Fri Jan 15th, 2021
Well, 2020 came and left in what seems to be a blink of an eye, or as quickly as an eagle flapping its wings. We’ve had one heck of a year and people across Mother Earth have had to experience life with a global pandemic. Indigenous Peoples have also experienced the ups and downs of the times and have also found resiliency and hope in our culture, traditions, and storytelling. A new light has been lit. More than ever, we as Indigenous People are remembering how resilient we are, how important our stories are, and how important balance is in our lives. The hope we instill in ourselves right now helps to lay down a strong foundation for future survival and our ability to overcome future obstacles. This is especially important for our youth and their ability to become resilient and hopeful adults. With that said, let’s jump into what hope is and how important it is in our lives.
What is hope?
According to Merriam-Webster: Hope means to cherish a desire with anticipation; to want something to happen or be true; a desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment or desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment. We live our lives making decisions based on hope. We shower in hopes of not having body odor or in hopes of cleaning our body. We eat healthy in hopes of living a healthier life. The work we do and get paid for, in many cases, is in hopes of changing and improving something. We watch how much alcohol or substance we use in hopes of not becoming addicted or harming our bodies and minds. Hope plays a big role in how we live our lives, decisions we make, and oftentimes helps us avoid pain and suffering.
Why is hope important?
Hope is a wonderful word. Even when we feel like we can’t move forward, and we can’t see that light at the end of the tunnel. Hope tells us there is light at the end of that tunnel, even if we can’t see it. When we hope something, we also acknowledge a belief. We can believe that hope exists and that having hope in our lives is important. Now I can’t tell you what to believe in or that my hopes are your hopes. That’s what’s beautiful about this. We can make hope whatever we want it to be and use it when we need it. So, think about a time when someone told you that something was possible and maybe you didn’t believe them. What they were really saying is that they have hope for something they wanted to happen. We can adopt that way of thinking and do the work to make it come true.
With that said, 2021 is full of hopes for love, happiness, connection, and whatever else you may want. It’s all possible. And yes, there might be bumps in the road and maybe the road gets a little hard to follow at times, but the hope is still there. Please keep moving forward and know that it’s okay to talk to someone about your feelings, about your hopes and maybe lack of hope. There are people here to help you throughout your journey in life.
The Southern Ute Behavioral Health Division and the Native Connections Program would like to stress that mental health is health. Just as we have our yearly check-ups and even when we experience a toothache or medical emergency, we see a doctor to make sure we are staying healthy. Mental health is the same thing. Maybe we just need someone to talk to, just to check in or we’ve just lost a loved one or we’re noticing anxiety or stress in our life. Mental health applies to everyone no matter the age. We encourage you to seek out someone to talk to even if it’s every now and then. We are here if you need us.
So, let’s start this 2021 creating and feeding hope, not only in our lives but in our family’s and friends’ lives, and especially in our youth. Stoke the flames of hope and help light others’ paths along the way. Let’s make the best out of this new year!
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