With all that is happening these days I found myself thinking about where you can find hope in the midst of the craziness. Here are three things to consider:
First, even when things look bleak and there is suffering, there are things to be thankful for along the way. This is not Pollyanna positivity by blowing smoke to encourage you to ignore the bad and just focus on the good. It is acknowledging the challenges you face yet not losing sight of all the blessings as well. It could be something big like seeing a doomsday news story and yet looking over at your best friend and being grateful you have someone right now to walk with down this path. Or it could be something small like having a cold but still enjoying the taste of chicken soup and salty crackers. Where is your focus? You might try starting a gratitude list to add to daily.
Second, realize that worry never makes your situation better. You can be concerned enough to take appropriate action but to allow worry to captivate your thoughts is a distraction that will impact your emotions, plans and health. Try to always operate from a position of strength and realize worry makes you weak. As Dan Zadara said, “Worry is a misuse of imagination.” Our imagination needs to cause you to think more productively. Some studies have found that the average person has as many as 100,000 thoughts a day with 70% of them being negative and 90% repetitive. Read that sentence again and let it sink in. Passively letting your mind wander usually takes you down dark holes. It is not enough to just say that you are not going to think that negative thought or worry. You have to replace that thought with something positive and productive. It is like trying to push water uphill. It will eventually just loop around and fill back in if you don’t replace it with something better. Acronyms can be helpful here like WAIT (What Am I Thinking) or GRASP (Get Real And Stay Positive).
Third, find hope and meaning in something greater than yourself. You have a limited capacity to provide for all of your needs. As much as you desire to be independent, you were not designed to live life as a Lone Ranger. To be healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually you need help. As Cole Huffman said, “We need to find a meaning in life that loss and suffering can’t take away.” Where do you find yours?