When I hear the word “hope,” I think about how it gives me the strength to get through a difficult time. For me, hope comes from knowing that everything will be alright the next day, even though I don’t have any proof. But what does that mean and how does one hold on to hope?
I think ‘hope’ can mean anything we want it to mean. In December, the holidays are thought of as the season of perpetual hope. But how do we maintain an endless amount of hope when things around us seem dismal?
Lesson From a Movie
The movie, “Home Alone,” comes to mind. I think about the will of the mother when she realizes that her eight-year-old son was left home by himself. She sets out on a journey to do what she must do to get home to him. If you have never seen the movie, there is a scene that is a lesson in hope.
The mother is at the airport where she is just about at her wit’s end. She’s been awake 60 hours, having traveled from Chicago to Paris to Dallas to…”Where the hell am I?” she asks. Turns out, it’s Scranton/ She shares that she is hungry and dirty and cries out to the airline ticket agent in Scranton, “Even if I have to sell my soul to the devil himself, I am going to get home to my son.”
One might ask, is determination, will and finding the way a sign of hope? Perhaps, or is the will and the way, the tools, in which she continues to implore the meaning of hope?
Psychology teaches us that hope involves many things. In a study measuring hope, self-efficacy and optimism, hope was found to be the most important driving force in the success of a goal.
I believe, though, that hope needs support. Another study showed that having the ability to be successful is important, however, having the will and the way were important tools. The mother in the movie, “Home Alone,” set out on a goal to get home to her son, but more importantly, I believe she had the will to achieve that goal and found the tools the “way” – to get home to her son, which in turn gave her hope.
The joy of the holiday season can help us to think hope is endless, after all, we hear messages that ring that this is the season of perpetual hope. But what happens when we have feelings of hopelessness? When we are about ready to give up on something, someone, or ourselves?
As caregivers, having endless amounts of hope can be difficult when we are surrounded by our loved one’s pain and suffering. After all, the pain and suffering become obstacles that get in the way. Keeping positive thoughts becomes the cognitive motivation that can help.
So, when you feel hope is slipping away or just plain missing in your life, think of the mother in the movie trying to get home to her son, the will and the way, and turn the negative thoughts to positive.
At Hope Grows, we leave 2018 with much gratitude for those who support our mission and for the caregivers and the support they provide to their families. In 2019, our HOPE is that caregivers continue to feel ABUNDANTLY CONNECTED and know that our support is perpetual and that we are here to help cultivate their journey through the seasons of caregiving.