How do we look at our current situation and see hope? How can hope propel us forward? When we talk about recovery we are really talking about hope. We feel like our situation is hopeless, but something tells us it can be better. We are miserable, depressed, fearful and ashamed, but somehow we grasp onto some little thing that moves us forward and tells us there is something else out there.
Hope is described as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best”. When we are at our lowest point, this feeling can be faint, barely perceptible and fleeting at best. We look around and all we see is pain. Sometimes hope can come in the form of another person, even an unwitting person. It can be as simple as a smile or a kind word. It could just be someone who comes along side us and just listens to us. Maybe it’s a friend we haven’t seen in a while who gives us a hug and says, “Nice to see you!”
Hope also can come from within us. It’s that brief moment of clarity that whispers quietly to us and tells us maybe it can be different this time. It’s not usually loud, no it’s quite the opposite. During our hopelessness, we get a scampering thought that there is something better in store for us. It can be drowned out by our fear, insecurity and shame as quickly as it appears. We remember all the other thoughts of hope we had and how nothing changed. How we are still the same person, in the same life, with the same problems as we always have been. How can one feeling of hope make a difference? How will it be different this time?
No matter where it comes from, hope is a gift. It’s a life preserver thrown our way when we least expect it. It’s a flicker of light that fights its way through the darkness to be the spark that ignites wonderful changes in our life. Just because things haven’t worked out before doesn’t mean they can’t. Tomorrow doesn’t have to be the same as yesterday. We can choose to focus on that glimmer of hope we get instead of the thousand negative thoughts that fight it off. We don’t have to make dramatic strides or heroic movements. A simple choice to listen, even for a moment, to that quiet, hopeful whisper can make a difference. Just a few precious seconds away from the drumbeat of negativity in our mind can move us forward. If the critic in our head can be silenced even for a moment, it can make a difference. It’s a gift, those subtle moments of peace that flutter by.
That’s what hope can do. It can take us just one more step. It can move us ever so slightly toward a miracle in our lives. We want the big change, the burning bush, the dramatic rescue. Maybe we will get that, but we can’t miss the gift of that faint whisper of hope. Listen to it. Whether hope comes from another person, or springs up within us, it is what keeps us moving forward.