I was reading a medical article the other day and they were talking about the fact that cancer patients need to have realistic hope. I stopped and thought, do those two terms really belong together, and does hope always have to be realistic? Then I saw someone differentiate between Therapeutic Hope, which is what health care providers generally feel most comfortable with, and general individual Hope.
The author (Elizabeth J Clark) identified several principles about individual hope that I wanted to share with you:
- Hope, by definition, can never be "false"
- Hope is a prerequisite for action
- Everyone has the right to be hopeful
- A hopeless person becomes a helpless person
- True hope transcends reality
- Hope changes as the situation changes
- Unrealized hopes can be reframed
- There is always something to hope for
The last four spoke the most to me. True hope does transcend reality. I think miracles still happen and I believe hoping and praying for miracles is awesome. But when all our hopes don't come true, we can reframe it according to the situation and still have hope. It may just take a different form. I hoped and prayed my cancer could be cured and I may never have to face it again. That hope has come true in part, but I don't know yet if I will have to reframe my hope if my cancer does ever recur. But I know I always will have hope, no matter what life brings me, and this is good enough for me to love each day, smile each morning and skip my way through life.
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