Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Emotional Health, living with chronic illness, overcoming adversity

Where Does Hope Live?

I’ve been thinking a lot about hope lately. As I encounter people who are facing some of life’s toughest challenges, I wonder what gives them the energy and desire to get themselves out of bed every morning. How does someone facing personal obstacles summon the courage to face the world on the world’s terms?

I think about the poem by Emily Dickinson, “Hope’ is the thing with Feathers”,

“Hope” is the thing with feathers-

That perches in the soul-

And sings the tune without words.

And never stops-at-all-


And sweetest-in the Gale-is heard-

And sore must be the storm.

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm-


I’ve heard it in the chilliest land-

And on the strangest sea-

Yet-never-in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.”

We hear that hope is an important of any recovery process, but what constitutes hope? I’m processing the idea that hope is something we aspire to, on the way to peace. It’s a stop on our journey/pilgrimage to resolution. It’s the emotional/spiritual Sherpa that is willing to carry the load when we’re a bit fragile or tired.

Is hope something that is mandatory on the road to recovery? Are there other things that can propel us forward to a place or peace and healing? I guess there are aspects that rely heavily on faith, the faith that things may not resolve in a cure, but can get better than they are today. What is it about climbing the mountain that drives us to the summit…is that hope?

For today, hope seems a mystery. I’m not saying I don’t have hope, but are there other pathways that will bring me/us to the same endpoint? Is there a summit awaiting our arrival that is dependent on faith instead of hope? Is there a summit awaiting our arrival that is awaiting a miracle instead of hope? What is our investment in the process of cultivating hope?

I’d love you to share your experiences of hope in the comments section below. I “hope” you will!