In the spring of 2006, I was training for the MS 150, a cycling event to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I was hopeful that I could contribute to MS research and support. Someone close to me has MS and I wanted to help.
About a month into my spin classes and outdoor training, I started to feel bad. I was tired, weak, and having some balance issues.
I never got to participate in the ride. In fact, shortly after the event date, I had my own MS diagnosis. My most debilitating symptom was vertigo. I couldn’t walk a straight line, let alone ride a bike.
I was shocked by my diagnosis. I was sad and I was scared, but I was hopeful. Right from the start I was hopeful that I would regain my health, and help others with MS. Just having hope wasn’t enough, but at the same time it was everything.
When something happens that threatens to leave you hopeless, remember that you are strong. You are resilient and you can take the necessary steps to protect hope and encourage change.
Without hope, there is no next step. Without hope, there is no possibility of happiness. I choose hope.
Where to Find Hope
1. Find hope in action.
Take the steps necessary to move towards the life that makes your heart sing. For me, that meant improving my health through changes in diet, schedules, and overall lifestyle.
2. Find hope in love.
Share your deepest desires and let the people who love you help you on your journey. We are all in this together. It will be hard to ask for help, but do it anyway. They need to help you as much as you need their help.
3. Find hope in education.
Knowledge really is power. The more you know about what you’re up against, the easier it will be to move forward. If you don’t know enough, it’s hard to take appropriate action.
4. Find hope in giving.
Give your time, talent, and treasure to those who need your gifts. Turn your attention to someone else and you’ll create hope for them and for you.
5. Find hope in gratitude.
Be grateful for your life and your opportunities every day. With that awareness of how blessed you really are comes great hope.
6. Find hope in trust.
Believe in yourself and others to be life changers and world changers. You have the power to make things better or different.
7. Find hope in intuition.
Listen to the voice that comes from your heart. That voice knows you. That voice will guide you toward what you need to do for yourself.
8. Find hope in change.
The only constant in this world is change. Go with the flow and experience all that change has to offer. And know that no matter how hard things are now, things can get always get better.
9. Find hope in letting go.
Work toward letting go of your fear, sadness, anxiety, or anything else that is holding you back. It won’t be easy, and you may need to let go over and over again, but letting go will give you space to let hope in.
10. Find hope in the least expected places.
You can’t always predict where you will find hope or who might give it to you. Keep an open heart and be ready for hope to surprise you.
I am aware that MS could rob me of health one day, as could many other conditions, but I will not live in fear. I choose to live with hope. Fear and worry may pass by, but they do not have a place in my heart or in my life.
“He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.” ~Proverb
I would add that with hope comes health. It might not be exactly how you pictured it, but if you can find the goodness in it, hope will deliver.
Once I stopped being scared about what might happen, and made changes to be as healthy as I could be, I knew everything would be okay. Being hopeful gave me strength. When I thought I was losing my health, hope let me redefine my life.
Let hope heal you. Let hope change you, and let hope let you change the world.
Where do you find hope?