Good morning! A handful of folks have asked how my grandmother (Elmee) is doing. I spoke with her last week, and she was still - much to her chagrin - in the rehab facility waiting to be discharged home. I asked her why she was still there... this is what she told me: "I have no idea. The people here got mad at me because after my visitors left for the day, I got myself ready for bed. They said I shouldn't have done that by myself and asked why I didn't call someone to get help. Well, I told them, 'Because I don't want help. I can do it myself. Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do. I will do it, and I feel so good about it. You’ve got to do things to make you feel positive; not all this negative stuff you’re throwing at me.'" I swear she is going to single-handedly overthrow the administration at that place, ha! They have no idea who they're dealing with! I'm thinking of hiring her as a health coach, the way she stands up for herself and teaches people about independence and positive actions ;) I will call her later this week to see how she is faring.
So this little story ties in with something I wanted to touch on today: hope. Elmee holds onto the hope that she will be discharged home soon so she can get back to her apartment, playing the piano, and seeing her friends at the assisted living facility. She doesn't sit back and let life just happen, she actively participates in her circumstances to ensure that her hopes come to pass. She has something to look forward to, and she not only believes that it will happen, but she works for it as well.
Let's be honest, without hope, you're screwed. I mean if you have no hope for some future event or relationship or achievement, what are you doing when you wake up in the morning? What are you working toward? What are you looking forward to? It's a very scary thing to see someone who is actively losing hope or someone who has lost it already. I saw it quite a bit as an ER nurse, both in my patients and my colleagues.
Lack of hope... whether directly or indirectly... causes illness (dis-ease). People often lose hope based on past experiences or past relationships... but, you really do yourself (and others) a grand disservice by operating under the assumption that the past equals the future. Maybe you throw your hands up in the air, give up, play the victim, even try to place blame... but remember this: negative breeds negative. You are only drawing more of "the bad" to you when you put out this energy.
We're all human, we all react, but try to quickly put things in perspective. When you feel like you are falling into this pattern, remember that the past is just that: passed. Give yourself a fair shot going forward and have a little faith that what is to come shall be so much better than what has gone. While you're at it, take a nice slow deep breath, count to ten, and become present in your life. Focus on the positive little things that can bring a smile to your face while you cultivate that hope.
I can tell you that hope is always there. You just have to choose it. I have been through some pretty rough times to say the least, but even at the worst of those times, there was this tiny little glimmer of hope, and I held onto that little glimmer so tightly and refused to let it go... it was MY glimmer, MY hope, and nothing could take it from me. Eventually my little glimmer became an amazing light. I had to work to get there (more on that another time); but, I committed to hope, and hope never let me down. Now, bad stuff happens - it's part of life... but, find the lesson in your present circumstances, shift your perspective a bit. Just stop and take another breath, find something happy (think: cool breeze on your face, birds chirping), and remember that hope is still there - with it's little twinkle - just waiting for you to grab it.