, how we face our lives, and the decisions we make. Hope gives us what we need to take action, to take the next step toward the light.
How can we cultivate hope, deepen hope, and hang on to hope, especially when times get rough? There are things we can do to help ourselves. Here are ten ways that you can cultivate hope in your life:
Cultivate Hope In Your Life 10 Ways:
- Believe in something bigger than yourself.
- Develop a mindfulness practice that includes a form of prayer or meditation.
- Become mindful and aware of your thoughts. When negative thoughts arise, retrain your mind to think positive thoughts.
- Read inspirational writings, quotes, poetry or from your chosen spiritual path.
- Spend time doing what you love to do – what makes you smile.
- Spend time with people who make you smile.
- Expect positive things to happen.
- Look at how other positive people and role models in your life handle the situations of their life.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Every day, write down at least one thing that you are thankful for. On darker days, get it out and read.
- Know this too shall pass.
Without hope the light that eventually comes to erase the darkness of the latest trial from our lives can’t make its way to us. Without hope there is no opening for it to come forward. No crack for it to seep in. It has been said that the most profound expressions of the human spirit are derived from hope. Hope, it has been said, is faith holding out its hand in the dark.
The capacity to hold on to hope may indeed be one of the most important abilities we can poses.