Cultivate Hope to Rise Up

In these moments, when the world’s weight can seem unyielding when the stream of news often feels overwhelmingly negative, it’s easy to find ourselves lost in the shadows of our challenges. It feels like we’re on a perpetual merry-go-round, doesn’t it? The ups come with their fleeting joys, but the downs, yikes, the downs tend to linger, imprinting a sense of weariness that’s hard to shake off sometimes. Maybe, that’s why this song has been stuck in my head – it lifts my spirits and keeps me hopeful—Andra Day’s “Rise Up.”

It sings to the depths of our souls about our power to face our darkest hours with a heart full of courage. It reminds me, and I hope it reminds you, too, that vulnerability isn’t the antithesis of strength; instead, it’s the cradle from which our strength emerges.

Rise Up song lyrics with clouds and sun shining in the background

Living in today’s world, where every ping from our phones could be the bearer of gloom, it’s no surprise that we might find ourselves leaning into despair more than hope. This barrage of information, much of it painting pictures of chaos and loss, has a way of embedding itself into our psyche, tilting the scales towards a pervasive negativity. It’s a challenging cycle, one that feeds on itself, making it even more difficult to break free from it.

But hope is such a powerful force!  It is a cornerstone of human resilience and a beacon of light in the face of adversity. It is more than just a fleeting emotion—it is a profound psychological state that nurtures our well-being, fuels our resilience, and propels us forward during challenging times.

Hope is intricately linked with our capacity to envision a future where we can achieve our goals, heal our wounds, and risk seeing the goodness in this life despite the uncertainties and obstacles that lie ahead. Studies in neuroscience reveal that the act of hoping activates regions in the brain associated with motivation, reward, and planning, fostering a sense of purpose and direction.  Our hope binds us together, creating a collective strength that can help us overcome any challenge. It is the thread that weaves through human relationships, enabling us to support one another, to dream collectively, and to build a foundation for intergenerational solidarity. The power of hope lies not just in its ability to brighten our individual paths but in its capacity to illuminate the way for others, creating a ripple effect of positivity and empowerment.

As we cultivate hope within ourselves, we also nurture it in our families, our communities, and our society at large. We affirm that even in the darkest moments, a glimmer of hope can guide us toward a brighter future.

As we navigate the complexities of our world, remember that the light does not diminish the darkness; it simply makes us realize that the darkness cannot hold us captive unless we allow it to. Let’s rise, not just once, but a thousand times again—for ourselves, for each other, for the hope of a brighter tomorrow.

For those who celebrate, may the Easter holiday lift you as you rise!

Find more resources on grief and the holidays here.