Hope for the New Year:

Allowing hope to enter your life

By Dorothy Franks

Published February 17th, 2015

Dear Friends of the Foundation,

The word which God has written In the brow of every person is Hope.

Victor Hugo

French poet, novelist 1802-1885

Another new year! We are thinking of you as we are all looking for a chance to make this year hopeful, and we would like to provide some thoughts about how we can allow hope to enter our lives.

When we hope, we believe that our future holds something good. In the midst of feeling unsure, we have the feeling that things will be better. Hope helps us live with unpredictability.

A good starting place for regaining hope is to be open to having it sent to us. Much as when we leave the electric light switch on with the expectation that power will be restored after a storm. In the same way, we can be ready for hope to enter our lives. We can think of what it means to us and be willing to use it for our comfort. We can read books about hope and talk about it with others. In this way, we can be in the “on” position, ready to receive hope.

...the signs are all around us if we choose to see them.

Many of us find hope in the beauty of nature. We watch a sunrise or sunset, look at a new baby, and see nature healing itself. These are only a few of the miracles of nature that show us hope. Wherever we are, the signs are all around us if we choose to see them.

Hope is in the voices of friends who say, “You can do it.” Sometimes we hear it from those who have died; when we remember how they encouraged us, and we can almost hear them say the things we need to hear. They continue to give us comfort even though they are no longer with us. Those spiritual ties remain.

Hope may come at unexpected times and in accidental ways. Someone may ask a favor; and in doing it for them, we feel different. We may notice something pretty and be uplifted by it. We may be cheered by simply noticing that we appreciated the beauty in someone or something.

We may say how we are feeling out loud.

We may say how we are feeling out loud. If we have been low on hope, saying it to someone we trust can help. Admitting loss of hope in prayer and asking for its return can bring great relief.

Hope can be borrowed. When we are feeling bereft of hope others may say they believe we have it in us to restore it. Their confidence and concern may be what we need at that moment.

Find recreation. Hope can be turned on while we are doing something we enjoy. Our mood lifts and we feel positive for the moment. Realizing the benefits of this, we may be willing to engage in such activities more often. Maybe we return to something we have enjoyed in the past, or perhaps we are willing to try something new. If we are willing to just do it, our hope may be ignited as our mood is lifted.

Hope can be turned on while we are doing something we enjoy.

Do something different. One little thing. It may be cleaning out a room or making a phone call. It may be getting out of bed. We can start small. Ask a different question or ask the same question in a different way: “What am I supposed to be learning from this?” “What things are within my control?” “What would I really like to see happen?”

Seek out people who are hopeful. The people we spend time with can affect our mood. Being with friends and family members who are negative will affect our attitude. Seeking out those who are hopeful is good. Hope is contagious.

Tell your story. Hans Christian Anderson said, “Every person’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s fingers.” We all have a story, and in telling our story we may find hope for ourselves. In every story is a theme. Finding the theme in our own story can be helpful to us: “I have been a survivor, and I will survive again.” “I have learned and grown through the years, and I will continue to grow.” There are many possibilities. The telling of your story might take many forms. You might speak about your life to someone, you might write it down or record it. You might set it to music or create another form of art with it. Any method you choose is good. Find the theme of your life and see how you feel about it.

...in telling our story we may find hope for ourselves

Express yourself. “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once the child grows up.” These are the words of Pablo Picasso. Painting, sculpting, playing an instrument, gardening, nurturing people and animals, sewing, mechanics, volunteering are only a few of things considered art. When we free the artist within us, hope may follow.

Let out the laughter. Humor can be healing, and while we are laughing, chemicals that relieve pain are released into our systems. Laughing about a situation also helps us see things from a different perspective and allows us to be great problem solvers. Laughter brings hope.

Anything that feels right to you is good.

Have a reminder. We might be reminded to hope by a physical object, something to touch or a picture to look at. We might choose a religious object as a reminder, or a song, fragrance, or chiming of a clock. Anything that feels right to you is good.

There is an old song, "Whispering Hope," that is truly comforting. This is the first stanza:

Soft as the voice of an angel, breathing a lesson unheard. Hope, with a gentle persuasion, whispers her comforting word: Wait till the darkness is over; wait till the tempest is done. Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, after the shower is gone. Whispering hope. Oh, how welcome thy voice. Making my heart, in its sorrow, rejoice.

We wish for you all the good things you deserve and, especially that hope is restored to you. Wherever your hope is today, we keep you in our thoughts and hearts.

Sincerely,
Your friends at Crossroads Hospice Charitable Foundation

Just to see you smile: A newspaper photographer was taking pictures of a man celebrating his 99th birthday. Afterwards, he said, “I hope I will be here to celebrate your 100th with you.” The old man said, “I hope so, too. But don’t worry about it, son. You look pretty healthy to me.”

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