Living with Hope

Good morning! May you have a fruitful day, filled with the hope of living.

Several searches today had to do with hopelessness, and wanting some inspirational quotes about hope. While I do not have quotes, I do have a general way in which I talk about hope, and that is what I wish to share with you today.

Webster defines hope as a desire accompanied by expectation, a feeling that what is wanted will happen. Perhaps hopelessness occurs over the expectations we hold, and when they are not met, we become disappointed. Not knowing how to deal with or even recognize the fact that we are disappointed, we feel hopeless instead.

Let’s look at that a minute. We can have hope that things will turn out a certain way, and that’s where it needs to end. We hope, and then we let go of the outcome, willing to become pleasantly surprised if our hope is met. To add an expectation to the mix only invites disappointment to come when our hope is not met.

So, it seems the trouble lies in our expectations. I think this is so. Often, our expectations have to deal with how another will treat us, or how a situation will turn out. The fact is, we have no control over either – not how another will act nor how a situation will turn out. So, our expectations become unrealistic and we set ourselves up for a shattered hope, and out of that grows hopelessness.

We can avoid that scenario from happening by dropping our expectations. Just let them go. If the thing we hope for does not occur, then we can be disappointed and it does not go into deeper emotions. We do not need to dip into the realm of hopelessness. Instead, we can move forward in our lives to the next situation.

For example, I auditioned on Thursday for a chance to speak on someone’s stage for 20 minutes at a large networking event. This would be a wonderful opportunity for me to get my message of hope out to lots of people. I hope I am one of the six selected out of 35. And I truly hope for this. If it does not occur, I will be disappointed, yet, it will not crush me and I will not believe that life is hopeless, or I am hopeless, because I do not win.

Instead, I will acknowledge my disappointment, talk about it to a couple of people, and move on to the next opportunity when it comes along. In fact, I will create new opportunities to speak by taking action. This is relatively new behavior for me, as I spent most of my life hoping and expecting things to occur that didn’t, and when they didn’t, I became despairing and hopeless, bitter and cynical.

In present day, I realize that sometimes, what I want is not intended to be, that another opportunity will come along, something else that I do not know about currently. And I move forward. This attitude is new in sobriety… I learned to live this way in sobriety. It is a softer and more gentle way to live, believe me.

I can have an expectation and be bitterly disappointed or hopeless when it doesn’t occur, or, I can look forward with hope and when something doesn’t happen as I had hoped, I can look forward to the next opportunity to come along. It is my choice; I choose the latter as a way to live. I choose to live with hope in my life.

How about you? What are the expectations you are placing on your hope? Can you learn to hope and let go of the outcome?

 

 

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Feelings of Giving Up and Hopelessness

Good morning! I have been assent for the past two days, and you visited anyway. Thank you for that. I hope you found information that was useful for you.

Today, the search term which touched my heart was “feelings of giving up and hopelessness.” So, now that you have learned the process of how to forgive, let’s turn our attention to healing and getting past hopelessness.

This term touched my heart deeply because I was once at the place of giving up. I was praying to die because I felt my life had no purpose, that the abuse I had suffered early in life was only for the purpose of making my life miserable. And because I was there, praying to die, I recall how miserable I felt, and so, I wish to be of use to those of you who are struggling with giving up.

I gently say, please do not give up. Things can get better. There is hope. For your life to turn around, you need to muster up all your energy and take one action. Can you do that for me? Will you promise you’ll do this one thing? It has two parts. Will you do them? Great. Let’s proceed…

When I was at my lowest low, praying to die because I was too afraid to kill myself, I was able to get out of that space by being of use to another person who was in the middle of feelings of hopelessness. I shared one thing that had been useful for me, and he was so grateful, tears came to his eyes.

You, too, can do the same thing. Here’s how. The first step of this process is to get a notebook, a wire-bound one, even available at 7-11 for a couple of bucks. Start writing in it every morning, even for 15 minutes… printing, with your “other” hand, your non-dominant hand. Write about your feelings of hopelessness, why you are feeling hopeless, what the circumstances of your life are that lead to those feelings. Write about your past that has led up to these feelings.

