People are asking about hope. Finding it, renewing it and sharing it. Lacking a “how-to” book or YouTube video, there is no guide when it comes to hope. In fact, add a little fear, and hopeful becomes hopeless. It’s a fine line. The political climate and the usual seasonal holiday preparations have collided this year and there are more people searching for a reason to hope.
A tough commodity to begin with, especially during the holidays … the divisiveness of the presidential campaign only made hope more elusive. Important to remind oneself that it only takes one person to spark the change, however. And I’m all in.
So, how do you get it and maintain it when your world seems so upside down? Here is my suggestion:
Seek to become observant, in a curious and non-judgmental way. When gratitude and appreciation are in the present moment, hope rejoices. When micromanaging and “knowing” runs roughshod over being open to what’s possible, hope is lost.
Does a change of plans send you into a flurry of “what-ifs” or an excitement about what could happen next?
When something doesn’t go the way you had wanted, do you berate and belittle your efforts – in effect blaming yourself for not trying hard enough or wanting it badly enough or do you take a moment to reflect and then press on, acknowledging a change of course?
Do your thoughts quickly take a downward spiral when you can’t think of another option or are you open to having life show up in a way you hadn’t thought of before?
Have you ever muttered that you “can’t take any more of….” or is resiliency your middle name?
These are all thoughts – good or bad, right or wrong, they are just thoughts and thoughts are not you. You are the thinker of those thoughts. When you change the frequency of how you are thinking, it changes how your life shows up for you.
Try it. Start a gratitude post, or make a mental list of three things you’re grateful for before you go to bed and when you wake up each morning, or start a journal of what you are thankful for right now. The key is to get present and be grateful, once you get started the abundance of what there is to be hopeful for becomes apparent. But you can’t get there when you are stuck in your thoughts. Lose yourself not in your mind but in your life. That’s where hope lives.
Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: Elizabeth Viszt