We all have times we need to welcome hope, such as,
- When the pain doesn’t go away
- When the relationship is not improving
- When the doubts still linger
We want to be hopeful. We want to be resilient.
In my 2016 year of “Welcome,” I’m using Brené Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, as a guideline of what to welcome each month. For March, I’m reading her Guidepost #3, “Cultivating a Resilient Spirit.”
Brené says the five most common factors of resilient people are:
- They are resourceful
- They are likely to seek help
- They believe they can cope
- They have social support
- They are connected with others
Does that sound like you? Here’s the good news. Even if you don’t think resiliency or hopefulness is one of your natural traits, there are things you can do to be more hopeful.
Because, as Brené says, “Hope is not an emotion; it’s a way of thinking.”
We improve our hope factor when:
- We learn how to set realistic goals
- We remain flexible in how we reach those goals
- We believe in ourselves
If hopefulness is a learned behavior (and isn’t that fact alone hope-filled?) we can consciously choose hope, despite doubts and fears that may arise in and around us.
As believers in Christ, we have a built-in advantage for hope. That doesn’t mean that it comes automatically (haven’t we all experienced times of hopelessness?).
But through faith in the constant presence of Love that lives in us and through us, we have far more reasons to maintain hope, not only for later in the afterlife, but also for now in this life.
With Jesus in us, hope shines as a light from within.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross says,
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
May the Light shine brightly through you this week.
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Does hope come naturally to you? How do you maintain hope when it would be easy to give up? Please share your thoughts on hope in the comments.
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