Beliefnet
Inspiration Report

I read all the comments that are posted on this blog. You inspire many of the topics that I cover here on The Inspiration Report.

A comment came in on When Were Your Prayers Answered? – which was a piece asking you to talk about times when you prayed for something and received it. Ali wrote this:

Funny, I should be reading this today. I woke up and for some reason said to myself why haven’t any of my prayers ever answered. I’m a good person, I had prayed to get pregnant and have a baby, got pregnant twice and lost them, prayed for my aunt to get better from her illness, she passed away on my birthday… I so want to have faith and hope but for me [it] is very hard.

A similar sentiment has been expressed by others, and it breaks my heart because I’ve been there too. It begs the question, how do you hope when you feel hopeless? We talk so much about inspiration and being happy, but what do you do if you’ve got nothing to be happy about or to look forward to? I have a few ideas.

Be thankful for what didn’t happen. Sometimes realizing that the worst case scenario has passed you by is enough of a reason to get happy. Think about all the times you’ve gotten on the road and didn’t have an accident or the time you slipped and fell but only had a few scratches. Preachers in my childhood church used to say, “Someone didn’t wake up this morning and you did. Be thankful for another day.” Sometimes the best blessing is the calamity that never happened.

Start at home and start small. As much as I loved Eat Pray Love and Elizabeth Gilbert’s trip around the world to find herself, not everyone has a job that will fly them to Italy, India and Indonesia for self-discovery. You need to look at your immediate surroundings for hope. It can be something small: the way your dog rejoices when you come home, a hot shower on a cold morning, or your neighbor’s friendly hello.

Find little escapes when and where you can. I know you’re busy and the situation that bogs you down seems like it’s everywhere. However, try to take breaks. Put on a song that takes you to a happy place. Pray. Meditate. Sit outside in nature. Take a few deep breaths and feel refreshed… if only for a moment. I call them mini-emotional vacations. They will save your day.

Hope builds on hope and you have to start somewhere. So take the little seeds of inspiration that are tucked away in every day and put your focus on them. Water them, tend to them and watch them grow in your life.

Check out these other Beliefnet features:
Hope and Encouragement for Tough Times
Prayers for Hope and Comfort
8 Ways to Increase Hope

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