What you will find is that all sorts of deep emotions will well up and flow onto the page. You may find yourself sobbing and this is okay. Keep going. You may need to take a break to allow yourself to feel your emotions, yet, feel them. Allow yourself to just “be” with them.  Try not to numb your feelings with substances or activity. Certainly, if you are having difficulty dealing with the feelings that arise. consider getting therapy assistance. Sometimes, this is free or low-cost at your county mental health department.

When you are able to look at and feel those feelings of hopelessness, you begin to heal from them. Remember, the only way out of them is through them. What you resist, persists. When you shine light on those dark and depressing emotions, you begin to heal.

At the end of each writing session, write down one thing for which you are grateful, just one thing. Allow yourself to hold onto that one thing throughout the day. It may be as simple as the fact that you are able to write. Just be grateful.

After a time of doing this, you will see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Now, be on the lookout for someone else who is feeling that feeling of hopelessness, too, someone who is despairing. Share with them the writing exercise, including the one thing for which to be grateful. Focus on them, not you, for the entire time you are speaking with them. Be a good listener of their woes, and then encourage them to write about it, print about it, with their non-dominant hand. Share with them what this experience has been like for you.

Walk away from that experience knowing that you have made a positive impact on someone else’s life. When you realize this, you will begin to feel more and more hope as you help more and more people. You will feel useful, that you have purpose. Make it a mission to help another and this will help with your hopelessness.

I wish you well on your journey.

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Overcoming Hopelessness and Despair

Good morning. May this be a pleasant and productive day for you all. Today, there were numerous searches for issues related to hopelessness and despair, so that is what I will address today.

There are no two things that are so emotionally draining as hopelessness and despair. And once we are feeling these, we feel physically drained as well. We are chronically depressed, and have no energy or desire to do anything. At least, that is how it was for me.

For me, there was a feeling that things could not and would not get better. That hopelessness and despair touched everything I tried to do, and I seemed to just keep failing. Soon, I gave up. I started praying to die because I was too afraid to kill myself. The biggest thing I was despairing about was my background, the abuse, and feeling it was for no purpose in my life other than to make me miserable.

Then one day, something happened which took away the hopeless and despair in an instant. I was at a meeting where a man shared about his continued difficulties with his childhood issues. Hmmm, he sounded like he had a similar background as mine, so I went to talk to him after the meeting.

After I asked if he wanted to hear what I had to say, I relayed my story a little bit, and then started telling him about the things I was doing to try and get past the effects of the abuse. I told him about my therapist who was versed in 12-step programs as well as Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) issues.  He asked how to reach her and I told him.

Then I started talking about books I had read which had been very helpful in putting the puzzle together about my hopelessness and despair. John Bradshaw, Alice Miller, and the most helpful, Claudia Black. He was so grateful for this information he almost started crying.

As I walked to my car, I started crying as I realized there was a purpose for my abusive upbringiing. It was to have experienced it so I could relate to others and the hopelessness and despair they felt because of it, and then so I could relay how I was healing from it. And doing this was useful and helpful to others who were suffering from hopelessness and despair. Suddenly, the feelings went away, and I felt refreshed, lightened, alive.

To get past your feelings of hopelessness and despair, I suggest you consider all the things you have done that have helped you, even a tiny bit, to feel better. Then, seek out others who are dealing with what you are dealing with, and relay to them what has been working for you in your journey.

In other words, use your successes to build up someone else. Use your experiences to be of service to another who is suffering from hopelessness and despair. When you do this, your own hopelessness and despair will lessen.

Let us know if this has been helpful for you to be of service to another by leaving a comment. Thank you.

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Feelings of Despair and Hopelessness

Good morning and welcome back. Today I will discuss despair and hopelessness, and how to get past them. This was a search term from the 6th. There have been minimal visits to this site since that day and I am confused why that is. If anyone can clue me in, I’d be most grateful.

I have addressed despair and hopelessness before, and I would like to expand upon what I have said. Despair is giving up all hope, or being without hope. Hopelessness is the feeling that things will not and cannot get better. It is a sense of futility about continuing one’s efforts.

When one is in this space, there is a feeling of giving up. At least, that’s how it was for me in 2005 when I felt huge despair and hopelessness. I prayed to God to let me die because I did not have the courage to commit suicide. But I truly wanted my life to end because I could not go on feeling these feelings.

