In recognition of Procovery Institute’s two upcoming Uncovering Hope workshops this Summer, at Long Beach Mental Health and San Pedro Mental Health, this is our first 2016 posting in an upcoming series of blogs to be written on the powerful topic of hope.

In this posting, and upcoming hope blogs, we may say some things that are counter-intuitive, or that even sound somewhat hopeless. But we urge you to stay with us for an important series on a profound topic. We have been studying hope for over three decades, and learned, firsthand, from people who were able to hold the hope for themselves, or for others, in the gravest of times. We have learned how they were able to maintain hope, how they used it as fuel, and what they did when they could hardly find it at all. 

We know that hope can be seen, sometimes, as wavy and fluffy, hard to define or measure, far from scientific.  It can be seen as a tool used to “sell” something – something someone might use as a smokescreen, a way to manipulate people, attract voters in a political setting, a way of ignoring the reality of the circumstances and/or current times. In essence, hope can be seen, and discounted, as merely seeking to offer what others want to hear, without the possibility of actually delivering the promise.

Hope can be confusing. Searching for hope can be painful. Opening yourself up to hope can feel overwhelming and terrifying. When facing serious circumstances, it can feel too risky, and too vulnerable to allow yourself to get your hopes up, again, because they may be dashed, again.  

When faced with illness, trauma, relationship and/or financial issues, and other things of this serious nature, we often find ourselves so busy worrying, strategizing and focusing on the squeaky wheel of the issue that hope isn’t given any weight, as hope, alone, cannot solve the issues we’re facing. We don’t have TIME for hope, we reason, as we need to be realistic and take care of business. 
To discount hope, though, is to discount a profoundly powerful tool. Hope is a profound support that can be accessed even in the darkest of times and utilized as fuel. Hope can drive action, fueling us to think bigger and to take action to achieve success.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

More to come…


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