Looking for Hope? Take Courage! It’s not Just You.
How are you doing?
Have you been feeling like nothing is working, nothing will work, it’s all hopeless and you might as well quit? Everything’s overwhelming and just too hard.
Yeah…it’s been going around, or rather in the atmosphere.
I got hit with it pretty hard earlier this year and thought it was just me. I just tried working harder to see if I couldn’t push through and get ‘er done anyway. I pushed myself until I hit a wall…
Not literally, fortunately. But, thankfully a friend and life coach brought it to my attention. I got off the hamster wheel, and the rest has been delightfully healing! I started to realize that lots of other people I know have been similarly struggling. Oh, the details are different, but there’s this same spiral downwards that sucks the life and hope out of you. I just talked to someone else today who is going through a similar thing.
It seems to be attacking people especially in the realm of destiny. That thing that normally is your greatest gift and joy – has become a burden and a drag. It’s too hard. It’s never going to get better. You should just quit, right?
Don’t let the lies win.
The odd thing about this particular attack, is that it seems to be able to blind your eyes to the truth about your situation. You’re not able to see the progress that’s been made, or how well you’re really doing. It’s the craziest thing… I looked at the same black and white numbers on a page and saw failure, when they don’t say that at all – I’m actually doing quite well. But I couldn’t see it.
At least, I couldn’t see it until I got away from busyness and into rest. Then the light of hope began to dawn.
So, how do you get off the hamster wheel?
- Realize you’re on it, but that there’s hope. It doesn’t always have to be like this. You can make a change.
- Start somewhere. I gave myself permission to just rest and not do the hundred projects that are on my list. The stuff that had to be done, I did those, but many things don’t have to be done now or at all. They would be nice, but they aren’t essential. I cut it all out. I set a timer on my phone to remind myself when my work day was over – being self-employed is delightful, but I’m the worst boss I’ve ever had! I’m not always successful at “clocking out”, but I have been better at picking up books to read for pleasure, which is one of the things I love to do.
- I created a timeline of events in my life, and discovered that there were a lot of pretty intense things that have happened pretty regularly. Some good, some not so good, but the intensity itself is a stressor. It was a revelation! And, it also helped me to see that I had good reason to need rest and to make sure I’ve processed these things well. It’s so easy to pile something on top of other things and assume we can handle it until the proverbial straw brings it all crashing around us. Acceptance of my path and the events in my life as significant has been freeing. I don’t have a perfect life. I have a great one, but not perfect. I can give myself grace for the imperfections along the way. Draw a line and start walking backward on it, making note of all the things that have happened, good and bad. There’s probably a good reason why you need the rest. There’s a good reason why you feel the way you do.
- I’ve addressed physical needs with recommended supplements and better nutrition – along with the rest I mentioned above. You might check with your health care provider and see if there is anything that you can do to support yourself and your healing physically. Body, soul, and spirit are all intertwined. Disruptions in one area will often have an effect on the others as well.
- To conquer the overwhelm, I’ve found a few things helpful. Getting clarity on what really needs to be done, and not just what I want to have done is key. Then, setting a timer for X number of minutes, or a definite number of something can be helpful. Be sure and stop when you say you’re going to, though… Have integrity with yourself. If the time limit is flexible, then let yourself know that you can continue to go if you want, but don’t say you’re going to quit if you’re not going to. Break up tasks into bite-sized, do-able chunks and do one a day. Sometimes you have time constraints, but often they are self-imposed and could be more flexible.
- Celebrate your successes… A couple years ago, I wrote this post on my other blog: I’m Winning! How to Celebrate Your Way to Success. It was, and is life changing…but I’m still not very good at it. I’ve decided that I’m going to do an “Achievement Board” or something like that. I’m working on making a collage of all the things that I’ve done that I’m proud of, or that I should be. I may include things like places I’ve been, nice things people have said about me, goals I’ve achieved, the books I’ve written, etc. Like a vision board, but looking back at what I’ve accomplished, and not forward at what I hope to.
- Reach out to a safe person to help you talk through what you’re doing if you need to, I did. Break out those prophetic words that talk about what you’re called to do. Scour the Scriptures for all the things God says about you. Look for the hope that’s there. Grab onto all of the joy. We tend to see what we look for.
I still have a ways to go to recover my physical strength, but I’ll tell you this: my joy and hope are back. I didn’t even realize how joyless I had become, until the joy started coming back. My job now is to continue to get my strength back and to not lose sight of the lessons I’ve learned; to continue to allow for rest and relaxation so that hopelessness can’t get a foothold again.
As I said at the beginning, hopelessness is in the atmosphere – which means that it’s like a broadcast that your spirit and soul hear that your ears don’t. It sounds like your voice, but it’s not…it’s the enemy – the one who’s job it is to steal, kill, and destroy. If you like, you can pray the following prayer over yourself or your friends and family. Or pray one like it. The exact words don’t matter as much as being aware of what’s coming at you and knowing you have the authority to send it back. Feel free to add in there anything that you’re sensing.
I see you hopelessness and overwhelm. You are not mine, and I refuse to partner with you. I break you off of me and I revoke any agreement that I’ve made with you. I cast you to the cross of Jesus, and I place the blood of Jesus between all of that and me. I reverse and correct all effects of this hopelessness and overwhelm, and I ask you Father, to fill me with your hope and courage. Please give me wisdom and revelation to know how to move forward in the path where you’ve placed me. I receive Your truth that there is always hope, and that You have given me a good destiny that I can move forward in and towards. I thank you for your peace, hope, and joy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Some other things that you might find helpful to gain new hope, and to reinforce the hope that you gain:
My friend Seneca at Freedom-Flowers has a “Tomorrow” flower essence that rebuilds lost hope and eases anxiety about the future. Helps you to receive insight about the path you are on and helps you to grab hold of opportunities by shutting down cynicism and apathy. You just put a few drops in whatever you’re drinking, or under your tongue.
Another friend, Del at Healing Frequencies Music has a new album out called New Hope. I’ve been listening to it softly at night, but all day every day might be fabulous! It’s also available on iTunes and will hopefully be up on Amazon soon!
If you need or want some one on one help, grab a session with me here.