5 Ways to Find Hope in Dark Times
My eyes tracked a bouncing rubber ball, up and down, back and forth as my 7-year-old dangled a red ball on a string from a paddle directly in front of my face. Instead of being annoyed, I sympathized with the pathetic ball dangling there in the air, watching it get effortlessly flopped in every direction.
That was me. I was the ball. Life is the string and it sure as heck felt like God was controlling the wooden paddle responsible for all of the flopping.
Have you ever had those moments where not a darn thing felt sturdy? Like, you’re walking on a tightrope delicately trying to balance, even though the wind is blowing you all over the place?I’m cool with blaming hidden forces for areas of my life that aren’t thriving. We can also blame planets. Yes. Let’s definitely blame planets. There’s a spinning ball of fire in the sky that is responsible for my crappy out look today. It’s probably spinning backwards. But me? I just want to stand still. I want to stand strong. I want to not spin along with the fire of the Universe. Is that too much to ask?
The times where it seems like everything is a bit funky are where hope seems the bleakest. Like someone shoved hope in the jar of grandmas cookies she used to keep way above the stove. The problem with losing faith is that faith can truly be a reprieve of your darkest moments, if you let it.
So, here’s how you might reconnect with your faith (and cookies) again, if hope maybe got muddied up by the universe, planets, or even your own self sabotage.
1. Find your People.
Let someone else have hope for you. Borrow theirs for a few minutes. Sometimes we get so trapped inside of our own perspective we lose the ability to see the bigger picture or alternative information. It can be a total lifesaver to have someone calm you down and remind you that you aren’t alone and you are totally capable.
2. Ask for a sign.
There are times where I need the universe to show off. I need a reminder of the magic. Luckily, the other side is pretty on their game. Look for small moments that feel extra good. On one morning that was rough in particular, I asked for a sign as I shuffled my playlist and ended up on “The Light” by Sara Bareilles. The words? “and if you say we’ll be alright. I’m going to trust you... I’ll follow you into the light.” My heart heard the message and was instantly at ease. Clever, Universe, Clever.
3. Take the day-by-day approach.
We can be easily overwhelmed when we look at the reality of the situation including all the pieces and components. But what can you truly control about that today? In this hour? In this minute? Probably not a whole lot. Set your intention for what kind of day you want to have and then focus on working your way through each moment. You would be surprised at the progress you can make on long term goals when you are breaking life down into smaller bite-sized chunks.
4. Get Honest with yourself.
Ok, here’s the cold, hard, unfortunate truth about tough times. Not always, but sometimes they are the Universe begging you to live in your truth, by showing you all the things that are no longer in alignment with you. Maybe this looks like amplifying the fact that you totally hate your job by making your new boss extra jerky. Maybe you'll see highlighted certain friendships or relationships pushing every darn button you own. Challenging times are a perfect time to write down your honest thoughts about all of the situations in your life so you can take a look at the changes you need to make. Don’t Judge.Just write. Now spend sometime and think about what you'd prefer your life to be like. Be intentional with the Universe about what you want, not just what you'll settle for.
5. Do the work.
Understanding is part of it. Heck, even prayer is part of it. But you have to at some point find courage and take action. Maybe you leap. Or perhaps it's something small. Meditate. Take a bubble bath. Or if you are ballsy enough find a float tank (insert panic here). Make a subtle change, it will have a chain reaction.
Say it. Write it. Tell your truth. Whatever creates movement is exactly what you're looking for. Get to moving. Even if its applying for a new job. Even if its saying “no” to someone. We can gather momentum from a tiny moving energy. Don’t underestimate it. But for god sakes do something.Maybe these seem obvious but it’s vital sometimes to go back to the basics. Get your bearings, then make a change.
Don't forget to grab Nichole's book Rock Your Soul: The Down-to-Earth Guide to Mastering Your Mind now available on Amazon and follow her on instagram @NicholeEaton.xo