Most people think hope is a feeling that comes when they are optimistic about the future or whatever is going on their life. But I believe we can reinforce that optimism with activity. When we give a dollar to the homeless we can then believe that someone will help us when we are down and out because we all know what goes around comes around.
If you believe you can magnify the hope that you already have then you can do the following:
- Spend time thinking about hope and asking for what little hope you have to grow.
- Water the little seeds of hope with positive thoughts.
- Help others with their little sprouts of hope. Reassure them. Pray with them.
- Do something with your hope. Talk about it. Write about it. Spread the word that hope is alive and well within you.
- Watch movies about hope. My favorite movie is “The Shawshank Redemption.” “Andy Dufresne: [in letter to Red] Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
- If tragedy strikes. believe that things will get better even if you don’t feel like they will. When I was homeless I actually heard a voice in my head say: “Get out of bed and do something.” As soon as I got up I felt better. I walked down the street and met other homeless people who were worse off than me. It was exhilarating to find out I was not alone.
- If you are grieving for a loved one, find a support group to share your pain. After you have shared your story, comfort the others in the room. As they say in AA: “To keep it you must give it away.”
- Stay in touch with God when you are struggling. Ask him for comfort and wisdom.
- Treat your depression even if it means anti-depressants for awhile.
Hope is like a seedling. It needs water and sunshine to grow. The water may be your tears but the sunshine comes when you open the window of your pain and let the sun shine in.
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