What is one thing you can often do, when it seems you really canât do anything?
So often people feel they are not in a position to do anything for someone they love. And generally there is much they can do. One thing is to listen. If the person is verbal and wants to talk, there is real value here. It can be amazing what just talking about something can do, even talking about something that it does not seem there is anything that can be done about. We are talking about the kind of listening where you are not just waiting for the other person to stop talking so that you can say what you want to say. We are talking about real, active listening, where you are jot judging or waiting to tell the person what to do and when, but just listening.
Below is a Procovery Note from pages 161 & 162 of The Power of Procovery in Healing:
Listen. Particularly with the lessening availability of therapy, being a gentle listener can be of enormous benefit. Recognize that what may seem like an emotional overreaction may instead be a rational reaction to an overwhelming set of circumstances and resulting emotions. Productive venting of what seems like irrational feelings can lead to rational action.
âWhen we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain, and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not-knowing, not-curing, not-healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is the friend who cares.â
âHenri J. M. Nouwen
Do you have a story that you would like to share, about the power of having had someone listen to you, or you listening to someone? Weâd love to have you join the discussion!
âThere is no medicine like hope No incentive so great And no tonic so powerful As the expectation Of something better tomorrow.â
– Orison Swett Marden
This quote reminds us to keep hope in our hearts as we expand our awareness, activities and attitudes; the power of Procovery combined with a hopeful attitude can make all the difference for a better today and an even more hopeful tomorrow.
What is your intention for today? What will you do that will make a differenceâ difference in your day, that of someone you love or that of someone you do not even know! Often so much of what we do doesnât even really need to be done or wonât really matter in the big picture. Sometimes we do things that donât matter out of a misplaced sense of responsibility or obligation or expectation. Just think about it! You have the power, right now, today, to make a difference. What will you do? And we would like to invite you, if you would like to, to share your intention, here, with us. We are listening and would love for you to join the discussion!
Do you go places, spend time with people or do things that lessen, or even crush, your hope? Sometimes we have habits that donât serve us well, but we donât realize it or we downplay the impact or we feel we donât have the energy to do anything differently. Routine conversations, interactions with neighbors or co-workers, watching the news before you go to bed rather than reading a book that may inspire a good nightâs sleepâ¦ Can you think of things you can do differently to create and preserve your hope and energy?
It can help to remember that hope sends ripples and it builds and even the smallest action taken now can have an impact today, and plant seeds for tomorrow!
âHope, like some basic force of nature, seems to live stubbornly, if barely perceptibly, inside even the most depressed of us, waiting like some sleeping beauty for the faintest glimmer of light, the slightest sympathetic touch, to awaken it. We should cherish hope. â
Do you tend to be very specific about what you are hoping for?
Being specific can be a really good thing as it can help you keep, front and center, what you would like to see come about. And to quote Reverend Michael Beckwith, âWhat you think about you bring about.â But there can also be a downside to being really specific. For one, being really specific can, at times, actually be very limiting. If you are not in a place to see your potential or what is really possible, you can set the bar very low. Additionally by envisioning and waiting and looking for one specific thing, you might not notice or appreciate OTHER good things that are coming your way.
âWhen one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.â
What do you do, or what can you do, to contribute to others feeling hopeful?
âWhen I walk with you, I feel as if I have a flower in my buttonhole.â
-William Makepeace Thackeray
Take advantage of the ripple effect to grow hope!
Most of us have had an experience where someone impacts our mood negatively. It might be that someone cuts you off in traffic, or bumps in to you with their grocery cart and doesnât acknowledge it, or it might be any seemingly small experience or interaction or negative thought that sends your mood in to a downward spiral. So, just think about the power we all hold and imagine the profound impact we can make, if we intentionally set out to âplant seedsâ and lift otherâs spirits?
Whether it is a hopeful word or a positive attitude, a warm smile or holding the door for someone, offering a cup of coffee or tea to a friend or guest having a bad day or dropping a quarter into someoneâs meter when itâs about to expire, you have the ability to positively impact others and help grow hope exponentially.
We leave you with two small words that we hope we can ALL start to put into practice!
Is there a place, or type of place, that you find your spirits rise? Can you think of new places to go to see how you react and how you feel while you are there and after you leave?
Some people like going to a park, feeding the ducks and watching children laughing and running and playing. Some have (or find!) a religious or spiritual center that lifts them up. Some find that just being out and appreciating the beauty of nature in all of its beautiful forms, inspires them. Some people feel most hopeful while at home, alone, surrounded by their favorite books, art and personal treasures or collections. For some, the answer is being with other people, out in public or inspired by work and co-workers. Others find meditation or prayer takes them to the most high and hopeful places.
Where do you currently go, and what are some new places to try? Please take a moment to think on this and join the discussion!
âGreat mother of big apples, it is a pretty world.â
Is there a time of day that you feel most hopeful? Please take a moment to really think about this question â it can really make a positive impact on your life when you determine what time of day you might feel most hopeful and what thoughts, actions or interactions are creating this sense of hope. You can work toward creating more and more hope in your day, each day, starting from a moment in the morning when the sun is shining bright, or your afternoon walk after lunch, a conversation with a loved one or a hopeful quote on your daily calendar page.
Please take a moment to share and discuss and help us to create and expand this online community of HOPE!
We hope you had a wonderful weekend and were able to take some time to think about all of the hope questions including what makes you feel hopeful!
We are back today with question #4 – Who gives you hope?
And please remember, if you do not, at this time, feel you have a personal relationship with anyone who gives you hope, you can select people you do not know. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, your favorite poet or author. List any one you can think of, who gives you hope, whether or not you personally know them!
We encourage you to take some time to reflect on this and really think about the answer, as our answers to these questions can often be an automatic response, but in reality, the answers often change over time and it can be important to really think about it.
We also encourage you to Click here and listen to a very powerful and inspiring response to this question from Procovery Circle Facilitator Stephanie Schmidt, in St. Louis MO.
In observance of Presidents Day, we will be resuming our blog series Making Hope a Priority tomorrow (Tuesday), with our Day 4 blog! We encourage you to take a bit of extra time today to reflect on Question #3 â What makes you feel hopeful?
We hope you are all having a lovely Monday and will see you back here tomorrow.
âIn the end, itâs not the years in your life that count. Itâs the life in your years.â