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Mental Health

Finding Hope by Letting Go of Expectation

Sarah Hope Marshall
4 min readDec 30, 2021

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Today is December 30, 2021, and society is at the turn of yet another year. The past two years have been challenging for everyone. Combine a dangerous global pandemic, turbulent cultural events, increased crime and gun violence here in the United States, and a series of a natural disasters and it all adds up to a very difficult season. Year-end memes are abundant online today, and social media is full of short, pithy posts about keeping expectations for 2022 low. It is hard to breathe a sigh of relief about closing another year when Covid-19 cases are hitting record highs. Everyone I know has at least one person in their circle with this virus right now.

I also have done my fair share of complaining about the ways the pandemic has impacted my life. Yet I know I am one of the fortunate ones. Myself and my family members have escaped serious health impacts of Covid-19. But I missed the opportunity to be on campus for the last year of a graduate program. 2020 was the year I took a sabbatical from working to study a topic I was deeply interested in at a school I had only once dreamed of attending. I studied for endless hours in a rocking chair in my little home office instead of in a library or collaboratively with peers.

Then in 2021, I fully launched my own business, a dream I had for years. While that may sound like a humble-brag, it has been anything but easy. I have always naturally sold and marketed my services through face-to-face conversation. The pandemic took a critical skill set away. I was also a professional speaker that traveled regularly before 2020. Virtual speaking, while useful, lacks the energy of standing in front of an audience. Like so many small business owners, I was painfully ill-equipped to build a digital business. I have spent way too many hours trying to be creative while isolated in my home for everlasting months and months, without an end in sight. Creativity feels lost as the world outside the four walls of my home offers scant and sparse inputs for ideas.

No one has escaped these past two years unscathed. Measuring pain and heartache was never meant to be a competition. Some of us have loved ones no longer with us. Others have had to cancel weddings, missed graduations, rearranged entire family structures, uprooted their…

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Sarah Hope Marshall

Founder: Profound Hope Industries. Helping individuals, organizations and community be well and do well through workshops, training, and consulting.