God did not let me die, obviously, because here I am, writing about how to get past despair and hopelessness. For me, it was a process; it did not happen overnight. The first thing that happened was I allowed myself to be treated in the mental health system; I sought out help at someone’s recommendation and urging.

When I sought out emotional help, I discovered I had major depression. Although I fought it for some time, I finally allowed the doctor to put me on an anti-depression medication. Boy, what a difference that made in my spirits! I learned that I had most likely experienced brain changes because of the physical and verbal abuse I’d endured in early years, and that the medication allowed my brain to function more normally.

That was the first thing that happened to me. The second thing that happened was when I discovered how my past experiences were of use to another person who was suffering. In fact, I was only a few steps ahead of him in the healing process, but it was enough to relay to him what I had done up until that point, such as books I had read that were helpful, the name of my therapist, and the trick of journaling, printing actually, with my left, non-dominant hand.

When I journaled that way, all sorts of deep feelings arose, as did comforting words to soothe me. The words just appeared on the page. All I did was to be willing to accept some responsibility for my healing, and to follow up by journaling, taking medication, seeing my therapist and reading self-help books that dealt with being an abused child. (Claudia Black, John Bradshaw, and Alice Miller are three that were very important to me and brought me solace and relief.)

With these practices and actions, I was slowly able to crawl out of my despair and I began to have hope. All it took was a little bit of hope, and that grew as I continued doing the things I mentioned above. Today, I am a whole person, still on medication, no longer seeing a therapist, and I experience peace and joy on a daily basis. I am extremely hopeful in the present moment and for the future. Like I said, I am at peace.

You, too, can experience relief from your despair and hopelessness. The path I took may be beneficial for you, as it was for me. The key is willingness, being willing to take an active role in your attempts to crawl out of the quagmire, and then taking action to follow up. If you elect to do that, to recover from despair and hopelessness, I wish you every success in the world.

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Overcoming Hopelessness

There were three search terms about hopelessness yesterday, so I want to address it. Hopelessness is the feeling one has that things cannot and will not get better. It is a feeling that you are at the end of your rope, cannot go on. It’s a miserable and difficult place to be.

I was about 5-6 years sober when hopelessness hit me full-force. Nothing I did mattered. I had no energy or “spark” to try anything new to get past the hopeless feeling. I just wanted to die and I prayed to God to let that happen.

Well, I continued to live until one day, I had the good fortune to discover my purpose in life, which gave me a reason to live, and that gave me hope. My purpose involves being of service to others. There is something grounding about being of service to others, something that makes your actions so much more meaningful than if you are doing something just for yourself.

I had been despairing and hopeless about the years of abuse I had endured; I believed there was no purpose to that experience. Then, I was shown that there was a purpose to that experience, and it was that I was to share with others how I healed from the effects of the abuse so that others might be helped past their pain and wounds.

With a purpose, my hopelessness was silenced and I came out of despair. All my actions had as my purpose to be of service to others. This further silenced my hopelessness.

You, too, can find hope when you discover your life’s purpose, your purpose right now. It may be to nurture your children or husband, or to share your story with others so that they might grow and heal. As you go through the day, stay aware of what is going on around you and notice when you feel “at home” with an activity or feeling.

Notice what you are doing when that feeling of being complete and whole comes over you. Perhaps, this is your calling… doing in the world the activity that brings you calm and peace. Once you have identified the thing that gives you great pleasure, keep engaging in it. If it is helping others through sharing your experiences and triumphs, then keep sharing.

To overcome hopelessness, uncover your purpose in life and engage in it. It will fulfill you, and you will get past the hopelessness.

 

 

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Combatting Worthlessness and Feelings You Have No Value

I was taken aback by a search term… “I have no value.” My heart went out to the person who wrote this, in a state of worthlessness. Oh, it would be easy for me to say, yes, you do have value! But unless you believe that in your heart and soul about yourself, it is to no avail. I wish for you who believe you have no value, a turn-around in beliefs about yourself…

Two other search terms had to do with hopelessness. So, I want to write about feeling no value, and the worthlessness and hopelessness that those feelings generate.

