For many of us, the holidays are characterized by feelings of joy and hope. Shared meals with family and friends, Christmas gatherings with colleagues, gift giving, and religious rituals that recall a spiritual promise of anticipation and new life mark the holiday season. For others, however, finding happiness and hope during the holidays is more challenging. Family discord, loneliness, and financial hardship make us feel more ‘blue’ than joyful, more despairing than hopeful.
I wrote my dissertation on hope, and discovered this inspiring quote from Emily Dickinson in the process. The great poet (who, herself, struggled mightily with depression) wrote, “Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the words without the tune, and never stops at all.” What do you think Dickinson meant when she wrote, “hope perches in the soul?” Has this been your experience, however fleeting or persistent? Take a moment and recall a time when you truly felt hopeful. Where did that feeling of hope live inside of you then? Where does it abide now?
Life can be hard- no doubt about it- and the holidays can be an especially stressful and difficult time. Whether these final days of December are marked by darkness or light for you, I encourage you to give yourself the gift of remembering. Remember a time when you experienced hope and revisit it. Feel and touch it again, if only for a moment. It forever dwells within, whispering its song, Dickinson reminds us. It is ours for the taking. To find out more about revisiting hope, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org