Hope And Resilience In A Time Of Uncertainty

by Elizabeth Flack, LPA, LCAS

“It is really wonderful how much resilience there is in human nature. Let any obstructing cause, no matter what, be removed in any way, even by death, and we fly back to first principles of hope and enjoyment.” -Bram Stoker, Dracula

These are trying times. Life is difficult enough without a global health crisis, add a pandemic to the difficulties of life and we begin to feel fear, anger, loneliness, anxiety, and possibly feelings of hopelessness. During these times of uncertainty, I invite you to think about how resilience can help cultivate hope. The type of resilience I am referring to here is psychological resilience. The American Psychological Association defines psychological resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress – such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors” (https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience).

Think back to all the times in your life when you’ve experienced stress, adversity, or trauma and came out on the other side a stronger, wiser person. Each time you experience hard times, and learn & grow from those moments, you are experiencing resilience.

Think about all of your family, friends, and co-workers who have been with you throughout your life. It’s amazing you are still here. You are still here because you are resilient. And resilience breeds hope.

The APA Dictionary of Psychology defines hope as “the expectation that one will have positive experiences or that a potentially threatening or negative situation will not materialize or will ultimately result in a favorable state of affairs” (https://dictionary.apa.org/hope). Keep this in mind as we move through this pandemic. I am not saying that this time is not going to be hard. It IS hard, and will continue to be hard. And we will persevere.

I’d like to leave you with words of hope from Thich Nhat Hanh: “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear hardship today.”

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