Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hope and Faith

This is the season of hope. I heard someone talk about it today. How do we hold onto hope if things have gone wrong in our lives? How do we keep from feeling overwhelmed? How do we work through past hurts to get to a better place in our lives?

The answer in every case is hope. Hope that things can go right in the future. Hope that we have the strength and courage to cope. Hope that we can create happiness in our lives.

Except maybe the right word isn’t hope but faith. Faith that within us is all that we need to create that happy life. Faith that we will always have courage and strength and resilience and whatever resourcefulness we need to face any challenge. Faith that no matter how bad a situation seems, we will be all right.

Like many people who were abused as a child, I used to expect bad things to happen. I used to believe I was going to get hurt, rejected, look like a fool, and fail at what I wanted most.

And then I began to hope. Hope that it was possible for things to be different. Hope that maybe I could be good enough. Hope that I could be happy, accepted, and even be loved. Because I had hope, I began to see things I hadn’t seen before, do things I hadn’t done before and it began to happen. My life got better. And because it did, I began to have faith that it would continue to do so.

There is real power in hope. And hope fulfilled becomes faith that it will continue to be fulfilled.

The most powerful step I took, however, was to adopt the following habit. Whenever something goes wrong, I ask myself: What good could come out of this?

That isn’t always an easy question to ask. It isn’t always easy to keep asking until I get an answer. But there always is an answer. And it alters everything.

Because I do this, I have seen possibilities I otherwise might not have seen. Even better, instead of putting my focus and energy and emotion into being upset and angry at what SEEMS to have gone wrong, I am putting my focus and energy and emotion into looking for ways to cause/allow/see something good come out of the situation.

There is real power in this approach! I know I’ve written about it before but I think that especially at this time of year, for those of us who may have had less than ideal experiences at holiday time, it’s important to know how we will handle disappointments or difficult days.

So I challenge you this week/month/year/lifetime to ask yourself, the next time something goes wrong, to ask yourself: What good could come out of this? And to keep asking until you get an answer. You may be surprised at how much it changes your life for the better.

Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs)))))))),


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments on my blog. I've linked to yours - which is wonderful. You have a great outlook on things.

I definitely struggle with focusing on the negative and losing sense of my power in situations.

April_optimist said...


I've linked to your blog as well as a couple of other new ones.

We all struggle with focus if we've had bad experiences in our lives. What's really cool about this approach is that as we get proof that things can go right it gets easier and easier. And when we put our focus on what good we can find or create out of the situation, well, it makes all the difference in the world!

Anonymous said...

we agree in the hope thought, hope is what keeps us alive and faith that somehow we will get through even in the darkest moments. People often talk in hindsight oh i cna that now maybe its time to think in a different way and say oh i cna see that in the future even though it isnt now, who knows but maybe its worth trying maybe ;P

April_optimist said...

Jumping In Puddles,

Looking ahead is truly powerful because with this approach we are more likely to cause good to come out of what feels like disappointment instead of just waiting to see if it does.

Here's to hope and faith--may we all learn to have both in abundance.