In the thick of a crisis, this question often presents itself. Perhaps we ask it of ourselves, our close friends, our family members, our therapist.
How we answer this question depends on where we are, in that moment, within the vast complex landscape that lies between pessimism and optimism.
The view from the depths of the murky Valley of Pessimism, fills its beholder with hopelessness.
From this perspective the events in our lives appear permanent: “It will always be this bad,” we assume.
From this perspective, the events in our lives appear pervasive: “This is going to ruin everything,” we fear.
From this perspective, the events in our lives appear personal: “ This is all my fault,” we blame.
In stark contrast, the view from the peak of the glowing, wholesome, Mountain of Optimism fills its beholder with hope.
From this vantage point, the events in our lives appear temporary: “This moment too will pass,” we believe.
From this vantage point the events in our lives appear specific: “There is more in my life,” we acknowledge.
From this vantage point, the events in our lives appear external: “This does not define me,” we determine.
When we ask “Will it always be this bad?” we are asking which way to look. We have a choice to look towards the vibrant colours and long open vistas of optimism, or towards the dark, murky gloom of pessimism.
And the direction we look will determine the direction we walk.
In Solution Focused Therapy we believe in the potential of every question to open up an avenue of hope. Each question carries, within its many answers, the possibility for change. The potential for a different perspective.
We can embrace this potential for hope in the questions we ask ourselves and those around us everyday.
When we ask ‘will it always be this bad?’, we can recognise that there is a part of us that believes it won’t. Recognising this, we can then give this hopeful part ourselves space to lead the way towards positive change.