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It can be difficult to feel hopeful when things are not going the way you would like, yet hope is a powerful ally. It is what distinguishes people who cope well life’s challenges, from those who don’t.

But you are not one of life’s natural hopers it can be frustrating to be told things like “there’s always hope”, in fact it can be downright insulting, because it denies what you’re feeling.

It’s all very well for people to try and cheer us up with positive messages, but when we hear something that doesn’t fit our view we tend to reject it, especially when we are struggling or suffering. Hope, like optimism, is beyond the grasp of someone who feels hope-less.

There’s another route though, a more gradual way of lifting despair, that doesn’t exhort us to “look on the bright side”, at times when we feel that “there isn’t any bloody bright side!”

Vaclav Havel said “Hope is an orientation of the spirit”. It is not “a conviction that something will turn out well”. You don’t have to feel hopeful to experience hope. Instead simply accept that there are possibilities.

Possibility are a bit like Art, you don’t have to understand it to appreciate it.

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