I was sitting in my therapist’s office yesterday, quiet and subdued, while we discussed the challenge of recovering from repeated episodes of depression. I had explained that sometimes I take solace in the knowledge that the episodes eventually end, but other times, I despair that depression will inevitably return. In trying to ask me where I sat on the continuum that day, my therapist posed an interesting rhetorical question.
How do you measure hope?
Neither of us answered it, but I found myself pondering it as I left. We measure things because it helps us put them into the context of the world around us. But how do you measure a subjective thing like hope? Can you weigh it? Stand it up against your kitchen doorframe and mark its growth as the years go by? Or maybe you measure it by volume- how much space it takes up in your life; in your goals; in your routines. If you could measure hope in decibels, would yours be louder than your doubt?
For now, I choose to measure hope in binary terms. Hope is hope, no matter how small or dim. If your hope is small, feed it with the belief that the better times are worth it.