Living With Hope

I may not have the perfect life or all the things in the world, but one thing I always do have is hope.  Throughout life as I have come face to face with my biggest fears and my biggest pains, I have been confronted with two choices: giving up on life or having hope.  Although I have given up many times, I have always kept hope as my main fuel.

You see, hope is the reason we fight for our dreams and the reason we face our biggest fears.  Hope is that strong desire for something to happen, a positive expectation that we have.  The reason we make resolutions, plans, and goals.  The reason we dream of a wonderful future.

Hope is why we put an alarm for tomorrow morning so we can make it to work on time, expecting we will wake up. It’s saying, “see you soon” to a loved one, knowing we will see them again.  Hope is a beautiful expectation.

Why is hope important?

As we go through life we face many situations, some pleasant and some difficult.  In those difficult moments we find the need to hang on to hope, if not we risk giving up on certain things in life.

It’s important that we have hope so that in times of darkness, some light can shine through.  When we are up against our biggest challenge in life, hope helps us know overcoming these challenges is possible.  Hope helps us fight to make things possible for our lives, no matter how impossible the thing may be.  Recently I noticed how blessed I am to be filled with hope.

Just three days after the new year rang in, I was celebrating my 29th birthday.  It marks four years since my husband and I officially started trying to have kids without success.  I could have sat back and be sad about another year passing and me getting older and still childless.  I could have compared myself to friends my age and who even have up to four kids.  Instead, I focused on my expectations and told myself that my dreams will happen at life’s perfect timing for our lives.  I chose to keep an optimistic outlook  about how much fun we will have with our future child, when the right time comes.  As I rely on hope, it can be my motivation to act upon that hope by helping make those dreams possible. In this case I can do so by taking care of my body and finding ways to make pregnancy possible.  All the while, I can be joyful in the process.  Never doubting that my dream can happen.

That is exactly what hope is.   Knowing that your dreams will happen.  When you have hope, you are more willing to push yourself to accomplish the dreams by setting goals to reaching them.  You naturally see a positive outcome in the future and are not willing to listen to negative thoughts that may want to overrun your mind.  Hope does not listen to fear of any kind.

To have hope it has to be intentional.  It doesn’t just come from the air we breathe.  We have to choose to view our desires and expectations as if it were already a done deal.  It’s like having faith.  It’s our job to see life with hope and not to fall into hopelessness.

When we don’t have hope….

When we don’t have hope, we run the risk to become depressed during tough moments.  We lose sight of our dreams and go into a spiral effect of negativity that overtakes our lives.  Negativity that leads to anxiety, stress, and deep depression.  Going through this sometimes prevents us from seeking our dreams as we slowly start to give up on them.  When you have no hope, you give way to your fears.  The greatest choice we can make for ourselves is to always have hope even in the deepest situations we are in.  We will be doing ourselves a great favor.

How can we increase hope in our own lives?

1. Dream and act upon them

Dream! Dream a lot!  But don’t just dream small, dream big!  Dare to believe that anything in life is possible.  Dare to believe that you can conquer anything you set your mind to.  When you allow yourself to dream, it’s because you have hope.  You hope that these dreams will happen.  Keep dreaming as much as possible and the amount of hope you have in life will increase.  Be careful to not just have dreams to meet, but also act upon them by setting small goals to reaching them.  And if one dream doesn’t work, well then you just keep on dreamin’ new dreams.

2. Learn from failures and tough times

Chose to see everything that happens in life as a lesson.  Don’t let situations define who you are.  Instead use it as a reason to get up again and face life as a tougher new you.  A stronger you ready to face the next moment in life with determination and healthy ambition.  Learning to see failures and tough times with optimism will help you feel more joyful, thus giving you hope for a better future.

3. Enjoy the small things

Small moments are sometimes the ones that bring you the most hope.  One example of a small moment is when my husband leaves me a chocolate bar with a note attached. It makes me smile and gives me hope for an amazing marriage.  Hope that we will have many years together.  If today it wakes up rainy and cold, it gives me hope that every tree will look so green and alive when the rain stops.  If I get a text from a friend, it gives me hope that our friendship will be a long and beautiful one.  Small things that may seem so insignificant are the ones that bring hope and beautiful outcomes.  Embrace every small moment.  Look for the beauty in that moment and have hope of a brighter future.

As I look back at the toughest times in my life, I realize that if I hadn’t had at least a glimpse of hope, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  Without hope, I wouldn’t have gotten certified as a teacher.  Without hope, I wouldn’t have a wonderful marriage.  Without hope, I would have given up on many things I pursued to have in life.

At times, I may have lost all hope.  But somewhere in between I must have enjoyed a small moment that helped me have a little hope again.  Or maybe I must have made a wish that lead to dreaming, again giving me hope.  Or I must have remembered old failures and struggles and how I faced them and came out just fine, and then became brave enough to step out of misery and full of hope again.  Whichever reason it was, hope saved me and keeps saving me from living a life in fear or in depression every time I hit a wrong turn in life.

You can do the same.  When you find yourself hopeless, pay attention to a small moment.  What hope can you find in it?  What dream can you start pursuing with hope?  What can you learn from your struggle or failure that can give you a push of hope?  Trust me, you can have hope if you are intentional about it.

While this year is still new, what big dreams are you ready to face?  What challenges are you ready to step up to?  What small moments are you ready to see as ones that give your life hope?  Life is beautiful.  It’s a blessing we get to enjoy it.  Fill yourself with hope and your days will be much brighter and lovelier than you can imagine.  What other ways do you practice having hope?  Do share with me.

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