There’s an apt verse in the book of Proverbs that goes, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick ………..” It really does.
Sometimes when I write these posts, I have to be honest, I want to say to myself, “just pull your boot straps on and get on with it”. If I were living in Syria and my home and entire neighbourhood had been decimated by bombs. And members of my family killed and I was homeless with children; keeping hope alive would not be an option. Survival would be priority. And so sometimes, I feel like these posts are for us; the myopic, spoilt ones in the relatively peaceful West who lack perspective on what heart sickness really means.
I think it’s incumbent on us to ensure that we don’t live our lives like there is no hope, for we have so much more. Nonetheless, the fact that the degree of pain suffered by others is greater than ours, doesn’t mean we don’t suffer. For despair is no respecter of class, nationality, social standing, education, job title, Instagram followers .. whatever. Despair has one aim and that is to steal hope.
I’m not a psychologist or counsellor so I’m simply going to say what works for me.
- I pray. Lord knows when despair hits, we need divine help. Help may come immediately or it may come at the end of the day, help may come through angels in disguise, help may come through music, help may come through a friend or a stranger. I don’t know how help will be manifested but a little prayer never ever hurts.
- I immediately do something that makes me happy and gives me hope. For me, that’s writing. I take out 10-15 minutes to write a blog post or continue some previous piece of writing I’ve started and suddenly I’m seeing my name in lights. Hey, hey, hey. Whatever floats my boat right?
- I listen to music that lifts up my soul. Usually that’s Motown, 80s/90s R & B and Gospel. Nostalgia can do a lot to lift up the soul. It has it’s place to play as long as I don’t live in the past.
- I surround myself with joyful people and things. Now is not the time to listen to sad love songs and people who believe they are doomed for failure.Practice some self-care people. If there is no one around, I watch a good comedy. Laughter is an amazing medicine or put on my ear phones and listen to some sermons and Ted Talks.
- I really understand like Scarlett O’Hara, tomorrow is another day. If I cry today, I cry today. I get up tomorrow and start again with prayer and a little more hope than I did yesterday.