“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

Desmond Tutu

The other day, a client called me in desperation and hopelessness. He had gotten the news that among his other illnesses, he now was given the diagnosis of a blood disorder for which there is no treatment (much like leukemia), and was told he would have little time. He was ready to just give up on life. He didn’t know how much more he could take. He has a loving and supporting wife, however with her health challenges there are still many things that he takes cares of.

As he spoke, my heart was breaking too. Here was a man who was likely wondering, “what’s hope?” and “where can I find hope?”.  Even the doctors offered no support or suggested ideas for him. They told him to take the prescribed medicine and see if it works. He was simply at his emotional lowest as anyone would be. I knew that I had to do more. There is always something more to contribute, add and offer. If this man had any chance of surviving with any quality of life, he would need hope to make it through.

What’s Hope?

Hope is that strength that wells up inside of you when you have given up or nearly given up, that tells you that there is still something more. A resource or person who will help lift your burden or shows you that there is more. They give you that emotional or spiritual support you need to continue. Hope is that small candle that shines in the darkness and shows you that there is more and there can be better moments coming.

On a physical level, hope allows your cortisol and your other hormones to relax so that your mindset can go from depressed to peace and enables the body to start healing.

Hope is also an extension of a belief that you have given up on because of all the obstacles. Hope allows you to take that breath or pause that allows you to regroup and see things and experience thing in a different light.

• A quote about change in an image of grass blowing in the wind, to demonstrate that there is always hope as the wind can always turn things around for the better

How Do You Develop Hope Within Yourself?

The most important part of developing hope is not to isolate yourself. Get around people who have hope and can speak hope into your heart. When you take yourself away from everyone, you put yourself into a situation where you can no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel. The more you close off your heart because you feel like it hurts too much, the more you close yourself off to hope.

Want to know how things went with my client? For the next few days after that call, I actually went to his home on site and spent time with him. I listened with an open heart and let him express himself fully without judgment. I shared with him some of what I have been through, and we do share some of the same challenges and so he knows what relief he has from some of our work together, so he could see that hope does work and when I wasn’t with him, we did 15-minute check-in calls by phone and journals every day, we still do.

The result, for the first time in a long time, he felt a sense of relief and some peace. He said that having someone truly listen to him and be there just for him and understand gave him the hope. I did two acupuncture treatments that day along with some emotional release processes and inspirational coaching.  He was also given the space to express and share his feelings and tiredness which is so very important.  On the medical side, his body started leveling out, pain was dissipating allowing him to physically feel relief too.

If you are in a situation where you are wondering “what’s hope?” and unsure where to find it, I encourage you to not give up. If you are going through something that is very hard, it is easy to want to quit, but don’t, there is more out there, there is a light within in just waiting for you to see it. Know that you are not alone. There are others have been through such trying times and not only survived but now thrive in life, and you can too. Just don’t quit looking for a solution!

Cheryl Ivaniski, D. Ac., C.H., RDH is a Health Authority and a Wellness Strategist. She inspires, empowers and educates people in a way that heightens their awareness to live their best quality of life.