Despair, Hope, or Faith

The word of the day:      Despair.

Ok maybe the word of the week, month, maybe even the whole damn year. However, if you look up the meaning of the word we haven’t really achieved the true status of this word, close; at times really close but not quite yet.

Despair:

  1. the complete loss or absence of hope.
  2. to lose or be without hope.

Merriam-Webster provides that it is to lose all hope or confidence.

Well, with that being defined and seeing how the feeling of despair directly relates to hope maybe we should have defined the word hope to begin with. How can we feel as if we are in a state of despair when it means to lose hope if we do not know what the true meaning of hope is or what it is to hope for?

Hope:

  1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
  2. to expect with confidence.

So with all that, to be in a state of despair is to “lose” the “feeling of an expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen” or to have the “complete loss” of “confidence”.  To lose all feelings, desire, confidence and expectation that a certain thing will happen is the state of despair. It certainly sounds like all is lost, all hope is lost. Maybe we are just trying to hope to much, or maybe we are hoping for things that cannot be achieved. We all can hope for world peace yet it is unlikely that such a thing would ever happen, at least not until the heavens open up. We can’t hope for something unreachable and fall into despair because in the back of our minds we knew we couldn’t actually achieve such a goal so therefore we may be disappointed but not in a state of hopeless despair.

Despair give birth to depression, deep depression. It also brings on sorrow, lack of self-confidence, and hinders the ability to function in everyday life. Despair brings to me the word failure and by losing the ability to hope or the confidence that I will reach a desired expectation is essentially failing to achieve. To be one who has failed and is filled with despair and on the brink of depression is to walk through life filled with darkness. This brings a sense that as we walk through society we feel as if that darkness labels us so that everyone we pass by knows that we have lost hope and that we have failed. We can feel their stares and hear the snickering as we lower our heads in disheartenment even though most of those looks and words are figments of our imagination slowly punishing us from the inside. Certainly, people can tell when you are in some state of despair, but for the most part people just keep to themselves and those who do ask, some of us hopeless people try not to talk about it.

The state of despair is past the time of re-encouragement. When we reach that point when we lose hope we don’t want to hear that “it will get better” or most certainly “sometimes you have to hit bottom before you can start getting back up” or even “it always gets worse before it gets better.” What these self-acclaimed expert life coaches don’t realize is that for some of us we fear that we haven’t hit bottom yet and you are telling us that it actually could get worst! Sometimes we don’t want things to get better we want them to be better. Other times we accept that things are the way they are and we do not have the ability to change them, however; we want the pain to go away or the feeling of hopelessness to be lifted, or even the constant voice reminding us that we failed and that we have nothing to hope for to leave us alone.

This state of completely losing all hope and any expectation of a desired outcome isn’t something that a simple greeting card can generate some warm fuzzy feeling with some funny saying or heart-felt jingle.

 ♫ Sorry for your fall into despair, but look up … the air is cleaner up here ♫

I do not know how to bring someone out of the feeling of hopelessness exactly. I’m not even sure that anyone outside the fall can actually help, it may be up to the person in that state to find their own way out of despair. Surely, you can encourage and re-encourage until you are blue in the face but the depression caused by the loss of hope is strong and it is up to the person in despair to find hope in something.

The difficult part is that we hopeless failures must pull ourselves out of the state we are in and the first step is to stop ridiculing ourselves, specifically by calling ourselves names such as hopeless failures. Next, we must build up our ability to have hope and to do such we must build up our faith because truly to lose all hope is to also lose faith. I once thought that faith is to believe in something that you cannot see but feel must be true and that hope is to desire something that you expect to be true. A dear friend taught me a better way to look at it. She quoted the principle of how “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore, if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”

So, when we get to this point of feeling that all is lost because we cannot hope for an unknown outcome we must have a little faith to build up our ability to hope for the better. When we are down and don’t know what to do we are relying on hoping for a perfect knowledge of things and at times that cannot be possible. So we cannot see where the path our lives are headed for and we do not have perfect knowledge of where we are going to end up; therefore, we must have faith and hope for things which we cannot see. To have faith builds up our ability to hope because so much of our hopelessness is not knowing. Faith is hoping for things which are not seen but we know is true. We cannot know how we are going to get out of this situation but through faith we can pray the Lord will show us the way.

I am not a hypocrite, at least I don’t want to sound like one because losing hope is much easier than having enough faith to keep hoping for brighter days. I know that I have a very difficult time with being hopeful especially most recently, and I know that I must turn to faith to help get me past this bump in the road, or maybe we should say get me over this sink hole in the road. The evils of this world work relentlessly at trying to convince us that there is no amount of faith that can provide us with enough hope to make our situations better. The unfairness of the practice of these evils is that they drown out the still small voice of the spirit trying to guide us in to the path away from the darkness. The evils will shout gibberish and utter nonsense just to confuse us and keep us from walking away from their amusement. They pick and tear at our lowered self-esteem to force us to lie to ourselves and drag us further into the darkness of our fall.

It is difficult to pull ourselves out of hopelessness and despair, and there will be others who will try to help and even those who will push us further into that cold dark pit. Allowing ourselves to rely on faith and prayer is can be just as difficult as not falling into despair. I know I have faith to hope for better days, but I also must be honest and say that my faith is not as strong as I need it to be and my hopefulness reflects that. I have been beaten by these demons for a long time and my soul is scared and bruised, however; I must know that faith will allow me to hope that a path has been set out for me and I pray that I will have the courage to see the direction I am to go.

The word of the day may have been despair but the true meaning of our way out is that to have faith is to hope for things that we cannot see but know to be true, and that through faith we will build the strength and courage needed to build up hope and see the path provided. Do not fall completely into despair, you don’t need to hit rock bottom before praying for the strength to pick yourself up. Have a little faith and hope a little more.

 This which I write is meant for me, I hope it helps you too.

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