HOPE. How many times a day do we use that word? “I hope I pass the test”, “I hope the day goes smoothly”, “I hope my furnace works”, “I hope I don’t get fired” (these are things I have been known to say). We use the word HOPE on a routine basis. But what does the word HOPE mean to you?
I have been thinking a LOT about this word lately. This is what I think hope is: Hope is the ability to trust and believe that things will turn out okay. When difficult times occur, people fall back on hope, believing that they will get through the most difficult times of their lives. Hope is what we have when we know that we WILL eventually survive the night and bask in sunshine once again. It does not deny the present darkness, but it reminds us that dawn is coming (can I get an Amen?) Hope is not a tangible thing that you can hold but it is something that you can hold close in your heart.
Life is not perfect. We all go through hard times, trying times and excruciatingly painful times. Some days I have felt simply lost (can anybody relate?). I would look at the situation around me and it would seem so empty and devoid of hope. It’s depressing, actually. BUT I have found I did not have to allow those depressing feelings take control of my life. Instead, when I am in the midst of what I feel to be a hopeless situation, (and we have ALL been there), I try to focus on these 4 things (full disclosure here … some days I do better than others):
1. Realize WHAT You Have:
I was forgetting about all of the GOOD things in my life. Once I realized I was forgetting about all of the GOOD in my life, I would shift my focus to all of the good things in my world. These are not always big things, but they may be small like the smile of a loved one, the roof over your head, or a simple shoulder to cry on. What gives me hope is that these small things mean a lot when you really look at them.
2. Recognize WHO you have:
One of the biggest reasons that many people lose their hope is that they do not realize that they have a strong support network around them. The truth is that too often we do not take advantage of those around us. Your loved ones want to support you and provide the encouragement that you need. Some people turn to their family during these difficult times. Some turn to a close knit group of friends. It is a great comfort knowing that your friends and family have your back and are praying for you.
3. Look at the Big Picture:
When you lose your hope it is usually because you are dealing with some sort of difficult situation. So often during these difficult times, we fail to step back and take a look at the big picture. Hope can be found in small successes and baby steps. So we need to celebrate the small victories (and there WILL be small victories) during our difficult situation. By doing that, we might be surprised at how much stronger our hope is.
4. Celebrate Your Triumphs:
To me, this is the most important step. CELEBRATE THE TRIUMPHS no matter where you are on your journey! The truth is that at the other side of a difficult situation is a triumph and there is an incredible amount of hope in that. You made it through some difficult circumstances to be on the other side and by celebrating you are rewarding your difficult path.
If you have ever seen the movie “Hope Floats” which I posted on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook/TheCarlaHuhn.com (feel free to check it out and show my page some love), you undoubtedly have heard this great quote (and one of MY personal favorite quotes EVER) about hope: “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.”
Hope. Such a power 4-letter word. What does that word mean to YOU?
Until next time, wishing you …
Much happiness and health with a big splash of humor,