Woman Looks to Ocean with hope

Where There is Life, There is Hope

By Carl Nassar, Ph.D., LPC, CIIPTS

“Where there is life, there is hope.”

But in those moments of darkness, when all feels lost, and both the winds and the tides of life seem to turn against you, how do you find that hope? Or, perhaps better yet, how do you create that hope?

I want to share something both truly special and deeply important: there’s real magic in being human. It’s the magic of finding hope in the despair – of finding light in the darkness. But how? The answer might surprise you.

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Remember That You Matter

While I believe in your ability to find hope in the heartache, tapping into it is always easy. But it’s a journey worth taking. It’s a journey that begins with one belief: you matter. You make a difference.

Yes, you make a difference. There’s a wonderful line from a quote attributed to both Nelson Mandela and Marianne Williamson, and it goes something like this, “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

They’re both talking about how quick you (and I) are to feel small. How quick you (and I) are to remember all the things that happened to us — some recent, some so long ago —that made us feel insignificant, like we don’t matter. And how unfamiliar, and thus uncomfortable, it feels to begin to open up to our significance.

What happens when you begin to tell yourself — as a way to remember — that you truly matter? What happens when you remember that everything you do, no matter how small it seems in the moment, sends ripples out into the universe? What happens when you believe what you always knew was true: that even if you can’t see it, each small step you take changes the world?

Discover Power in Your Value

Instead of being powerless in a sea of change, instead of floating and being carried every which way by life’s currents, you begin to swim. And as you swim, you begin to feel your power.

Suddenly, this doesn’t become an ocean that’s bullying you. It becomes your ocean to swim in. And, sure, it’s tides pull you in directions you may not always want to go. But in the end, as you persist, you shape where you’re going.

As you learn to swim, doing the parts (big or small) you can do, you show the world what courage looks like, what kindness looks like, and what love looks like. Because the more you make room to express yourself in this life, the more you move toward your natural human tendency of understanding, compassion, and warmth.

And, at the end of it all — and perhaps, if you’re lucky, somewhere along the way — you realize you’re the light in the darkness. You’re the hope the world’s been waiting for. You’re the hope you’ve been waiting for. Then, you’re home. At last. Really home.

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