When people reach the point where they feel that there is no hope that things will get better or they feel that they have exhausted every option in an attempt to solve the problems they face daily, hopelessness grows. Unchecked, hopelessness fuels self-harm, addictions, and suicide. Life has become so unmanageable that it no longer feels worth living.
In Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl explores his experience as an inmate at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, a place where many died at the hands of the Nazis, but many others died from lack of hope. Frankl quotes Friedrich Nietzsche, “He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear almost any ‘how’.”
Just a few days ago a new year began and hundreds of thousands of people made resolutions. Few will hold their resolve into February. And yet so many people plugged into hope, found their why, and survived unimaginable horrors.
Creating a life worth living is about refusing to be a victim. It is about surviving the harsh realities of life and learning to thrive. It is finding your Why in the midst of the storm.
In 2014 author Susan Gabriel shared a blog post, 120 Things That Give Me Hope. This list is an amazing place to begin to build your own well of hope and a life worth living.
As you look at the list, think about those things that give you a sense of purpose:
Does making something bring you joy? Satisfaction? Are you spending some of your time each day creating? Creativity includes writing, knitting, woodworking, gardening, sewing, sculpting.
The beach? The desert? The mountains? Does nature call to you? Do you long to take a long bicycle ride down a country lane? Would you like to hike to the top of the highest peaks? Does sea kayaking make your heart thrill? Are you spending time in nature?
Do you believe in a higher power? Is there something larger than yourself? Do you take time to meditate or pray? Do you lean into the silence?
Can you see others who have needs that you might be able to meet? Do you give of yourself, your time, to lift others up? Can you help the elderly neighbor carry in her groceries? Teach a class at the community center. Read to children in schools or to seniors in care homes? How can you give of yourself?
Creating a life worth living is about giving yourself permission to live fully. What small step can you take today to grow hope and find your “why”?
“Instead of giving myself reasons why I cant, I give myself reasons why I can.”
~ Victor Frankl