April is the month of hope, and of course at The Hope Center Harlem, we strive to create an environment filled with hope in our present and our future. So, what does hope mean to me? Hope is believing in yourself and believing that you are worthy and deserving of all the good that life has to offer you. Hope provides us with the lens to see that even though life hands us many challenges to overcome, we do just that, we overcome. Hope is seeing that first flower begin to bloom at the end of a cold winter and knowing that warmer days lay ahead.
We find hope in our communities through solidarity with one another and knowing that as a collective, we are choosing to work towards positive change instead of standing still; community keeps us hopeful that we can continue to achieve our goals. Right now, we may be feeling defeated, overwhelmed or isolated and we may find it hard to feel hopeful. Community provides us with a way to connect to one another, to find friendship and love, and it also provides us the space we need to lean into one another and ask for help when times are tough. Hope to remind us that we do not have to do it all alone and that we can remain optimistic in the face of adversity. You are important, what you have to contribute to the world matters and there is much hope in that.
We must remain kind to ourselves during these challenging times. No doubt, we will make mistakes, but remember those mistakes do not have to define you, you have the power to change the course of your life. Being kind to ourselves is practicing self-care, which is not just about physical maintenance; it is about keeping our minds healthy too—mental health is wealth. It is important to maintain our mental health because if our mind is not healthy, it will prevent us from thriving, moving forward and remaining hopeful. Reach out to your community, lean into your friends and family, allow yourself to be open to the advice or the words of wisdom someone may share with you because those words have the power to change your viewpoint. Asking for help is a sign of strength, it shows that you can acknowledge life’s challenges, that you want more for yourself and for those around you.
Hope is contagious! You will notice that when you are around others who are hopeful you cannot help but feel the same way. You may become an inspiration to those around you. Lean into the moments when you are filled with promise and become that source of encouragement for those around you. Hope is a powerful tool; it pushes you toward a particular outcome and that result is completely dependent on the power within you.
In the month of April pay attention to the times when you feel hopeful, hold them close, celebrate, remember and use those moments when it feels like you are running on empty. Remember that hope is inside of you!
“Hope brings oxygen into our consciousness, if we generate hope, then we are motivated. We’re motivated to act because we feel that there’s possibility that the outcome that we want might happen. If we don’t have hope, where do we find motivation?” — Nancy Colier