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Hope: When It Seems like All is Lost by Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D



There may be plenty of times in life where the sense arises in our minds and bodies that all seems lost. Maybe it’s after we lose someone we loved, or after being let go from a job, or perhaps when depression has us pinned to the ground.

If there’s one thing we know as a fact, hope is never lost, it’s always there just waiting to be discovered. Hope is like the sun and sometimes the storms are so strong or the winters are long it seems like it has disappeared, but it’s always there and has never truly gone away.

Hope isn’t necessarily something we either have or don’t have, it’s a skill that can be cultivated. The late Psychologist, Rick Snyder said that hope is cultivated when we have a goal in mind, determination that a goal can be reached, and a plan on how to reach those goals. In this sense, we can hope for big things (e.g., a house) or we can hope for small things (e.g., a clean room). Although people who have hope will have a sense of determination and a plan on how to achieve these goals, they will also be flexible, understanding that they may need to have a couple backup plans in case the first one doesn't work out.

But it’s hard to muster the energy to create a goal, have determination, or make a plan when the state we’re in is just devastating. Sometimes what we need to do is just understand while we may have very convincing thoughts that tell us there is no future, we need to hold onto past experiences that have shown us differently. That even in times when the clouds were thick the sunshine of hope always eventually came out.

As we do this we no longer need to try to create a goal, we naturally have a goal, to see the sunshine once again.

Emily Dickinson said:

"Hope" is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops—at all

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest Sea
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

Even the slightest glimmer of hope can remind us that not all is lost and there is a future of possibility ahead.


I now think having a Goal -- is very very important.


Rick Snyder said that hope is cultivated when we have a goal in mind, determination that a goal can be reached, and a plan on how to reach those goals.
It's hard to have goals - but we don't know it, but every time we say we want out -- it's hope fighting for a better day. It comes in many guised -- it's not always a holy light at the end of the tunnel, it's the resilience so many of you show, to try and try and try.

We really work at this "illness".

We just need a clearer way out.


Well-known member
Nov 2, 2009
Thanks for sharing this dreambuggie :) I love the sentence about the clouds and sunshine of hope. I am going to remember this "SUNSHINE OF HOPE"