What is hope, and how do you find hope when you are struggling? I was asked recently if I had a video on my YouTube channel about hope, and that question sent me into a thoughtful process of discovering and defining what hope is, and how do we find it in times of need. I asked my friends on Twitter what hope meant to them, and I dedicate this blog to those who shared their thoughts and hearts. Reading your responses and spending time in reflection has brought me to this, so thank you.
Maybe you are struggling with cancer, the pandemic, or both. Or, maybe, something else. By reading this, I want you to be inspired to find your hope.
For many, hope can be found in the everyday-ness, like a beautiful view, or watching your children grow. But, it can also be marked by milestones, like major life events. In a broader sense, hope can be in the belief that people are working hard to make your life better, perhaps with research or treatments. It is optimism for the future, or looking forward to something in the future, but it’s found in the present moment.
When I was going through chemo, I had hope for healthier days. In the moments of struggle, I thought about my children, the doctors and nurses that cared for me, and the friends and family who supported me, and I used them as a guide to hope for healthier days. The intangible hope in the future, lies within tangible things, people, or events of the present.
Hope is the decision to take external factors, and make them personal – turning them into something that helps you continue forward. It is that little voice inside you, guiding you. That voice, or that message, LEADS YOU TO THE HOPE. The message might be:
- You’re doing a good job.
- You make a difference.
- You have people working to help you.
- You have people that love you.
Accessing that hope is key, and to do that you need to be a grateful, present observer in the now. I believe this is a skill that lies within each of us, a skill that needs to be practiced. By practicing gratitude of even the simplest of things, you will tune into the internal voice that brings you hope. So, when you are struggling, pause, and be grateful for something…anything. Maybe it’s a beautiful sunrise, a great cup of coffee, or maybe it’s a loved one. That gratitude will turn up the volume of your inner voice and reveal your hope.
I know this is especially hard when you are facing your mortality, so here’s another example. Say you are going through chemo, pausing and feeling gratitude that the nurse is kind, or that there are even chemotherapy drug options for you, will turn up the volume on your internal voice telling you that you are receiving help, leading you to the hope of healthier days.
If you are struggling with finding hope amidst a difficult time, I invite you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a conversation with me to learn how I can help you find your hope.