To Have Hope In Hopelessness

To have hope in hopelessness… Ah, yes. The ever-illusive hope. The crawl from hopelessness to a semblance of peace and calm inside. The search term which struck me from yesterday was “to have hope in hopelessness.” There were actually two queries related to finding hope from hopelessness, so I thought I would address one way in which to do that.

Hope is defined as a feeling that what is wanted will occur or happen; it is desire accompanied by expectation. It is that state in which we all wish to live, as our desires and expectations are met. In this case, the desire is for peace-of-mind. You keep your hope because you expect your desire to have emotional peace will be met.

What happens when it isn’t? What happens when you slip into hopelessness? First of all, it has been my experience that you don’t just “slip” into hopelessness. In my journey, hopelessness came after repeated and seemingly endless desires that were not met. Being continually let down

Hopelessness is the state of having no belief that things can get better, the belief that your situation is impossible to solve or deal with. It often slides into despair, which is utter loss of hope and the resulting dejection that occurs. Often, when you are in despair, you think about dying.

I got to a point of utter hopelessness and despair about five or six years into my sobriety. I could see no purpose in having had to endure what I did as a child, other than to make me miserable in my life. I had sustained PTSD as a result of the chronic abuse; it went undiagnosed until I was 53 years old, so I lived with it all that time.

I saw no purpose in my childhood experience, no way that it added to my growth or evolution as a human being. I wanted to die. Afraid I’d fail in my attempt at suicide, I started praying to God to let me die. I became despondent when that didn’t happen.

So, where do you go when you are feeling hopeless, despondent and despairing? In my case, it was over a bad childhood. If you are a Vietnam Veteran, it may have been the degradation of your honor, based on how you were greeted and treated when you returned home. Whatever the cause, hopelessness is devastating and erodes your spirit, your very soul.

Quite by accident, I stumbled upon a solution. Frankly, I don’t think it was an accident; I believe it happened by divine intervention…  I had an experience that melted away my terrible hopelessness and despair. I had an opportunity to be useful to someone else who was suffering emotionally, someone else who felt hopeless from his years of treatment he received as a child.

After I had been of service by sharing my similar experience and how I had healed thus-far, I realized that, without my experience with childhood trauma and the will to try and get out from under its long-lasting effects, I never would have been able to help this man. I never would have been of service to him.

Suddenly, the experience of trauma made sense. It happened so I could be of service to another. The trauma had a purpose. I had a purpose. It was to help  out a fellow human being. On that day, I believed in a flash that my message is God-sent, and is intended for you who are feeling, or have felt, hopeless in their lives. My message is one of hope that your experiences can be made purposeful if you turn around and help another through their troubles, sharing what you have learned.

Not only did I see in that instant that my history served a vital function; I also saw that my message of hope was meant for many people. Within my message of hope comes the ability to forgive after years of anger and bitterness, the recovery from long-standing and debilitating grief.

You will need to search the corners of your heart and determine what difficult life lessons warrant sharing with another or others. How can you take your experiences and be of service to others? Even just one other person…  I invite you to take action by figuring this out and carrying out that service. It is the most satisfying feeling to be of service to another. It offer them hope in hopelessness.

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