Having hope is important. Hope allows us to believe that things will change, that what we might be enduring will not last forever. Many of us live our lives without needing to consider whether we have hope or not. We often use the word hope casually in our conversations: “I hope to see you soon”, “I hope they have my size”, “I hope they win this game”.
Imagine (and this may be easier for some of you), what it might feel like to not have hope; to feel hopeless. Our circumstances can shift suddenly in life. Our normal safe and predictable existence can become scary and dark, for a variety of reasons. Just when we need hope the most it eludes us. At times like these we can feel alone and let down and it can be a challenge to let ourselves even consider hoping and believing things will be different because we may fear being disappointed, yet again. We can get tangled up in a cycle of negative thinking and perceiving that only perpetuates the very thing that we do not want.
Having the courage to share our fears is an initial step. First being honest with ourselves and then venturing out to others we feel close to and know are good listeners. Connecting in this way, whether with family and friends or a mental health professional, helps us end our isolation, and assists us with gaining perspective (and perhaps correcting misperceptions). Supportive conversations can help us remember times when we have coped in the past as well as provide us with opportunities to envision a future that is different from our present reality, even if only remotely so. And that is the beginning of hope.