Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holding Hope

Sometimes it is hard to feel hopeful. And when we feel this way, we often only want two things. We want to know that someone in the world knows what's going on in our lives and that they care that this is going on in our lives - in other words, when we feel hopeless they can hold hope for us. Jen Schurman, a Marraige and Family Therapist at The Awakening Center has written a wonderful article, "Holding Hope" that describes this process.

First I want to thank all of you who contributed to the Paulina Station Food Drive last month. We collected 1,600 pounds of food for the Lakeview Pantry. What a caring way to show the hungry people of Chicago that we know what's going on and we care enough to do something about it!

If you didn't have time to contribute, you can simply make a virtual contribution on their website:


Amy Grabowski

Holding Hope
So often the journey I take with clients comes down to the question of hope. There are many times in life when it begins to feel as if things are stacking against us and we begin to question the possibilities of what we truly desire. We find that we are seemingly stuck in the same cycle of dissatisfaction with how our life is going, how we are feeling, the monotony of our days and what we see as our future. We begin to feel trapped in our days rather than anticipating our days. We look at life as just getting through, surviving, or making the best of the situation. This is surely not what is intended for us.
Hope is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “trust, to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of obtainment, to expect with confidence.” In abandoning our sense of hope for ourselves we lose a sense of connection with the driving force leading us to what we long for. In losing hope we lose trust, anticipation, confidence, and a sense of cherishing our lives. If all of these elements are connected to hope how imperative it is that we not only hold it but embrace, seize, and cling to it.
There are certainly times when we seem to be far from the vision we had for ourselves and how easy it can be to resign ourselves to something far less than what was planned for us. I will frequently explore a client’s level of hope and their ability to hold the hope for themselves. Sometimes it is challenging and perhaps I will carry the dream for them for a bit. I cling to the hope that there are great things that await each and every one of us and there are many hopes I fully anticipate my clients finding. So many gifts are waiting: people destined to meet us, work created to fascinate us, passions to explore and countless simple moments to savor.
Embracing hope means holding onto what we desire; not settling, giving in or giving up. Rather giving yourself the permission to hold onto your dreams and anticipate them. Often we are in such a hurry to arrive and experience what we value. We miss the many experiences in the anticipation phase and all that we can learn during this time of waiting. This waiting phase is often characterized as passing the time or just being anxious, while it can really allow us to appreciate the experience even more. It also allows us to realize the importance, significance, and blessings once we finally achieve our hopes.
Realizing our hopes requires us to be open to the opportunities and being courageous enough to trust in the steps along the way. As we move towards our desires we are also frequently given the opportunity to help another fulfill their hope. As we experience our aspirations we can also be an integral part of another’s journey. What was intended for us and our commitment to that then not only affects us but also those around us.
I choose then to cling, cleave and embrace all the hopes I have. “Wouldn’t it be great to find work that uses my talents and interests me?” “Wouldn’t it be amazing to find a connection and relationship that is fulfilling?” “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a family member live around the block?” “Wouldn’t it be fun to have children?” It has been and will be beyond amazing and I only hold the hope for more.
My wish for you this holiday season is that you have the chance to look back on this past year and see what hopes you have realized and continue to cling to the ones that are still in the works. May you have the opportunity to celebrate and delight in all the gifts that were intended and delivered to you this year.
Jennifer Schurman, MA, LPC
(773) 929-6262 x 20

No comments:

Post a Comment