Things might be awful for you right now.  I hope not, but of course Life does have a way of being miserable sometimes.  And in some cases, it can go on a very long time.

It's not as miserable when you have some control over the situation, when you can actively do something to make it better, to change it in some way and get back to a happier place.  But it really sucks when it's pretty much out of your hands.

In those cases, all you can really do is change yourself, your own attitudes about what's happening.  Trust me, I do understand complete and utter despair.  I've endured some of the worst heartache, the worst illness, the worst fears (but thank heaven I've also been spared many others).  I do know what it is to suffer, so I'm not just talking out of my hat (such a bizarre expression).

When it gets like that for you, you've got to hang onto faith and hope.  And if you've lost them, you've got to dig deep and find them again, even if it's just the tiniest shred of each.

Although it doesn't always feel like it, you have control over what goes on in your head.  You can choose to think about how awful it is and how dark and miserable things are right now and how they're just going to stay that way.

Or you can look ahead and have faith that things will change, that the Wheel of Life will soon begin to turn in your favour again.  You can trust that there will be a bit of good news tomorrow or next week, that you'll see the first signs of improvement in your situation.  Because it will come, you know.  Nothing stays the same forever.  And if you're like I used to be, you'll say, "Yeah, I know.  It can get worse!"

And yes, that's true.  But equally, it also means that things can get better.  If you're gonna give some time and energy to the negative, the positive deserves at least the same attention.  Be fair and give it equal time. Or more.

Then find a little hope.  If you've lost that too, then make some more.  You do it by remembering other times when things were dark and horrible, but then they got better.  C'mon, don't tell me that every single minute of your whole existence since birth has been awful.  Even if there has been a lot of misery, if there have been many hardships, some of them will have made room for brighter days in the past.

And I'll bet that when you were in the soup back then, you might not have thought it would ever get better.  But it did.

And it'll get better again.  You create faith and you create hope by choosing to welcome them into your thoughts, by opening your mind, your heart, your life to them and telling yourself - no, by insisting - that your situation will improve.

Even in terminal illness there is room for faith and hope.  Have faith in the strength of your spirit's ability to face what lies ahead, to accept the situation and find peace.  Have hope that your suffering will be eased, that you will find comfort in your spiritual beliefs or in being with loved ones during this very difficult time.

The Universe doesn't always give us what we want.  But it always gives us what we need.  And if you need courage, strength, faith or hope, even if you have to look for them, you will always find them.