Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Choose Hope -- Hope Chronicles 4

My chosen profession is counseling. I am currently starting a private practice after having worked in the field for 5 years. It's a challenging profession because you are often dealing with people's misery. Happy people (unless they are at the end of counseling or maybe in it for mental maintenance) rarely see a counselor. One thing that has struck me is that misery is often the result of seeing life as out of control. Life "happens" to the person rather than them having any control over it.

To be sure, there are things in life that do "happen" to us: death, sickness, an accident, etc. But we often have a choice as to how we will respond to these things. That choice often makes all the difference.

The actor Christopher Reeve once said, "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." Well known for his roles as Super Man, Christopher Reeve later took a fall from a horse and became a paraplegic. So, how can one who was confined to a wheelchair and unable to do the most basic of things, have hope? I believe that it is that he chose hope.

Choosing hope is not an easy thing. It takes determination and a mindset that pushes back the darkness. I struggle to make the choice to choose hope. But knowing that it is a choice, I believe, is the first step. For when we do not think we have a choice in things, we sink into misery. Sometimes the evidence of the choice to chose hope are in the small things for me: putting on a smile, biting back the harsh word, even getting out of bed on the days that depression sinks its teeth into me. They are all choices that make everything else possible.

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