Waking up every morning and not knowing if your child will survive the day is stressful.  Parenting a child who has multiple disabilities is not easy. Navigating through health care, social support and the education system tests your patience.  Watching your mother’s health deteriorate and makes you feel helpless.  Facing the day when your child passes away is heartbreaking.  Receiving the news you’re your sister-in-law has passed away and knowing that she left behind three young children is gut wrenching.  And sitting by your father’s bedside as he takes his final breath is enough already.

Despite many emotionally challenging circumstances, I continue to have a positive outlook on life.

People often ask, “After all that you have been through, how do you stay so positive?”

The answer is hope.

Hope is defined as “an optimistic state of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes.” (dictionary.com)

No matter what each day entailed, I continued to have a belief and a genuine desire for good things to happen.   Hope.

I can describe it as a continual feeling of trusting in the positive side of life.

According to the Law of Attraction, ‘like attracts like’. “What this means is that whether we realize it or not, we are responsible for bringing both positive and negative influences into our lives. A key part of the Law of Attraction is, understanding that where you place your focus can have an intense impact on what happens to you. If you spend your days wallowing in regrets about the past or fears of the future, you’ll likely see more negativity appearing, but if you look for the silver lining in every experience then you’ll soon start to see positivity surrounding you every day.” (www.thelawofattraction.com)

I found that the time in my life when I felt most inspired and creative was when I was living through some of my greatest challenges.  American Psychology professor, Barbara Fredrickson, supports this with her belief that, “hope comes into its own when crisis looms, opening us to new creative possibilities.  She argues that with great need comes and unusually wide range of ideas, as well as such positive emotions as happiness and joy, courage, and empowerment.  Hopeful people are “like the little engine that could, because they keep telling themselves, “I think I can”.

Learning to set goals, even small goals in every situation was helpful for maintaining positivity each day.  It often meant finding a new path to achieve the goal. As I wrote in my blog, The Detour, “All of a sudden, it appears, a sign that directs you to take a different route.  It’s hugely unexpected.  You have no choice but to take the turn for there is no other way to go.  You begin to appreciate the opportunity and realize how much you are learning.  You didn’t know this path could offer so much.  Your eyes have been opened to a whole new existence.  Your fear has subsided and you are proud of your courage.  Your anger is replaced with a sense of enlightenment and wisdom. Your life is richer and more meaningful than you had ever imagined.  Eventually you get back on your original route.  You have decided upon a different destination and the pace of your travel doesn’t matter anymore. This time it is your choice to take a new direction and you are more equipped for unanticipated change. You have people you can call upon if you want guidance along the way. You now proceed with confidence and conviction.”

Hope is the driving force behind not giving up and for living with determination.

Hope offers strength and resilience.

We all live with some form of challenge.  Hope provides the reason to keep going, no matter what comes your way.

Trust.  Believe.  Hope.  Live.

~ Lisa