In my journey of healing, I’ve often given up hope of ever overcoming the past. But as I look around I see people who’ve transcended a lot more. They inspire me. People who, in the midst of their pain, have found ways to reach out to others. Then I have questions about the world and its situation. The hatred, division, inequality and the suffering of innocents. It’s easy to be absolutely overwhelmed. But I come closer to the end of the year, I am choosing hope over despair.
In the 1990s, a researcher named C. S. Snyder, played a key role in bringing hope to the forefront. He described hope as a “motivational construct” that allows one to believe in positive outcomes, conceive of goals, develop strategies, and muster the motivation to implement them.
Studies show that hopeful people have higher self-esteem, take better care of themselves physically, and can handle pain better. They also contribute positively to society by thinking about both themselves and others. In one study in which depressed elderly people were taught to think hopefully, Snyder found, “As they became more hopeful, they became more grateful . . . and more likely to experience joy.” They learned to accentuate the positive and to laugh at themselves and others. “If you haven’t learned how to laugh at yourself,” he concluded, “you’ve missed the biggest joke of all!
Choosing Hope To Heal
Hope acts as a guiding light, illuminating the darkest corners of our challenges. It fuels our determination and provides the courage to face adversity. Without hope, the path to healing can appear daunting and insurmountable. It’s the spark that ignites our belief in a better tomorrow.
Heartbreak and hope are not mutually exclusive. We can be angry and sad and filled with longing for something we cannot have, and simultaneously we can be grateful for what we’ve got — aware, for reasons we’d never choose, of what really matters and what doesn’t.– Lennon Flowers
As I look back on my own life’s journey, I find moments that stand out as especially hopeful. I reflect on the people in my life who have been a source of inspiration through their own hopefulness.
I stop and ask myself what enables me to hear the whisper of hope in the quiet moments, even when facing challenges? It’s my faith in the goodness and grace of God. My belief in the transforming power of gratitude also fuels a hope filled perspective. I’m choosing hope to heal and make a difference in the world.
This is Day 62 of My 66-day Journey of Healing Through Writing and Sharing.