Hope is essential to the therapeutic process
One of the questions I always ask in my first few sessions is, “What are you hoping for?” The answer to this question tells me a lot about where a person is and where we need to start working. Without hope, it is hard to move forward.
What is hope?
Hope is a feeling of expectation or desire for a certain thing(s) to change or happen. When we have a feeling of expectation, we have motivation. We won’t give up easy.
Think about 2017, when the Astro’s made it to the World Series. We hoped all season it would happen. Our hope became reality game after game. We experienced feelings of immense joy and happiness when that hope was realized.
Hopeless living equals fear
Hopelessness is living with a feeling that nothing will ever change or improve. It’s a very debilitating and terrifying feeling that convinces us it is our reality. People without hope struggle to find the will, or desire to go on.
Finances, crisis, epidemics, social media portraying unrealistic versions of life…it’s a lot to handle. When we can’t see a solution…we give up. We let fear convince us that there is no solution and that nothing will ever change. That is a scary place to be.
Choose hope (even when it doesn’t feel real)
Being hopeful does not solve our problems. However, being hopeless makes it feel impossible to move on. Please, don’t be tempted to believe this lie. You see, our feelings are tricky things! They convince us of this distorted idea that if we feel something, it is 100% true and if we DON’T feel something, then it must not be true.
This is a lie.
Think of it this way. When you are in a long term relationship, do you FEEL in love every single minute of every single day? On those days that you don’t necessarily feel it, does that mean that you don’t love that person anymore? (No!)
The same is true for hope. We can always find motivation to fight one more day. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. There is always a reason to press on.