Hope: A Limited Commodity?

Yesterday I did not work out, do my laundry or wash the dishes. I ate something I shouldn’t have eaten and used Uber instead of taking the bus. As a result, I felt like crap at the end of the day. There are several life changes I want to make and I’m good for about a week, then…fail. This pattern makes me feel sort of hopeless. Which made me wonder, “Is hope a limited commodity?”


It also made me wonder about the ways that we chip away at our own capacity for hope. WE do this ourselves. Or maybe only some of us do. I know there are folks who are able to say, “I had a crappy day. I’ll do better tomorrow.” However, this only works when you actually DO BETTER tomorrow. It doesn’t work when you keep making the same dumb mistakes over and over. And over.

In recovery, there is a lot of self-esteem work that needs to happen, and the most useful way to build self-esteem is by doing “esteemable,” or rather, estimable acts. Does the same hold true for hope?

If so, how do we go about performing hopeful acts? How do we build our stores of hope?

What chips away at YOUR stores of hope, and how do you build them up? Please share!

William Stafford’s quietly encouraging poem below goes a long way to helping us think about this question.

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

By William Stafford, from The Way It Is, 1998



Filed under confusion, hope, lent

5 responses to “Hope: A Limited Commodity?

  1. MaryAnne Crowley

    Some days are diamonds some days are stones—- sometimes you have to assume it will be better and it usually is


  2. Teri

    “Building stores of hope”…I can think of a few areas where hope is depleted and I wonder if it’s possible to regain hopefulness. I also have wondered about the connection between hope and creativity. How might hope be renewed by simply engaging in some kind of creative process?


  3. LAC

    Some other thoughts that were shared:

    “Hope creeps in when you are doing something else.” Nancy Scott

    “Hope springs eternal, love that: life’s water.” Mary Crowley

    “When I’m feeling hopeless I try and sit with this thought………
    God loves me more than I love my children. He thinks more highly of me than I think of my own incredible children. He knows he created me with my own greatness. If you really think about that sort of love, if you really try and think about how much God loves and cares for you, hope is right there. We are all so special but we ALL allow our own failures to dominate our thoughts. Sit quietly with the love God has for you and you may just feel hope right around the corner. I love you.” Eileen Crowley


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