How To Find Hope In A Hopeless Situation

by Tony Ogunlowo

New Year, new wahala!

Everywhere you look, its doom and gloom: politicians come and go promising Heaven and Earth, but fail to deliver, leaving the average person on the street still hungry as ever, despondent and doubtful things will ever get better in their lifetime.

We are all, currently, living in difficult times: the cost of living has skyrocketed and there is uncertainty everywhere you look. The Hope we all believed in is fast dwindling into nothingness.

So, we carry on, toiling on, hoping for a miracle, hoping for a change even though, deep down, we know it may never come.

“As long as belle full and we have a place to call home…”, said a wise old man I once bumped into,”…everything else go sort out”. And in sorting things out he wasn’t referring to the ‘dream merchant’ pastors, all-promising Babalawo or sugar tongued politicians rescuing us but the indomitable spirit of the Human Being. When properly programmed any human being can survive whatever Life throws at them, survive and live.

Hope is the keyword here. And while Hope, itself, is not a strategy it can be a powerful ally in the absence of anything else – it gives you something to go on with. Without a doubt you need to have Faith first developing Hope as you go along, one supports the other.(-N.B – I tend to use the words ‘Faith’ and ‘Hope’ interchangeably, perhaps I’m wrong). Hope, itself, is the same dream your Pastor sells to you, as Faith, under the guise of religion.

But the question of how long you can keep your hopes up before you lose it remains. And this brings us to positivity.

It is difficult trying to remain hopeful when there seems to be no sign of change ever occurring so now comes the time to empower yourself with positivity: you’ll get nowhere in Life by being negative. Even if you are surrounded by negativity you must be able to see that pin-prick of light at the end of the tunnel. If you can’t its game over: hope, or faith, or vice versa, and maintaining a positive attitude go hand in hand. This is where a lot of people get it wrong. Faced with their current predicament, where things are not going according to plan, it’ll be difficult for them to maintain hope, faith and a positive mental attitude. Stay away from negativity as much as possible and there’s a lot of it in the world today especially on SM.

And this is where patience enters the game. We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day so why do we expect all our problems to miraculously disappear overnight? Logically speaking that’s an impossibility: only an act of God can do such. I’m not going to get all Biblical here and start quoting texts from the sacred book primarily because I’m rubbish at that kind of stuff! But I will say that tough times don’t last but tough people do! (- which is the title of an 80s bestselling book) and no condition is permanent. But I will say be grateful for what you’ve got and use that as a springboard.

Next, we need to address our expectations: set them too high and you’ll crash, set them too low and you’ll sink faster than the Titanic. It’s about finding the right point to achieve balance and then use that as a stepping stone to climb higher. Set realistically achievable targets and not outlandish ones. We already have the basics: at least a meal a day (- hopefully!), a roof above our heads (- hopefully!) and fresh air to breathe (- obviously!). These are the basics required to keep Body and Soul working.

So once the Body and Soul is taken care of riding out the storm is feasible, Hope is still in the background, not forgotten, and so also will be the dream. For now, you’ve taken a sabbatical from it all. Circumstances have deemed that that path can’t be followed for now but can be in the future, not abandoned. You need to keep on going, keep the show on the road.

So, you’ve changed your mindset from ‘living’ to ‘surviving’ – not planned and not pleasant and most people are doing this now anyway. It’s to get by with the belief things will change for the better.

And what if it doesn’t? How do you maintain the charade of believing things will get better?

You just do. Hope and Faith are two words I always use interchangeably. Hope itself is just a 4-letter word that can spell the difference between what can happen and what didn’t happen and Faith in believing it will happen. In Life we keep on going. We don’t slow down. We don’t go backwards. We don’t stop for anything. We keep on going hoping things will change for the best. This is what has kept the human race going all these years – the belief there is ‘better’ ahead.

Find or found a support group: get together with like minded people and work towards a common goal. There are lots of support and mentoring groups out there, some run by religious organisations, aimed at getting people out of the doldrums of life. Two heads are better than one and there’s bound to be somebody out there who believes in you and will mentor you. Despite the fact I like to fly solo even I have benefited from mentoring and brainstorming: it makes the job easier.

And if you want to go down the spiritual way, fine.  Empower yourself with prayer and meditation and leave it to the Will of God to pull you through. WARNING: It takes a strong man or woman to submit themselves fully to the will of God. Jesus Christ was sent into the wilderness for 40 nights and 40 days to prepare him for Ministry – no food, no water…nada! For you it might take longer. Remember the Israelites were in the desert for 40 years before they reached the promised land.

At this point its good to incorporate a lot of positive thinking or energy into your way of life: surround or drown yourself with positivity! Believe its going to get better and it will – eventually. Get rid of all the negativity, and naysayers, and ride on. WARNING: Be careful not to become too positive to the point you start to think sunshine comes out of your backside and you become to big for your boots. This is toxic positivity and be detrimental to your health. Overconfidence is also a false sense of positive empowerment and it can go to your head and before you know it, it can pull you down, all the way.

Life is an adventure and you’ll never really know what’s around the corner but if you mentally discipline yourself to expect the unexpected you’ll be able to deal with whatever comes your way. Times are hard but if you’re in the right frame of mind you can ride the storm out and see that light at the end of the tunnel.

This, I believe, is the best way to see hope in a hopeless situation and carry on. The world is not going to get any easier to live in, its going to get harder, and its only going to be those who mentally (- and spiritually) discipline themselves that will be able to see it through.


Image: ShonEjai from Pixabay

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