Hope in Moments of Despair

The goal is to help families find hope in moments of despair. Read on...

By Ivette Lampl, MS, LPC, LMFT Bilingual Intake Clinician | Sep 28, 2015
Hope Moments Despair

In our therapeutic programs, we see a lot of kids who have experienced trauma of some kind. In fact, anyone who works with a group of kids almost definitely has some kids who have had, or are experiencing ongoing trauma. The statistics tell us so.
Even for kids who haven’t experienced much trauma, the reality is that there is hardship in the world. Kids will eventually grow old enough to turn on the TV or turn to google and learn about injustice in the world. So how do we reconcile this? How do we help families make sense of the realities of life, and still maintain a positive outlook?
The goal is to help families find hope in moments of despair. We can’t teach kids that they should feel happy all the time. We have to teach kids that they have a lot of feelings, and that all of their feelings are important and valuable.
I tell my clients that each of us is a small boat on a big ocean. Sometimes the ocean is calm and we float along peacefully. But sometimes a storm comes. It’s usually uncertain when that storm will hit, but when it comes, it will knock us around. What keeps us from drowning? When we go deep, what pulls us back up to the surface?
Hope is what drives people and removes them from the chaos of trauma. Hope is what gets families to enroll in our therapeutic programs and seek help. Hope is what gets us out of bed in the morning even on our darkest days.
So when I think about resilience, this is what I think about. I think abouthope. In order to pick yourself back up, you have to believe that there is a reason to. That even when things are terrible, there’s a purpose to the pain. That life is full of good, and bad, and messy. And that hope prevails.
I will close with a quote that a mentor of mine shared with me in my own moment of despair:
Hope is an orientation of the spirit, and an orientation of the heart.
It is not an optimism that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.
Vaclav Havel, Poet, Writer, Former President of Czechoslovakia