Personal Reflections

Cultivating Hope During Difficult Times

September 26, 2021

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This week I want to talk about something that feels more vulnerable to share… There has been a lot going on around the world (in almost every aspect) and it can be hard to not get bogged down in doom-scrolling.  I’ve personally been exploring how to cope with this, and hope this insight resonates if you are struggling as well.
Finding hope isn’t selfish. Creating joy doesn’t mean you don’t care about what’s going on in the world.
Sometimes when things are intense in the world and there is a lot of horror happening, I feel as though I must stay constantly in tune with it.

As if my attention alone will fix it. I fear any hope I find means I’m not paying attention. I fear finding moments of joy means I don’t care.

Maybe you’ve felt this way too?

In these moments, I have to remind myself that I can pay attention to reality *and* look for hope.

For a long time, I dealt with sadness or anger by turning inward and harming myself. It used to be cutting, drinking, binging, purging, or other types of self destruction.

Nowadays it’s more subtle. It’s turning away from moments of joy. It’s denying myself of things that bring me pleasure.

It’s saying, well the world is on fire, so I may as well act like it.

This is still harming myself in a way. Because the truth is for me, if I don’t allow myself to feel hope, I will struggle to take action. So instead of trying to fix everything, today I am trying to focus on one thing I can do to help. Learning and paying attention *and* allowing myself to cultivate hope.

For me (and I suspect most of us with depression or mental health issues), hope isn’t optional. It’s necessary for survival.

May we hold grief and hope together.

Until next time,


  1. Jane Shure says:

    Amanda –

    I read the PESI announcement about your Boundaries training and then noticed that you lived in Philadelphia – where I live as well. Our work and way of thinking is very complimentary. I’d be happy to be added to your mailing list and am glad to know that you and your team at Therapy for Women are meeting with people both in person and virtually.

    I am always looking for therapists for referral, especially as I have reduced my clinical hours and am no longer meeting with clients in person.

    Feel free to check out my website:

    Enjoy this holiday season,


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