Choosing Hope

Hope is one of the many themes of the holidays. Yet, this can be the most hopeless time of the year for many including those with mental health challenges. I’ve come to the conclusion that hopefulness is a choice. I have discovered two important aspects about hope that really help me “choose” hope when I’m feeling hopeless:

1. Dr. Shane Lopez, a Gallup Senior Scientist, says that people become hopeless when they feel like they have no future and believe there is nothing they can do about it. So, when hopelessness begins to creep into my thinking, I choose to think about a future goal for my life and how to get there. Dr. Lopez says in his book, “Making Hope Happen,” says that these two core beliefs create hopefulness:

a. Believing that the future will be better than the present.
b. Believing that I have the power to make it so. When hopelessness is creeping in and whether I feel like it or not, I choose to believe these two things. I take captive my thinking. It’s not easy to do but it works for me.

2. Because of my faith in the Lord, I am able to choose by faith to believe that He will work all things out together for my good in the future. In other words, I choose to not allow my feelings to “trump” my faith. Even though my feelings may be feelings of hopelessness, that does not change who the Lord is and what He has promised for me. It is an act of my will to believe this as opposed to my feelings being in charge of what I believe. Sooner or later my feelings will catch up with my decision.

What do you do when you feel hopeless? How does hope “work” for you?

Related Articles

Choosing Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness

Dr. Sean Lopez, the author of Making Hope Happen, has done extensive research on hope for over 14 years. His research supports what I experienced. When I thought I had no future, hopelessness set in and took over. And when I could see the way to a future, hope began to start. And the clearer the future became for me, the more hope I felt.

Choosing Hope in the Face of Hopelessness

Why would there be a small ray of hope following my diagnosis?   After all, usually people see the diagnosis of bipolar disorder as the difficult thing to accept. Well, it was because of the people around me who helped me to see that the diagnosis and treatment of my bipolar disorder were a way back to having a future. It was the idea that the bipolar could be treated and I could have a future poked a small pinhole of hope into the darkness of hopelessness. It was not an easy journey, but it was more than worth it.

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What Your Gift Can Do for Offering Hope to the Hopeless

For every 32 cents given, we are able to offer hope for a week to one person who has a mental health challenge.

For every $16.64 given annually, we are able to offer hope for one year to one person.

Any amount you are able to give will help to offer hope to the hopeless.

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