The world we live in appears so full of upheaval and uncertainty. Turn on the news, pick up a newspaper, and each day seems to bring new revelations of chaos and of man's simple inhumanity to man.
Who can really be blamed for sometimes thinking that the world itself is going - to use that dangerously unfashionable word - quite mad?
We live, as the Chinese curse goes, in truly interesting times.
With such an atmosphere of uneasiness, a zeitgeist of misgiving and mistrust, where those values we learned to hold dear are being challenged on so many different fronts, it is easy to loose hope, to experience feelings of despondency.
But there is always a reason to hope. Always.
As I child I heard the story of the tiny seed scattered on the ground and seemingly stuck there. Uncaring feet trample on it, driving it down into the dirt, the cold and the wet.
In spite of all this it does what it can. What it must. Its roots reach down into the darkness where nourishment somehow lies. And the smallest of shoots strive tentatively upwards towards the warmth of the sun.
It does not give up and it does not give in. Despite the wind and the rain it continues to grow until it transforms into the tree that stands the test of time, anchored in itself and in the good earth.
If you are feeling down, discouraged, or hopeless, remember that little seed. Resourceful and resilient though it is, you are even more so.
Remember that regardless of what is happening in the world, or in your life, there is always a reason to hope. Find that seed within yourself and you and life will be all right.
'Hope is being able to see that there is light, despite all of the darkness.'
-- Desmond Tutu
Peter Field is a UK registered psychotherapist and board certified hypnotherapist. His hypnotherapy Birmingham and London clinics provide hypno-psychotherapy services for a wide range of issues. His extensive range self-hypnosis downloads are also available.