Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tip #10: Always have hope

What is hope? Let's see:

Expectation, desire, trust. Expectations that things will get better. Desire that our situation will change. And trust that, somehow, maybe through a miracle, those two things will be true.

We are often confronted with situations that just seem insurmountable at that moment. But we always have two options, no matter what we have to face: we either move on or succumb. In order to move on we do need a special fuel. And that is hope. How do we find it?

At the time of my diagnosis, looking for other things, as always, I found this wonderful article by Katherine Russell Rich. This is a journalist and author who has had metastatic breast cancer for 19 years now, and who was given just 2 years to live when her cancer came back. In that article she says the following:
"I tell the women how deeply I believe there’s no such thing as false hope: all hope is valid, even for people like us, even when hope would no longer appear to be sensible.
Life itself isn’t sensible, I say. No one can say with ultimate authority what will happen — with cancer, with a job that appears shaky, with all reversed fortunes — so you may as well seize all glimmers that appear"
That's what I try to do, as you probably have already noticed if you have read my past tips or if you know me: I seize all glimmer that appear. It can be a scientific article I read, it can be an inspirational story, it can just be by focusing on the now, realizing that, now, as of this moment, I'm filled with gratitude for my well being, and that gives me hope for a tomorrow that may be as good as today. But you need those three steps: have expectation, desire and then trust.

As I have also mentioned before, this year I'm trying to watch a TED talk a day. I recently saw this one called "An unexpected place of healing". Ramona Pierson tells us her incredible story. Here she was, 22 years old, in a coma and blind after a a terrible car accident, with no family or anyone who wanted to take care of her, left there in the hospital to, basically, die. And how, against all odds, she not only recovered but went on to become incredibly successful. Her story is just unbelievable, and it gave me so much hope. Not only hope for myself, but also hope for humanity, for the power of cooperation, and also it showed me how we can all bring something to this table, even if we are really old or have a condition like Alzheimer.

Without hope, I cannot offer much to anyone. If you feel I'm done, why should you listen to me?  But believe me, there are glimmers of hope everywhere, you just have to seize them.

(The video is just 11 minutes long. You'll love it. I promise).

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Katherine Russell Rich died from her cancer on April this year. Here's her obituary. This was personally a huge emotional blow, but now I have learned that her message still prevails, as she survived 18 years with metastatic breast cancer (almost 25 years from her first cancer diagnosis).