Keeping Hope Alive: How to Maintain Faith in the Face of Calamity and HardshipFeb 28, 2023
Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.
- Nelson Mandela
If you give up on your faith now, could you live with knowing that your chance of a lifetime was only one act of faith away?
- Devlon Franklin
They say that faith is for the weak, but I beg to differ. In fact, having faith is one of the bravest things a person can do.
Keeping hope alive in the face of calamity and hardship takes immense courage and strength. So if you're struggling right now, know that you are not alone.
Here are some tips on maintaining faith when everything is falling apart.
1. Acknowledge That Things Are Tough and You're Not Okay
Truth be told, it's been rough lately. Many of us struggle to navigate a very unusual situation, which can be difficult.
Maybe you're feeling like you just don't have the energy or stamina for yet another day. Maybe you feel like you'll never get through this.
If this is where you are, it's okay.
It doesn't make you weak or crazy. It makes you human.
Everybody has bad days here and there, and they do not mean failure. Acknowledging what we're going through means understanding it more honestly and fully, which will eventually help us gain perspective and find a way forward step by step.
Take that first step now. Let yourself admit right out loud, "I'm not okay, but I'm still trying."
And remember, even little steps can move us far beyond this tough time in our lives.
2. Be Still and Connect to Something Greater
Photo credit: Artem Kovalev @Unsplash
When going through difficult times, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in the chaos.
But if we can take a few moments each day to step away and just be still, we can find a sense of peace and hope to help us cope.
While somatic psychology utilizes certain techniques like yoga or meditation to achieve calmness, the process of consciously quieting your mind can start with something as simple as taking a deep breath and tuning into how you’re feeling.
You don’t need special tools or a thousand steps. All it takes is the conscious decision to let go and be still.
When we tap into this state of stillness, amazing things can happen. We become more aware of our thoughts and feelings and gain access to resources we may have forgotten about.
The best part? Being still helps us make better decisions that align with who we are and what we truly want.
3. Lean on Your Support System
Everyone needs a good support system: the people in their lives who you can turn to in times of jubilation and those who will be there for them in their worst bouts of despair.
Friends, family, and even professional specialists like therapists each have valuable insights to offer:
- Friends provide a welcome distraction from daily struggles.
- Family offers an understanding shoulder to cry on.
- A therapist helps you navigate difficult emotions like anxiety and sadness to come out the other side feeling emotionally stronger.
It might sound simple, but relying on those around us can make all the difference when life gets tough. After all, we’re not meant to go it alone.
4. Talk about Your Feelings and Allow Yourself to Grieve
Grief can be an overwhelming experience. It can feel almost impossible to process the multitude of emotions. Unfortunately, sometimes trying to stuff these emotions away and ignoring them is not a healthy approach.
Instead, we should talk about how we feel and allow ourselves to grieve properly. By acknowledging our feelings and being honest with ourselves, we can start to move forward instead of getting stuck in a destructive cycle.
Acknowledging our emotions also allows us to grow from experiences by recognizing what has changed in our lives and how it may have affected us.
Grieving doesn’t have to be grim. Having a good cry or talking about those on your mind can be therapeutic. It helps you accept the situation, mourn losses, and begin healing.
It's okay to take time for yourself and recognize that painful moments shape who you become. Let yourself feel those feelings, grieve appropriately, and then start again with a newfound perspective.
5. Find a Creative Outlet to Express Yourself
Photo credit: Kateryna Hliznitsova @Unsplash
You may not think it at first, but creativity is essential for a healthy and balanced life. Whether you're into traditional art forms such as painting and sculpting or more modern ones such as blogging and photography, having a creative outlet can help to both express yourself and hone your skills.
Creativity also helps heal the wounded inner child.
We've all got a bit of a wounded inner child inside of us. Maybe your parents were overbearing and critical, or you were always the odd one out at school. Whatever the case may be, those early wounds can stick with us into adulthood. It may even be the cause or major influence in your struggles today.
When we engage in creative activities, we give ourselves permission to relax and let go of our perfectionism. We allow ourselves to play, explore, and move beyond our self-imposed limitations. And in the process, we rediscover our sense of joy and vitality.
So if you're feeling stuck in a rut, or like you're just not yourself, find something creative that you'd like to explore and give it a go. You never know what you may uncover!
It's not easy admitting that we're not okay. In fact, it can be downright scary.
But it's important to remember that we're not alone in our struggles. We have a support system of friends, family, and therapists who are ready and waiting to help us through tough times.
Creativity can also be an invaluable tool to help you express yourself, tap into your inner child, and find joy in the little things.
And lastly, don't forget to take time for yourself and just be still. Connect to something greater than yourself so you can gain perspective on your situation and make better decisions.
Things will - and do - get better. You got this.
If you're interested in diving further into the process of hope and healing, feel free to check out one of my trainings listed here: Join one of my trainings.
Photo credit: Sebastien Gabriel @Unsplash
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