Updated: May 7
In this emotions series, I hope you are noticing the theme of self-regulation. One cannot heal without the acceptance that you are the one that decides when it is time to accept reality, you decide when you start to heal and most importantly you decide your perspective on how you deal with yourself.
The feeling of hopelessness is the most difficult emotion I think that a human can experience. Hopelessness implies that all is lost for good, there is no way to rectify the situation, there will be no reconciling, it will in fact be final. At times the hopelessness is the exact turning point in life where new beginnings are opening up for you. There is always so much movement happening behind the scenes that one cannot see. However, let us focus on the feeling and how to move through it. As anyone who has experienced hopelessness it feels like there is no end in sight and nothing will get better.
Hopelessness implies that something didn't turn out the way that you wanted it to. This could be any sort of relationship that died out for whatever reason. This could be something being taken from you, fairly or unfairly does not matter, not achieving a goal or unable to get something done or done in a certain way, etc. All of these scenarios link back to the understanding of control and expectations. Hopelessness implies that something is completely out of your own hands, that you have to eventually accept that whatever you were hoping for is not going to happen your way, in your time or how you desire it to be and this is actually a good thing.
Control in life of things external to you imply your inability to trust and your inability to be present. When we experience bouts of hopelessness it reminds us that we do not control what happens outside of us rather only inside and our actions in response to outside events. Expectations cloud our judgement of the game of life, which is an experience. When we expect things to go a certain way it closes us off to all possibilities in life that are there for us to learn from. When one is finally forced into a state of hopelessness it is in that very moment that a solution is created, one of hope.
Like all of the emotions we have discussed so far in this series, there are phases/levels that one must endure. Once you have accepted this feeling of hopelessness and are no longer in the pits of it taking over you, you finally can move into the processing of the feeling. Our first response and reactions to all terrible things in life is to let it come over us like a wave. It crashes over us and then at times there are multiple waves in that set that hit us over and over. We can either get swept up into the under toe of the emotions and drown, or we can tread water like crazy to come up for air. At times some can drown but eventually something or even someone pulls us up to catch a breath or rather we have to endure a near death experience and the universe delivers us an out of body experience, proposing two options in life, sink or swim. Either way when we hit this point of no return we finally wash up on shore and slowly start to catch our breath.
We are immobilized for a moment grounding ourselves back into reality. The sea of our emotions at times is a very distorted reality that takes us to another space that isn't actually real. We suffer far more in the mind than we do in the body or the soul. So the question is how to understand when you are disconnected from reality and how to reel yourself back in. The issue we encounter is that many of us do not know we are out of touch with reality because we are stuck in the "I" or "Me" persona. "This happened to me," "I feel like this," "me, me, me." the moment you can shift out of the "I" complex and observe what actually happened, the less you are in your emotions. For example; you complain about the loss of a loved one, month's after the initial loss and you aren't completely gutted by it but you are overly discussing how terrible this is (even just to yourself). You finally catch yourself being stuck in a victim mentality and have a moment of clarity to examine what is going on. You begin to speak to yourself in 3rd person rather and observe the initial trauma, then the responses and events that happened after and slowly start to see what is not working for you.
Maybe you started medicating yourself heavily, letting yourself go (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, materially, etc.) and now are seeing that your life is sort of falling apart in some way. Perhaps you are like me and were so conditioned to endure chaos that you can get everything done in public and appear to be fine but in the comforts of your own solitude, you are severely damaged inside and barely holding it together, or in complete self-denial. If this is the case, then the main thing to consistently observe in yourself is how you talk to yourself. If you are feeling hopeless you continue to go around as if nothing will change. Your perspective is very negative and you begin to become critical. Some times only of yourself but eventually if not always you are projecting the criticism externally onto others because you are failing to take control of yourself.
Hopelessness keeps you trapped in the past tense. "If they hadn't left, this never would have happened, or I would never feel this way, etc." We stay trapped in a victim mentality that if this one thing hadn't happened I would be better or if this one thing happens I will be ok. We are never living in the present moment. Either in the past as mentioned or in the future thinking that the next best thing is coming along or that only if this happened my life would change. We stay in hopelessness because WE are refusing the change. We are consumed in an "I" mentality yet take zero responsibility for the way in which we are feeling. We consume ourselves in a very negative spiral of thoughts that affect the way we feel and thus affect our actions. People who are hopeless never try. People who are hopeless only see the negative. People who are hopeless become pessimistic of others outcomes. People who are hopeless are losers, they give up simply put. This may sound harsh and of course there are phases in life where this is just part of the process but if you remain in being comfortable with this feeling or knowing it a little too intimately, then you in fact are losing yourself, therefore a loser. Sometimes we need a swift kick in the ass to see ourselves clearly so my direct wording here is simply to poke at you to see if you are lacking the ability to self-reflect and see that you in fact are the only one keeping yourself in the state and belief that all is hopeless.
There are thousands of books and stories out there that show through some of the most difficult losses comes some of our greatest wins. I can personally say that every single difficult moment in my life taught me a powerful lesson. It only took 31 plus years for me to finally put two and two together but I finally got that memo. I felt hopeless my entire life. I never thought things were going to be better or I always thought something else would be the thing that would change my life when the only thing that would and could change was me. Taking a good look in the mirror for the past 5 years has been the most freeing thing ever. It was so painful and I am not 100% free and clear nor do I believe I will ever be (as healing is a forever journey), but I have a foundation that I know there is always hope. If you truly desire something to change, you will become that change. There are many times in life when it seems that no one is there or no one is listening and then once you change it up that you hope someone or something is out there, the universe brings you little gifts and nudges. I started to see myself more clearly was the first gift I got from the universe. Then I slowly got to connect with others who could show me something new and finally I received new beliefs about myself and life, which then opened new doors. There wasn't a magical person there to solve it all for me nor some huge gift that saved me but small glimpses of hope that life was going to be ok. Once I accepted those small gifts of hope I began to believe in them.
Belief is the strongest power in the world. To truly believe in one's self or something is the single thread that separates those of great people and those who could have been. When you are able to use your hopelessness to become the catalyst for your belief it is by far the greatest gift that God/Universe could ever give you. Think about periods in history where belief was the only thing that separated you living and you dying. The Black Americans in the slave trade who suffered the worst possible devastation, to rise up, fight back and continue to fight back century after century, to becoming some of the leading billionaires, entrepreneurs and influential people are a testament to overcoming hopelessness. I am confident that most slaves felt hopeless and even less than a century ago many black Americans felt hopeless that they would ever be respected in any form. To say that it has been solved would be a lie, it honestly may never and that is just part of life, but the moral of this story is the sheer fact that belief in one's self is what sets people free. Think about Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas. Their belief in doing what was right and what they could do was the catalyst that changed many lives. Despite the evidence that things seemed hopeless they didn't give up and roll over.
Sometimes it is the very negative things in life that transform us to perform at our very best, to overcome the impossible, so that we may truly believe things can in fact change. Think about what happens when many people believe in the same thing, movements happen. They say when more than one person manifests together it creates a stronger pull. When you are feeling hopeless, open yourself up to hearing people's beliefs that things will in fact get better. That one small shift that people believe that things can get better may be your single life line to help you believe that it will.
Keep shifting your perspectives and finding the delights in everyday moments.
Love and Light,