We move daily—by opening our eyes, taking a breath, getting out of bed, entering the world. Because we do it so often, we can take it for granted. But for a moment, let’s not.
Your movement has power. Every act has a repercussion, every pebble makes a ripple in the fabric of the cosmos, every word you speak impacts the lives of those around you.
Your movement makes a difference.
Today marks six years since Hope Movement was created. We are an organisation that began through a moving of hearts, of words, of beliefs and of actions.
When I was 14, I laid still in my bed. Overcome by disappointment and weighted with confusion and anger. I had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and Chronic Fatigue ruled my life. I remember the darkness well, but light soon moved into the neighbourhood. A movement of Hope entered my heart as I heard the words, “You are not alone.”
When I was 18, I sat in the mall with a brave girl I’d just met. We sipped our milkshakes as she chose to share her story with me. A story of her day, her family, her hopes and dreams. Only half way through our catch up did I realise just how courageous she was in opening up about her pain. There were marks upon her body, which were similar to those I had felt in my soul when I was at rock bottom. As we parted ways, she hugged me. It was as if she was telling me that by sharing our stories, “Tomorrow can be better”.
When I was 23, I stood in front of a photobooth at a festival with some friends. HOPE was scrawled across our marquee wall, and as music blasted in the background, hordes of people joined us and began to write on the walls surrounding us. Together, we were building a community of Hope, built by the very people in front of us. Young people experiencing mental health problems, family breakdown and suicidal thoughts were moving forward together, declaring, “Hope is here” as they shared their deepest hopes with the community we now found ourselves in.
When I was 25, I sat in front of a psychologist. I did not know who I was anymore, I felt static and scared. It had taken me awhile, but I had finally been able to make the move towards healing after being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The psychologist invited me to tell her about the past year. There was no pressure as I let my heart slowly open and told her a little about the trauma. My psychologist listened, my heart felt like it began to beat again, and Hope began to move.
When I was 27, I entered a new neighbourhood. A place many had called desolate, isolated, God forsaken. We ate food together, sang together, and talked together. I spent a lot of time with school students talking with them about their mental health, identity and resilience. Some had said to me that by moving into this new space, I was bringing Hope. But the more time I spent with people in this community, the more I found that Hope was already there, and I simply got to witness it being made known throughout the everyday interactions of neighbours.
The stigma upon the community was much like the false beliefs that affect those (like myself) who experience mental health issues. These mis-conceptions kept others from really getting to know the stories of those behind the labels.
I began to learn that instead of being desolate, we were full of growth. The barren places in us were full of seeds, that when watered burst into creativity, potential and initiative. We were never as isolated as we felt.
In this case, the people who loved us were only a quick walk down the street. And eventually, I found myself believing that none of us were God forsaken. We were not too far gone, not too different, too cynical or hurt. I saw God within this place that many had ignored. Movements of respect, peace, laughter and healing amongst adversity made that plainer to me then ever before.
Today, we are six years old, but this movement of Hope existed long before any of us were here. Movement is in the makeup of creation. It’s in every sunrise and sunset, and every cell in our bodies. We have been made to move, stamped with the promise that we will see the morning, find the help we need, and discover a life full of purpose, promise and hope.
Hope is not stagnant. It is moving and ever present, inviting us to join its rhythms, use its language, and tattoo its name upon our hearts.
Thank you for joining the movement of Hope friends. We are the movers and shakers, the dreamers and doers, the hopeful and the expectant. We are those willing to take a risk and ask for help. When we do this, we are joining a movement that promises that although we will have dark nights, the days after will hold meaning and healing.
We are Hope Movement.