Dynamic Choices » Family Wellness

Past Successes, Future Hope


Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

 Mary Anne Radmacher

Hope is more than a positive mental attitude. It is based on a belief that, even in the midst of your challenges, there is something brighter or easier ahead. It might be the welcome relief of a holiday, the change in the symptoms of your wife offered by a new drug, or the sense of community offered by the people you meet at church every Sunday. Hope is often found in the small moments of life – the touch of a hand, the offer of support, or the empathy of someone who really understands. Hope is truly the anchor of your soul.

Bouncing back from those moments or days when life feels too much and hope is difficult to find can often be achieved by revisiting places in your past. As your life has unfolded there have been many circumstances where you have risen in bold fashion to overcome some adversity in a way that you didn’t believe was possible. There are places when things worked out despite your uncertainty or fear at the time.

Below I offer a few thoughts on how to connect to the many successes that are part of your history.   Some of them will be found by looking at places where you did something yourself and some will be found in places where you trusted the actions of others and simply waited with patience.

Identify a place in your past when you faced a small challenge and overcame it.       The situation you choose does not need to be overwhelmingly difficult.   It needs only to be a place where you found a way to cope with something that was challenging.

Write down the qualities in yourself that enabled you to successfully navigate the challenge.

Were your courageous, persistent, honest, patient or creative? Did you set firm yet kind boundaries or did you step up to do something you really believed was right? Did you make a choice to care for yourself in a situation or did you do something that truly honoured the love you have for your family or friends? Did you look for more peace and tranquility or were you looking for more adventure or social connection? Taking time to notice and honour our positive qualities and strengths is something we rarely take the time to do. Remembering how strong and resilient you are is essential as you manage your role as care partner. In the midst of your busy life, it is easy to lose sight of the great job you are doing and all the gifts you are offering. Taking time to reflect on a real life situation where you coped successfully is a great way to remember how wonderful you are.

Identify any additional support you took advantage of that made it easier to cope with this situation.

When you look at the situation that you successfully managed before, what help made a difference? What made it possible for you to ask for support? When life is challenging and busy, asking for help is often a stumbling block. We often have the false belief that we should be able to cope alone and we miss the opportunity to accept the support and kindness of others. It is not selfish to ask for support in the places that you need it – it is essential! By looking in your past for a situation where you successfully found the help and support you needed, you can more easily find the courage to ask again.

Take the qualities you identified and the support that was helpful and apply them to your current circumstance.

What qualities or strengths did you use successfully before that would support you now in facing a more recent challenge? What help or support made a difference before and could be called upon again?

Hope is essential for all of us as we navigate our lives. Hope is more than wishful thinking that something will change. It is based on remembering who you are and celebrating places where you successfully juggled your busy life.