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What can I do, when I don’t have hope for the future?
Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.Khalil Gibran
Hope in Faith
Have you got faith? Although many in the psychology profession will not agree with this statement, to me, a cornerstone of mental health centers on faith. For many trained in scientific methods, that word will create outrage, mainly stemming from the centuries-old battle between religious and scientific thought models. However, I see little of this division present. Instead, I see this word representing two methods of thought that allow us to make sense of those more significant questions that pull at the human soul. Let us explore.
The Oxford Dictionary defines faith as a twofold construct.
- trust in someone’s ability or knowledge; trust that someone or something will do what has been promised
- strong religious belief
As you can see, faith is all about trust, either in human or divine origins. While some will pull towards one side versus the other, as that represents a collective aspect of human consciousness, when we engage the belief system we develop deeper trust in something known or unknown.
Working for years with advanced psychopathology, I have seen many problematic symptoms that pull at the foundation of one’s capacity for hope. But hope is simply the belief that the grass will be greener than it is today. However, that meadow will only flourish with a systematic approach to work to make it flour to fruition.
While many diagnoses may tax the person at a level of belief, the way to combat a lack of is to engage in proper work towards an identifiable end. Proactivity allows for a different cycle to emerge. One built upon small successes that build self-esteem and foster a belief that the vision once thought so far away may ultimately be within one’s reach.
Hope is an oasis in the heart. In recent years, we have seen this calling even from notable world leaders such as President Obama, who ran on the tenet of hope. In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama stated
“We choose hope over fear. We see the future not as something out of our control, but as something we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort. We reject fatalism or cynicism when it comes to human affairs; we choose to work for the world as it should be, as our children deserve it to be.”Barack Obama
He was full of hope, and even to this day, like him or not, he does seem to have an Oasis of Hope in his heart. Faith is simply a belief in the unknown. Both represent a cornerstone of belief in something unknown. But that unknown doesn’t just happen by itself. As the former President said, it is something “we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort.”
What can you do when you lack hope?
One symptom of depression is hopelessness or helplessness. While there are many interventions to re-engage your inner belief and fortitude, hope only emerges with a concerted effort to engage the very nature of the psyche, that collective inner pulling we have to understand the beauty in the depths of the soul that ultimately leads us to the spirit of hope. A few steps you can take are as follows.
- Begin with a vision, and break it down in steps.
- Once you have the steps, take the first to create just one success.
- Once attained, move on to steps two, three, four, and so on.
- Repeat until successful in your vision.
Try these steps as a system to reaffirm the belief the soul needs. As President Obama said, to choose hope, we must engage through an individual and collective effort to negate the fatalism and cynicism rampant today. May love and blessings find you, my friends. May your journey towards hope be found through faith in hard work as you identify, chart a course, and advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.