I was posed a question by one my therapists. (I see several, for various purpose- this is the one I see to talk about personal issues). She was talking to me about the way I “hold things” in my body and asked me to think about “what holds me?”
Having left religion, some years ago, that question reminded me of the types of discourse that used to happen in my church where we talked about the Christian God as the one who holds all things. Since leaving religion, I have not felt that I am without foundation, however, I had not really examined that particular question in depth.
After a couple weeks of thought, and some journalling I came to discover that I am “held” by many things. According to attachment theory humans require an emotional foundation from which to hope and risk and venture out. After processing this question I discovered that my emotional foundation, my sense of safety and hope in the world is actually much bigger than I would have guessed. I decided to share my process in the hopes that you might be reminded of what gives you hope, of where your emotional foundation lies and then, as a result, be able to step into your day and world with peace and hope.
I have people in my life who hold me, with affection and tangible expressions of love. I also have people from whom I draw inspiration and wisdom from. Some of those people do not know me personally, some are no longer alive, but the knowledge of their lives provides me with hope and something to stand on.
The constant re-affirmation of the goodness and good intentions of humans, through my interactions with the clients I see each week gives me hope. I talk to people who come from all walks of life, all parts of the planet, and whose journeys have led them places I’ve never been, literally and figuratively. As I listen to their stories, their struggles, and their triumphs, I am filled with hope and joy about the state of humanity which is filled with genuine goodness and courage.
The knowledge that I can find peace and joy, evidenced by the fact that I have experienced that already and know where it is to be found. Sometimes I find it in the presence of others, sometimes through solo daily practices and ritual. For me these include, watching the birds at the feeder, the ritual of making and drinking my morning tea, xc country skiing, and going to the places that fill me with peace. Even imagining the places that fill me with piece and surrounding myself of reminders of them, gives me a feeling of being held, emotionally.
Abundance of Resources
The knowledge that there is endless amounts creative inspiration to be had.
The knowledge that there is enough wisdom and knowledge on earth, and in the universe, to solve any problem that we, as humans, can generate, if we share our resources and work together on it.
The knowledge that there is no end to the amount of healing available to me and to others around me as healing can be found in others, in knowledge, in ritual, in nature, and in ourselves when we cultivate a practice of reflection,
I Don’t Have to be An Island
Knowing that I, alone, don’t have to save anyone, including the planet. But I can help.
The knowledge that I do not have to rely on myself alone to generate all creativity, wisdom, knowledge, strength or healing for myself. I can find it all around me, in people, in books, and in nature.
What holds you? Where do you find peace and hope? Is it in the people around you, in your values or beliefs? Keep an eye out for hope in your day to day life. Notice moments of peace and what contributed to those moments. Then hold those things close as you walk out into the world.
For more on finding hope see
Finding Hope in the Climate Crisis
9 Mental Health Survival Strategies for the Current Apocalypse
One thought on “Hope-Based Living”
An interesting article, Joy. This is something I find very challenging at the moment.