I spent the majority of my life feeling I had no value, in a state of worthlessness. As a result, I felt a great deal of hopelessness A large part had to do with the fact that I was told by a parent every day that I was worthless… well, maybe every-other-day. The effect it had on me has been lasting, and I continue to struggle with it, even today… somedays.

My solution to stop the horror I felt over my worthlessness, having no value, was to drink… heavily… I started at age 22 and continued until age 48, at which time I got sober. Sobriety has been with me for close to twelve years and it has changed the way I see myself. Today, I see my value, my worth. It was a struggle to get to that point, so I understand you may be going through the same thing now. Take a deep breath…

When you are feeling worthless and of no value in the world, each day is an extreme effort… an effort to get up, to get dressed and to eat. Each activity becomes a dreaded chore. It is a challenge to live each day. There is no point in living, existing in this space of worthlessness and no value. If you are like I was, you are afraid to commit suicide and so you are praying to God to let you die. Deep breath….

What changed that around for me in about the fifth or sixth year of sobriety was finding my purpose in life. I had the opportunity to help someone out who was suffering emotionally. I did that by sharing my own story and how I had healed partially from my difficulties. The information I gave to the man was useful for him and he was grateful, so much so he almost started crying.

From that experience, I felt I had something to offer someone and I felt grand about being able to help him out… I felt a purpose by telling my story of physical, verbal, and emotional trauma early in life, and how I healed from the effects of it, how my sobriety helped that endeavor. You see, people are interested in you and your story when it involves something they can use in their life to make themselves feel better.

If you think about another… their difficulties, their struggles… and truly reach out to help, maybe by sharing what you have been through and how you came out the other side, you feel better about yourself and you begin to realize your value, for you and your story are of use to others and that gives you value. Just by being a human on the earth, you have value. Your lessons learned are of value to others. Take a deep breath…

To get out of myself, I had to first have a sense of who I was, what I felt about myself, so I identified my feelings of despair, anger, hurt and decided I wanted something different in my life or I WOULD die! So I looked at all the good things I had done with and in my life, and there were many that I’d kind of brushed aside, so I stopped and really considered them.

Like, I was a nurse and provided genuine, caring services to my patients for 22 years. No, I did not do direct patient care much of that time, and yes, I had an impact on the quality of people’s lives. I identified and felt my caring and compassionate nature and I gave myself credit for those things. I began to feel I may have some redeemable character traits.

The bottom line is, do some honest soul-searching, a deep look at yourself, and identify one thing about yourself that you do well. Revel in it and amaze yourself over that ability. Just be with it for a day or so… Take a deep breath…

Then go on to the next thing that amazes you about yourself. If you have to use what another has said about you to find something positive, then do that. The point is to see yourself in a positive light and to really look closely and gently at that. With great compassion for the little child that feels so badly about herself, himself. Smile for that child… give them some hope…

Continue the above exercise until you are seeing evidence of your value, your worth in the world. Let that settle into your heart. Just sit with that for days and days… Then move onto the next part, which I will talk about tomorrow….

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Inspirational Sayings That Can Help Change Hopelessness to Hope

Many people go from great despair and depression to hopelessness; they go hand in hand, it seems. It is possible to find inspirational sayings that help change hopelessness to hope, but we have to be in the right mind-set for them to sink in. Often, when we feel hopeless, we are not able let anything in – we are too exhausted emotionally to hear anything, too depressed to care, too bereft to sort out what is coming our way.

For me, hopelessness was a feeling that there was no use to live, no purpose to my life. I was totally listless and had no belief that things would get better. In fact, I felt so hopeless, I prayed to die. I found my thought that things could not get better, to be untrue, however. Hope crept in…

I am an inspirational sayings and quote kinda gal, and I found inspirational quotes about life that helped turn my hopelessness around. I just kept reading quotes. I also did a lot of recovery work involving much reading, and I was taking what I read and applying it to my situation.

Because of my work with sobriety, I reached out to help another and, through that action, discovered that the painful events of my lifetime had meaning and purpose. I discovered that when I relayed my story to another who was in pain, and humbly offered what I have found that helped me through it, he expressed gratitude for me sharing; he said it was very helpful to him.

