"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow." ~ Helen Keller

Thursday, February 11, 2010

When Hope Seems Gone

This is meant to be a place of encouragement. But what do you do when you are having trouble encouraging yourself? I'm sure we have all felt that way at times. No matter what you do, nothing seems to be the right choice. It starts to feel all wrong...even hopeless.

If you have ever really been down there, you know what I'm talking about. When you are down there, some times you feel like you will never get up and never get out. It may take longer than you would like, but you will. Even though it may not feel like it, there is always hope.

Life is full of seasons. Seasons of hope and change, and seasons of doubt and sorrow. That is the roller coaster ride of life. We all lose hope from time to time. We get discouraged. Not everyone's life gets a story book ending. Things don't work out the way we plan. We do something with the best of intentions, only to have it back fire and blow up in our face.

There's no getting around the truth...some times life really sucks. We can be on top of the world one minute and then fall into a deep dark hole the next. Some folks are more prone to struggle with these things, while others have built up a resilience to help them in times of discouragement.

That's what I've learned about discouragement, you have to build up your resiliency to find a way to cope. And it can be really hard. It can take a long time. But step by step, doing little things for yourself, you will begin to feel better. You may just have to ride it out.

The thing you can count on about life, though, is change. Everything changes, and we don't always like it, yet we have to adapt. But, over time, every thing does change...including feelings of hopelessness, discouragement, or losing your way.

When you just feel hope is gone, do whatever makes you feel the least bit better. Pray. Hug your kids. Pet your dog. Try to think of anything, just one thing, to be grateful for. Do something for someone else. These are not quick fixes, but they have been known to help. Keep doing these things, especially when you don't feel like it. That is when you need to do them the most.

I am generally a really UP beat kind of person with a positive attitude. But on those occasions when I do get down, sometimes I feel helpless...powerless to make myself feel better. And maybe that is not the point. Maybe I am not supposed to feel better. Sometimes we just have to feel whatever we are feeling, even though it sucks, until it works itself out.

When I get bummed I usually turn to music. Sometimes a song can articulate what you can not find the words to say. Some times you don't even know what you are feeling. A song can reach into that hurting place in your soul and give you a glimmer of hope. Find a song that speaks to you. Don't give up.

Here is a good one.

"Hope For The Hopeless"
by A Fine Frenzy


"stitch in your knitted brow
and you don't know how
you're gonna get it out
crushed under heavy chest
trying to catch your breath
but it always beats you by a step,
all right now

making the best of it
playing the cards you get
you're not alone in this

there's hope for the hopeless
hope for the hopeless
there's hope

cold in a summer breeze
yeah, you're shivering
on your bended knee
still, though your heart is sore
and the heavens pour
like a willow bending with the storm,
you'll make it

running against the wind
playing the cards you get
something is bound to give

there's hope for the hopeless
hope for the hopeless
there's hope

there's hope for the hopeless
hope for the hopeless
there's hope"

Hang in there..."You're not alone in this...There's hope...You'll make it."

God bless.