I hope this finds you well... and I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year
Have you also noticed how often we include the word ‘hope’ in our letters, cards, texts and e-mails?
What we’re doing is offering - from a distance - a kind and friendly comment which helps us to emotionally ‘connect’.
There are different types of hope. There’s this everyday ‘trip-off-the-tongue’ good wishes type; and there’s the more personal hoping - which has a different energy behind it.
This deeper level of hoping becomes something we strongly feel, about something we want. It has desire, intention and purpose behind it... it’s the ‘really hoping’ type of hope.
“Hope is the ability to conceptualise goals and find pathways to these goals despite obstacles, and to have the motivation to use these pathways.” (Rick Snyder - psychologist)
You create your own hope, all by yourself, and it helps you to focus upon what you want.
We see hope around us every day - in the scratch card and lottery buyer, the pupil waiting for exam results, the first-daters, the worried patient and their family awaiting medical results, the struggling business owners... and on a grander scale the shared hope for world peace, and cultural tolerance and co-operation.
Without hope we’re doomed to surrender to the whims of life. Sometimes our hope is all we have to see us through hard times and to allow us to believe that we will endure, survive and thrive.
With our positive hopes we give ourselves a reassuring buffer of protection against fear, loss, rejection, ill-health, poverty or even death. We hope for the best.
(We can also hope that bad things won’t happen to us; but focusing in this way only brings us worry and anxiety - and more chance of getting the very thing we don’t want! So it’s best avoided.)
We need to keep recharging our positive hope – to give it our energy and commitment.
Keeping our levels of optimism and self-motivation topped up will also help us to keep hoping and keep going... hopefully.
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy)
Maxine Harley has a masters degree in psychotherapy, has written two books, and created four new approaches to psychological, emotional and physical well-being. She lives happily in Chichester with her daughter and grandson.