Having Hope


It is really difficult to have a positive outlook on life when the negatives seem to outweigh the positives.  That’s where hope comes into play.  Sometimes the smallest amount of hope that something will improve, someone will see the light, something will happen the way I want it to, or someone will change their attitude can pull me through the most challenging of times, even when the chances of those things happening is pretty slim.

It’s so easy to slip into a downward spiral of negativity.  The more negative your thoughts and expectations are, the more negativity you are likely to experience. I have definitely found this to be true in the past where I would be thinking, “What more could go wrong?” while dwelling on all the negative things and people in my life. Invariably, something else would go wrong.  It was like a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way, even though many of the things that happened were completely out of my control.  They probably just seemed worse because I was waiting for them to happen and then would overlook any positives because I was so busy dwelling on the negatives.

I just reread some poems I wrote years ago and came across one called “Treading Water” about how I was tired of feeling like I was going nowhere, just staying afloat, and like there were constant waves of negative things always coming my way.  It was a little depressing pulling up those old feelings.  Then I read one called “Ready For A Change” that I wrote a couple years later describing some of the things I had been dealing with that I no longer wanted to experience and so I was ready to make a conscious effort to channel more positive energy and focus on the positives, even if they were little things.  I can honestly say writing that poem was a turning point for me because it was the beginning of a different attitude and focus for me.  I wrote other poems about having hope that certain things will turn out how I wish them to be, even if there is a slim chance they will and I have to wait a really long time.  That hope helped me to remain optimistic about the future instead of dwelling on the past. It also helped me to focus on what’s really important like finding happiness from within.

Little by little, things have turned around for me, and many of the things I have been hoping for are finally happening.  It almost seems too good to be true sometimes, since I’ve had to be patient and hopeful for so long.  I’m glad I made that conscious choice to focus on the positives I could be grateful for as well as things I could be hopeful for in the future.  I think both are important.  You don’t want to be so focused on the future that you don’t appreciate and enjoy the present, but when the present isn’t so pleasant, that hope that things will change for the better can be a game changer as far as how you perceive and deal with the present situation.

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