Reason to Hope

summer
Resilience in the Summer
July 3, 2024
Building Hope
July 17, 2024
summer
Resilience in the Summer
July 3, 2024
Building Hope
July 17, 2024

Reason to Hope

hope

Hands holding a heart shaped rock engraved with the word "hope."

Here in the USA, it is hurricane season, literally and figuratively. With constant threat warnings in the news, I hear people talking about being exhausted and wanting to give up. “I just want to quit,” means a lot of different things. Quit caring, quit exerting effort towards goals or dreams, quit fighting for a better world, and in extreme cases quit living. Despair can sap your energy, interfering with your ability to be resilient and to thrive.  

The alternative to despair is hope – hope that you can survive, thrive, build community, and make a difference. In difficult times hope is not easy. In this blog series, I will explore ways to choose hope during this difficult time in our country’s history. My motive is to build our resilience together, so we can support one another toward thriving. As I write and publish this series, please feel free to chime in. I would love to hear your ideas on how to choose hope. 

Today I want to start with why. Why choose hope?  

Hope is Better Than the Alternative

The alternative to hope is despair, an awful, soul sucking state of being. Feeling angry, distraught, annoyed, or upset might not be fun, but they do bring some energy with them. Despair brings a lack of energy, a sense of hopelessness and isolation. Despair is a deserted island covered in dark fog with chilling winds. This is no place to live. My goal is that we can help each other find hope allowing you to avoid, or step away from, despair. 

Your Actions Matter

Hope is the belief that your actions matter. That you make a difference in big and small ways, along your journey and with deliberate intention. For some of you your entire career is focused on being a helping professional. All of you make a difference in your personal relationships and with strangers. Despair tries to tell you that none of your efforts matter. It lies. Hope allows you to remember ways that others have helped you, and that you have helped others. Hope encourages all of us to keep reaching out and caring for one another. 

Hope Brings Energy

Hope is energizing. I experience a surge of energy when told there is nothing to be done. “That’s it, we are done for,” infuriates me. I am not sure why I react so intensely to giving up, but the fury comes quickly; it is part of how I am wired.  I quickly convert from, “oh my God!” to “What do we do now?” and want to find a way to move forward. I suppose if lying down and giving up were my response to loss I would have quit life a very, very long time ago. Instead, I get up and figure out what’s next. Yes, there is a need to process loss and honor emotions. At the very same time hope whispers, “there will be good times ahead; let’s make them happen.”  

Hope Brings People Together

Hope allows you to dream with others about a better future. It encourages you to reach out with the belief that your contribution matters. When you collaborate with others to create beauty, peace, art, community, and social justice you empower all of us. I believe that some people in power would like for the rest of us to believe that there is nothing to be done, so we should all just give up and let them be in charge. No, thank you. We can share our hopes to encourage each other and work together. 

Why choose hope? Hope is the belief that things will get better. It vanquishes despair, allowing you to believe that your actions do make a difference. Hope provides energy and brings us together to create better futures for ourselves and our communities.  

It is easy to feel hopeful when times are good. Hope is a lot harder when the news is bad, and you are surrounded by contention. When you are super stressed, and are not sure where to go next, seeking a way to hope can help. Say all the cuss words, get mad, and seek a reason to move forward. I am not suggesting you do it alone. I will be writing about hope for the next several blogs. Please join the conversation so that we can share reasons to be hopeful together. This is the definition of resilience: to continue to move forward when times are tough. 

Peace,

Laura A Gaines