Hope can be hard to hang onto when you have multiple sclerosis. This illness can sneak up on you, evade detection, or even live strongly within you while others fail to see what’s going on. We can feel like we’re going nuts.

MS can be audacious in its attempts to bring us down. That’s why we need to be equally bold in our hope that our illness can be tempered.

In my quest to hold onto hope while living with MS, I’ve found certain things to be true. These truths can be accepted or not. But the beautiful thing about hope is it’s always there when we want it.

Yes, it can take bravery to hope – especially when you have a chronic illness. But it’s far from impossible. Here are five things I know to be true about hope:

1. Hope is ours to have. Other people don’t give us hope. Stories of strength and bravery are fantastic to read, but it’s not the stories that give hope. Other people can’t give us hope, either (nor can they take it away). We have hope because we allow ourselves to have it. It’s as simple as that.

Only we can give ourselves the gift of hope.

2. Hope doesn’t depend on what happens to us. We don’t need everything to go right in our life. Hope doesn’t elude us when things go wrong. Our symptoms from MS don’t take hope away. That would be like a stubbed toe taking away your love for ice cream. That’s impossible. As is MS taking away our hope.

We can decide to hope regardless of what is going on in our life.

3. Hope is an unlimited resource. The supply of hope is endless. We can’t use it up. Or deplete it for the day. It doesn’t get worn out, or tired. It never expires or goes bad. And it never, ever turns on us.

There is not one shred of darkness in hope.

4. Hope is extremely powerful. This is no small thing we’re playing with. Having hope can change the course of our beliefs. It can solidify our expectations. It can improve our health and our life. Having hope changes how we approach and react to situations and people.

Hope is what bold moves, big risks and huge payoffs are made of.

5. Hope is available right here, right now. It’s right here next to you. Waiting for you to pick it up and hold it close. Hope is never lost. It’s exactly where you think it will be. You don’t have to search for it. It’s not eluding you.

Hope is waiting patiently for you.

Hope is love and truth. It’s always here and always available.
True hope is never followed by a “but…”. That’s not hope. That’s doubt.

What turns hope into doubt is your belief that you can’t have what you most want.

Whatever reason you have, however logical it may sound, I promise it’s never worth giving up hope.

Having hope is not a fool’s journey. In fact, the cleverest among us that know the secret to living well is utilizing hope.

Hope for a beautiful day.
Hope for the perfect temperature.
Hope for a great hair day and less drama with your clothes.

But also hope for your symptoms to get better.
Hope for MS to stop.
Hope for remission.
Hope for a cure.

You can hope for anything you like.

What are you hoping for?

What good things are you hoping for?
Tell me in the comments below!