In the last month I have noticed a slight shift within. It took me a couple of weeks to name it but I now realize there have been new sparks of hope welling up inside me. What is hope anyway? I generally think of hope as a feeling of positive expectation or desire. But I’m coming to realize there is also a dimension of trust. And this is where I struggle. Call it my Type A personality, blame it on my “control issues” or the fact that I’m an 8w9 on the Enneagram…..trust is HARD for me. Pair that with the current social/political climate in America, a sense of hopelessness almost seems justified.

Three basic needs comprise hope: attachment, mastery, and survival.

In their book, “Hope in the Age of Anxiety,” psychology professors Anthony Scioli and Henry Biller name 9 types of hopelessness: Alienation, Forsakenness, Uninspired, Powerlessness, Oppression, Limitedness, Doom, Captivity, and Helplessness.

So what has helped cause this shift for me? I believe it’s a combination of several factors. First, I listened to Michelle Obama’s audiobook “Becoming.” If you are looking for a story of HOPE, look no further. Her honest candor, vulnerability and storytelling are inspirational. Her sharing is deeply personal and political and continues to serve as a reminder that our current state of affairs is not how it has to be. Second, I attended my first Citizenship Ceremony with my friend Trinh. It was a day full of celebration. Over 800 people from 77 different countries gathered downtown San Diego to take an oath and become U.S. citizens.

After years of anticipation there was so much hope and gratitude. And those things seem to be contagious. I’ve been fortunate to spend quality time with some great people in my life. Whether it’s a walk with a friend, attending a concert in the park, celebrating friends getting married, or playing cards with my husband, having companions to share life with restores my hope in our common humanity.

I’m also limiting my exposure to social media and the news and spending more time in my garden and cooking. And dogs….dogs always make life better, especially these two.

So what gives you hope these days? I believe our sharing can help spread hope to others! And if you find yourself in a season of hopelessness, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. None of us can do this journey of life alone. Are there small steps you can take to care for your mind, body and spirit as you await the light of hope to return?

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