Saturday, October 18, 2014

Quote It Saturday 10/18

In this occasional feature, I like to share a quote, usually from a book, that I have found moving or inspirational or just something that I identify with. This week's quote is an old favorite and a powerful one for me; for over a decade, I've had it printed in big letters over my desk in our home office:

Hope is the elevating feeling we experience when we see – in the mind’s eye – a path to a better future.  Hope acknowledges the significant obstacles and deep pitfalls along that path.  True hope has no room for delusion.  Clear-eyed, hope gives us the courage to confront our circumstances and the capacity to surmount them.

There are real options and I have genuine choices.

What I do can make a difference.

My actions can bring a future different from the present.

I have some control over my circumstances.

I am not entirely at the mercy of forces outside myself.

- “The Anatomy of Hope”, Jerome Groopman, M.D.
I first read The Anatomy of Hope when it was newly released and I was newly diagnosed. I'd been horribly sick for over a year at that point and finally had a name for my illness, which I was glad of, but the fact that I had a CHRONIC illness was new to me, and I was mired in depression. It was a dark period in my life - my darkest ever to that point (until my sons got sick, too), and this book saved me. I read it again a few years later and found it to be just as powerful, moving, and helpful.
Back then, I reviewed the book on my book blog and wrote two blog posts on this blog about it: Chronic Illness and Hope and Hope, Part 2 (check out his metaphor of living with chronic pain as living within an electrified fence - it's perfect for ME/CFS). I recommend you go back and read those posts, especially if you are in need of some hope, and - more importantly - get a copy of The Anatomy of Hope from your library or bookstore and read it for yourself. It really did change my life.
In fact, earlier this week, I bought a copy of the book and mailed it to my dad with a note. My father has melanoma that has recently been upgraded (downgraded?) to Stage 4 and is struggling with hopelessness now, so I'm hoping this book will help him as much as it helped me.

Hope you are having a good weekend - keep hoping!

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