When my friend told me her mom tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, I wanted to tell her something helpful, something positive.
But in the moment, all I could come up with was I’m so sorry.
I’d love to tell her everything will be alright, but at this moment we can’t make many promises other than to be there to listen, and to pray for one another.
With so much fear and uncertainty, one of the few things we can do is to lean on hope to push away fear.
Thankfully, hope is something we can all access.
Do we really have any other choice but to be hopeful?
Without hope, we would never get through a single day. Even before this Coronavirus pandemic.
Hope is what made you learn to tie your shoes and ride a bike as a kid. Hope is what made you say yes to getting married (or divorced) or to taking that job or to having a child.
Hope is what sells millions of Lotto tickets every day.
Hope is what made you perm your hair in 1993.
You had hope that things would turn out ok even if it wasn’t guaranteed. (Remind me to show you my old perm-fail pictures!).
The dictionary defines hope as a feeling of trust; an expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen.
Right now, in the middle of a global health crisis which, btw, doesn’t feel very global anymore as it comes nearer to our own family, our own neighborhood, our own homes.
With so much concern and fear rising, we need more than ever to steady ourselves and lean on hope.
Hope is like a life preserver thrown to us to hold onto.
It’s there to save us, to soothe us and to encourage us to believe in the possibilities of good outcomes.
We want to tell ourselves, our loved ones, our kids, our parents, our friends that everything will be alright. That we’ll figure it out. That we can fix it. The lost jobs, the unpaid bills, the devastating loss of loved ones.
When things are going wrong (and Lordy they are right now) it is our natural instinct to lean on hope.
When we think hopeful thoughts, it invites other calming, anxiety-settling emotions like gratitude, love, faith and charity into our minds.
Do what you can to reach out to someone you care about, or to a complete stranger, with the power of hope.
Don’t feel that spreading hope is the same as blowing smoke up someone’s rear.
Hope is not a lie, it’s a wish. It’s about caring. It’s about making the unknown a little more bearable.
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
Shift your mind.
Much like humor, hope is uplifting and can shift our minds away from dwelling on the negative and getting stuck on what we can’t control.
As I’ve said a gazillion times before, mindset is everything. And hope cultivates an expansive mindset.
Whether you realize it or not, you choose your thoughts. What you tell yourself and how you think about this pandemic – quarantine – isolation – illness – is either going to help you or paralyze you.
Choose to help yourself and those you can offer support to.
Encourage yourself to grow and spread hope.
Nourish your mind with positive messages, connect with loved ones (from afar) and express comfort and hope. Help yourself learn how to handle your anxiety and be better able to turn toward positive emotions.
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” – Anne Frank
No, not everything is going to turn out fine. But hope means that we will move beyond whatever happens. We will shift, realign, adjust, mourn, cry, laugh, feel grateful and we will rise back up.
Remember who you are.
You are a unique, imperfect, amazing human being made of magic and you are completely capable of rising up. You were born already equipped with strength and courage beyond your imagination.
You can help yourself and others feel hope and even moments of happiness amidst the pandemic.
You are not alone. We are all connected.
Reach within yourself and find the blessings in this moment. Reach out to others to spread the feeling of community, even while we’re all in isolation.
Do what you can to get negative thoughts out of your mind. Make space in your heart and head right now for trusting in faith and leaning on hope.
Stop holding your breath in fear.
Right now – take a few deep and grounding breaths. Visualize yourself breathing in peace and hope, and breathing out fear and tension with each breath.
You will get through this. Lean on hope. – Marlene
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