Life can seem rather hopeless. You may worry about where your future’s going, you may feel stuck in bad situations, or you may worry about a loved one. Sometimes we feel constantly stressed and see no end in sight. At least once in our lives, someone or something has hurt us badly and we begin to think that we can’t deal with this pain. But we can. And suffering like this, or any other terrible mental pain, doesn’t have to last forever.
Being hopeful is especially difficult when we’re suffering. How do you ignore it and go on with other things in your life when it’s constantly on your mind? A common but not-so-helpful piece of advice is to just get over it or decide to be happy, but this is rarely possible without ignoring reality and lasting issues.
Hope doesn’t come naturally. You have to will it to come and search for it again and again. Everyone needs help finding hope with other people sometimes, too. But in any situation, you are the catalyst. It’s also important to remember that life is never truly hopeless and pain can show us how good the rest of our lives are.
People in pain also often think about time as a source of hope. “Time heals all wounds” is a common saying when thinking about mental scars, but can be used as an excuse to not find any actual healing. Sometimes, yes, you just have to suffer through the pain and remember that it won’t last forever. But that can be extremely difficult, and if this pain is something too awful, unfamiliar, or commonly recurring, living through that time may seem impossible. And how long will it last? There is no timeline for how long anyone “should” mourn and suffer, even with situations that others can handle quickly and easily.
Time may not directly be a source of hope, but I believe that it always can give an opportunity for people to actively search for it. You may not be able to suffer for however long and eventually not care anymore, but especially with chronic and life-changing situations, you have a chance to get help from friends and other resources. Time gives us an opportunity to look for ways to cope and prevent or prepare for similar pains, if possible. This can mean confiding in people in your personal life, seeking some sort of closure, practicing self-help or meditation, altering your lifestyle to improve overall happiness, or going to counseling or therapy temporarily or short-term.
Time is a path for hope, but you must decide to take it. Hope can be found everywhere, but sometimes you have to look a little harder for it or get a second pair of eyes. So the next time life feels hopeless in some way, try reaching out for hope, in person or even online.