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The Power of Hope

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

Published in Muscat Daily

We use the word hope so often we tend to forget what it means. Hope is a motivational state that is positive, optimistic, confident and based on reality. Hope is an internal state that directs us to achieve our goals and be successful. It allows us to create a different future for our lives and to change paths when things are going on the wrong direction. Hope is a belief and not a wish, wishes are grand and often unrealistic while hope is grounded and strong. So hope is not a warm fuzzy feeling but a powerful motivator.

Hope precedes change, improvement and, success; it allows us to develop our ability to problem solve. It is our belief that life can be better, hope, that motivates us to actualize our vision and create a better life. Hope also keeps us connected to our dreams and goals. Research has shown that people who are hopeful can cope, recover and transcend any illness or adversity. But when we loose hope we go to a very difficult place where we see no solutions, no future and worse of all we feel like no one cares.

Hopelessness comes from our negative thinking and requires for us to get away from these negative thoughts, and even more, away from our minds. It calls upon us to stop thinking and focus on feeling and experiencing our life. When we are feeling hopeless we tend to discard the positive and not see what we have, instead we focus on what we lack. As the hopelessness grows we take these feelings personal and we become isolated, feel abandoned, and give away our power.

So how do we move from being hopeless to being hopeful? This requires a change of perspective, changing the way we see and understand our current situation and going from being a victim to being a survivor. Victims are passive, pessimistic, tend to live in the past; while survivors are active, optimistic, they look into the future and ask for help. Survivors still feel sad, despair and hopeless but they persevere and fight. In other words, we must focus on changing our attitude, behaviors and thoughts, once we do this the feelings will start to shift and the hopelessness will recede.

To find hope we also need faith, gratitude and love. Faith allows us to reinterpret what is happening to us and by doing so challenges become lessons. Gratitude helps us focus on what we already have instead in on what we are missing. Love allows us to believe in ourselves and in the people around us. Sometimes it is easier to connect with hope as we give hope to others, and that is a good place to start because hope is contagious, hope gives hope.

Art making is another path to find hope. Making art invites us to open up to new creative possibilities, to a world where things are different and possible. Expressing our creative potential is a way to connect with the survivor within us that wants to create a better, fuller, happier life regardless of the circumstances. In art we can manifest, make real and tangible our new future, our hopeful future. Sometimes our inner pain and hopelessness is an opportunity to re-connect with ourselves and our creative potential, as in it lies our happiness, joy and courage elements that will empower us to survive and thrive. As William Arthur Ward stated: “ If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”

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