Hope

Brain Injury Blog by Janelle Breese Biagioni

April 4, 2011

Hope

Hope begins with a heartbeat! Hope is that intangible thing that gives us the strength and courage to go on. Hope resonates with us on all levels. We can hear something that is hopeful. We may see something that gives us hope. Moreover, we can FEEL hopeful. What happens though when discouragement takes over?

For those who are supporting others – you have to be the “hope generator”. You have to be the one that keeps feeding hope by the spoonful until the flame ignites within the person you are supporting. How do you do that? By committing to be there for them for however long it takes. That isn’t to say that you don’t have to pace yourself, because you do. Take care of yourself first. Offer encouragement by listening, hold no judgement of where the other person is and keep your expectations in check. Refrain from telling the person what they should do. Don’t be dismissive and say things like: “You should be grateful that it’s not worse.” They may not think it can get any worse. Instead, be empathetic. That means to try and see the situation through their eyes. Ask questions to be sure you understand what they are feeling. Offer praise for growth and accomplishments they have made. Be genuine and sincere in your comments.

For the individual – solicit the help of others. Ask them to be your cheering section and to remind you of the progress you are making. Ask for them to give you feedback on your mood and/or overall attitude. You may be surprised at what they have to say. Don’t ask if you are not ready to hear the answer. If their feedback indicates you need to make an adjustment, commit to doing the work and tell yourself: “One day at a time – I can do this. Life will get better. One day at a time.” Shift your thinking and watch your life change.

For more by Janelle go to: www.lifelosses.com

2 responses to “Hope”

  1. Marie G. Cooney says:

    Hope is a dog, who will crawl into your lap and kiss your tears dry after another disheartening conversation on the phone. Hope is the same dog nestling his neck into yours, patiently waiting for your pulse to return to normal. Hope is the dog, who wakes you in the middle of the night, when you don’t know if you had a seizure or a bad dream. It doesn’t matter, because hope is the service dog that will always be there.
    Marie

  2. Marilyn Lash says:

    Hope is the wish and light that helps us get through the dark days and the tough times – it is what sustains us when it all seems to be just too much. Too many times, clinicians misinterpret the hope that families cling to as “denial” when it fact hope is what sustains us and helps us face the day and the uncertainty of the future.

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