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  • Fe Robinson

The power of hope

Today I want to write about the power of hope. Hope is a future based emotion, a desire for something to happen, and a belief in it being possible. Another definition is that it is a feeling of trust.

Oftentimes when people come into psychotherapy, hope is in short supply. It may be that life is currently very difficult. Or, the recent past may have been extremely challenging. Or, the client may be experiencing low mood, or trauma symptoms. For these and other reasons, hope may be an experience that is not common for them.

When a sense of hope, or more widely a sense of the future, is absent, current troubles can loom extremely large on our landscape. Having a sense of time lends us perspective, and helps us to rightsize what it is that is happening just now, however intense that may be. This is true both of the past, and the future. While we can only really experience anything right now, a sense of our being and lives over time helps us weave a consistent narrative, and when times are tough, that matters.

We are meaning making machines, our consciousness arises out of our bodies and is a prediction model, interpreting current events based on what we have previously experienced and hence expect to experience now. Knowing this, we can act with care in considering what we feed into our meaning making, and we can choose where it is we place our attention.

Do you notice what is the same about your current situation and previous ones, or are you also open to what is different? Can you use those differences as a platform for growth and hope? Can you imagine a life that is richer with the things you want than your current situation is? If you use the idea that you move towards what you think about, these are powerful suggestions that can make a significant difference to your wellbeing.

I’m not a fan of ‘positive thinking.’ I believe it can be yet another stick with which to beat yourself when you simply can’t feel positive. What is more helpful is possibility thinking. However bad things may be right now, you can reflect on what is possible. However small the shift may be, its movement, and it will make a difference.

This week, why not dwell on the week you want to have, the month you want to have, the year you want to have…? Infusing your sense of the future with hope may just uplift you, and motivate you to go ahead and create more of what you hope for.


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