Is hope too exhausting?

Remembering what matters

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh

The country is planning to reopen, different areas in the fashion deemed most appropriate for them. At University of Tennessee College of Medicine, we are planning to restart the clinical rotations for our medical students, if safe and appropriate, by early June. 

In my personal communications and readings, I see these decisions are being met by mixed emotions—an eagerness to get back to something that was familiar, an anxiety and fear of the unknown, the what ifs, and the new adaptations required by our pandemic. My own thoughts, too, ponder on these same questions off and on.

I find myself leaning on hope and sharing the same sentiment with others.

How do we invoke hope and promote hope in these uncertain times?

Is it even possible, or is being hopeful too exhausting? 

I have found that turning to hope really helps me find meaning and renewed energy. It turns out that my practice for turning to hope is an intentional act of remembering:

  1. Remembering to choose a positive attitude, to smile.

  2. Remembering that we are not alone.

  3. Remembering it is okay to share our feelings

  4. Remembering it is okay to reach for help.

  5. Remembering our blessings.

  6. Remembering to offer gratitude for the many things are are going well in spite of the pandemic.

  7. Remembering to make a difference to help, to be kind in whatever way I can irrespective of its impact.

  8. Remembering to take care of myself. Walking in the beauty of nature is a beautiful relaxation for me.

  9. Remembering our past history as humanity when we have overcome adversity, which provides confidence. 

  10. Most importantly, remembering to lean on my faith and be in prayer.

As I have been pondering these thoughts and practicing them over the last few days, I received a text from Mikaela our third year medical student, “There’s a double rainbow over Chattanooga right now.” She included this picture below.

I ran outside on my porch but I could not see the rainbow from where I stood. I stared at the picture on my phone, smiling with happiness, joy, gratitude, and HOPE! Receiving moments of shared beauty reminds me we are never alone!

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh

#REFLECT: How do we invoke hope and promote hope in these uncertain times? Is it even possible, or is being hopeful too exhausting? 

   

How is the coronavirus changing the way you think of self-care, community and resilience? As this challenging time unfolds, I am posting a daily quote on this blog with a reflection prompt. Please join in the conversation here or on Twitter with your thoughts or about what you are doing for self-care and care of others. My new book explores these ideas too: Resilient Threads: Weaving Joy and Meaning into Well-Being.