“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness.”
― Alexandre Dumas
Hope can serve us well, but it can also help us stay in denial. Hope is extremely important, especially during times of stress and hardship. Sometimes we need to tell ourselves a story of hope during times of despair in order to make it through our days. Hope can save us. Hope serves a purpose. Hope tells us that positive things are coming our way. Hope can ground us and ensure us that we are safe in this world.
While we tend to associate the word and concept of “hope” with positivity, light, and healing - there is unfortunately, a dark side of hope. Hope can also come from a really dysfunctional place. Hardships and manipulation can disguise themselves as hope. We start to create narratives of "hope" in our minds that fit whatever we feel is "best" at the time. This leaves us romanticizing and idealizing whatever or whomever it is that we are clinging on to. Hope tells us “they’ll eventually come back and change” or “this is just a phase I’m going through; I’ll get back on track soon.” Hope tells us that we need that thing, behavior, or person in our lives or we won’t be okay. Or that if we give up a certain habit or coping mechanism, we won’t be able to handle the stressors of life. Hope allows us to become attached to a story that keeps us stuck or traveling backwards. Watch out for the dark side of hope. The line between hopeful and dysfunctional is very thin.
Some suggestions regarding hope:
- You have the ability to choose your attitude in any situation. No one but yourself has control over your life. Make a plan for your life and if you are unsure about some of the routes to take - ask for direction(s)!
- Look within yourself and utilize your strengths, talents, and knowledge to cultivate positive things and people around you. If you are not happy with something in your life - YOU hold the power to change it.
- Envision yourself obtaining your goals. Hope begins with positive thinking.
- Seek to imitate the people around you who live happy and fulfilling lives. Ask for guidance and implement small changes into your daily routine.
- Choose to trust that you are worthy of a good life and for things to improve for you.
- Think positively and you will find that positive things will follow.
HOPE KEEPS US MOVING FORWARD! -Katrina