Hope is the thing with feathers,
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune without words,
and never stops at all.
Hope seems to be something inherent and essential to being human. No matter how dire things may seem to be ( or may actually be) there is usually hope that things may or will or can get better. Even when it's hard to see how this might happen, " hope springs eternal."
Hope inspires us to dream, to work toward a goal, to imagine how things might improve and what we have to do to make this happen. Hope can be a great motivator, pushing us out of our comfort zones to bring about change, to make things happen. Hope can make us sacrifice things we think we need, to give up addictions, because we hope for a better life. The hope of a more peaceful and happy life can make us face our inner pain and demons.
In the darkest moments, in times of fear or of unspeakable trauma, hope often exists as a steady though small flame deep inside, keeping us from total despair. Hope can guide the way to survival, to thriving, to taking risks when things are overwhelming or appear hopeless. Refugees who leave their countries, facing danger along the way, hoping for a better life come to mind. People who survive all kinds of abuse, who find ways to go on with their lives, are inspired by hope for something better. Hope is a good antidote for despair.
When we are facing difficult circumstances, in the world or within our own lives, we need to remember Emily Dickinson's words that "hope perches in the soul... and never stops at all."
if you would like to explore hope
in your life
call me for a free phone consultation
Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley