By Nancy Virden (c)2021
When was the last time you heard someone say, “Happiness is the most important thing in life”? A business man who has devoted his career to helping others find happiness, said that to me. If we look at happiness as a temporal feeling that can be switched off in an instant by circumstances, it seems rather unimpressive as a goal.
I propose that hope is an important foundation in life because its existence allows for love and strength during unavoidable suffering.
Hopelessness (I am referring to no hope at all) cannot produce love because it is too self-absorbed. One’s brain is in survival mode. Hopelessness cannot produce strength when life gets hard, for there is no understanding of purpose. When any of us struggles with major depression, we need hope for life, for feeling better, and for change to come from the inside-out.
One of the goals we hear about often these days is that of sustainability. Using renewable energy sources, training families and even nations how to be self-sufficient – it makes sense. Sustainability of hope is also important. Hope can seem as if it is just there, available, and at other times we have to reach for it. It is in those situations in which hope seems elusive that we need to know how to find it, gain it back, and hang onto it.
What is hope?
Which of the following are statements of hope? *I cannot get back on that old spiral. I can’t go around again. *My life could produce good, I’m just not sure it’s worth all the pain. *People care about me, they are just focused on their own issues. *Nothing will ever stop hurting. *I know I have some control over how I feel. Hope tends to sound more powerful; the person with hope speaks less like a victim. With hope we know we have choices and some options concerning how much we suffer.
Hope and a sense of self-worth work together. If our belief is that we are valuable, then the idea of life having meaning is more likely to be part of our thinking, yes? Hope turns our desire for freedom from pain into teachability and positive action. Hope provides some energy to help face the next moment, hour, and day when it is tough to care. Hope allows change to come one step at a time. Hope waits for the process to work, for the miracle to arrive.
Hope feels better! Hope in its fullness allows us to smile sincerely, to love without an agenda; it is the bottom line for gratitude and happiness. A mindset of hope protects us from being swallowed up in overwhelming discouragement. -COMMENTS WELCOME
Today’s Helpful Word
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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