Hope is a word we have known from the beginning…

by Jan on November 7, 2011

Illuminating Hope

A friend of mine recently forwarded an article by someone she respects.  In it the author challenges us to banish “hope” from our language, and states that all we need is intention.

Some people seem to have this knee jerk reaction to the word hope. They think it is wimpy.  To them hope is a four letter word. Their focus is on what I call false hope, or wishful thinking. It is really a misuse of the word hope.

They are missing out on seeing the fundamental role that hope plays in our lives. If you’ve lost hope you can’t see beyond your circumstance, you can’t see a happy ending, or even fulfilling journey. Hope is the critical element that comes before things like intention, setting a goal, dreaming for the future.

True hope has power.


Hope in the form of belief and expectation causes a chemical reaction in our bodies that helps to relieve pain and speed healing. Jerome Groopman, MD writes about this and the relationship of hope to healing in his book The Anatomy of Hope.

Recent research has linked hope not only to improved, and sustained outcomes for cancer patients, but for everyone and in many situations. No matter what you are facing, hope can improve the outcome, and help make the journey easier.

Hope has a very real and profound impact on the quality of our lives. It can lead to increased income, a greater sense of responsibility toward others and toward societal issues, and is a better predictor of college success than intelligence.

Sometimes all we have is hope.

“You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone, which can become a watered down, occasional hope that you’ll get to tomorrow. Intention without action is useless.” ~ Caroline Myss

What if hope is greater than intention? Intention is like a piece of music played technically perfectly, without a flaw, but with no passion to it. There is artistry when you put your heart and soul into life. Hope is rich. It has a sweetness to it, and it gives each moment more life.

Nobody can know the future, but hope lets us ask questions like  “why not…?” and “what if…?” and “is it possible…?”.

When you invite hope in it brings along with it intention, aspiration and a whole world of opportunities that can give your dream a chance. Once you have a foundation of hope then you can begin to create what it is that you want.

Let’s stop mis-using the word “hope.” Let’s start speaking powerfully and choosing wisely words that support our hopes and dreams.

Hope is a word we have known from the beginning. Even before the word, hope has been with us as an instinct, a feeling, an impulse, a thought. We know it so well, yet we forget what an important role it plays in every aspect of our being.” ~ Alice Rose George and Lee Marks, in Putting Hope to Work