As I processed what had happened, I realized that my painful experiences in life had been necessary so I could relate to this person’s pain and have compassion. I realized they were for the purpose of sharing them and the solutions I have found to heal from them. Suddenly, I had purpose! My life had purpose. I felt useful to others. It was this realization that led me to come out of despair and to feel hope. In fact, I have not felt hopeless since that day. What a blessing; such a gift.

I think when we do for others, we can recognize that tender part of our heart. Seeing that in ourselves, it resonates with what we would like to be in the world – perhaps kindness, perhaps giving.  And we begin to say to ourselves that a person with a tender part in their heart cannot be all bad or worthless. That is a redeeming quality. Ah, a beacon of hope .

“May a ray of light across the bars of your being light your way, instill hope in your heart.” That is for those who struggle with hopelessness, worthlessness and is a modification of what is in the book, as I made it about you, and not me.  I like Kathryn Hepburn’s words, “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw anyone out.” And I add, including yourself. Don’t throw anyone out, including yourself.

So move forward with intention (the aim of the root to anchor and the leaf to find the sun) and provide kindness to another (kindness-the touch of an innocent heart on the broken wing of a fallen bird).  Go with courage (the will to act in the face of fear guided by trust and the knowing of the moment) and go with trust (the arm that reaches through apparent circumstances and holds steadfast to identify with Source).

 

 

 

 

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How to Surrender, to Let Go

Surrender of Pretense

“It is time to let others see the pitted and rusted metal that is me. It is time to let myself come out from behind my gates.”

This is the topic in the book which follows despair. Just a recap… we are blogging through the book, one topic at a time, as they appear in the book. The order of the topics reflects my own journey of healing, as I experienced these emotions or beliefs in this order.

Todays topic, surrender, or letting go, is a pivotal point at which things can begin to turn around. It is the point at which we open ourselves to the Universe, open ourselves to receive from the Universe. For some, it may feel like giving up in despair. This does not have to be the case, however.

How does one give up, without it feeling like despair and failure? It is helpful to adopt the attitude that the only thing we have control over is ourselves. Once we believe this, we can understand that all our fretting and worrying about the results of our actions are out of our hands, out of our control.

We can begin to see that our worrying or chasing the results we want are wasted energy, which could be better spent taking action. What does that mean? It means assessing every situation, looking at our part in the affair, determining if there is anything we can do, and then doing it – taking action.

Then, we let go of the results; we leave it up to the Universe. We turn our attention to the next thing in front of us to do. and we do it. Every time our thoughts return to that outcome for which we wait, we need to remind ourselves that we have turned that issue over, that we are allowing the Universe to bring us what we need, which may not be what we want. We have to be prepared for that.

Letting go, surrendering, becomes easier with time and practice. A benefit of turning things over is that we develop patience. Another is that we are not obsessing over the results for which we are looking.

This practice is extremely useful for those trying to keep sober, as well as for anyone who has trouble with trying to manage and control everything, trying to force things to happen.  The practice of surrender leads to peace.

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How to Manage Feeling Worthless

Corner of Worthlessness

I try and try to climb to the light of my being, yet, I cannot scale the wall of my worthlessness. So I collapse, again, in the shadows…

a heap of broken debris in the corner.

Feeling worthless. One of low self-esteem, loss of self-respect. The feeling that no one appreciates your efforts, that you do not matter to anyone, or to very few. Nothing you do is good enough, so why bother? Just writing about it brings an energy-draining feeling.

From there, feeling worthless often leads to self-pity, which can generate shame for having those feelings. Many numb these feelings with the use of drugs, alcohol, shopping, eating… In the most drastic cases, these feelings lead to suicidal thoughts and, sometimes, actions.

Where does it originate? Some say it stems from the early, formative years, if one repeatedly hears they are defective, not good enough. Yet, one can develop feelings of worthlessness if in a bad relationship, for example, where one endures continual put-downs, degradations. The words heard become adopted as our own and we continue to degrade ourselves; we don’t need others.

How would one manage feeling worthless? It is said that doing esteem-able acts is a way to increase one’s self-esteem, and thus, decrease or resolve those feelings. One might also discover their calling, whereby their actions are geared toward fulfilling an identified purpose. Often, one’s purpose is useful to others, which raises one’s self-esteem and self-respect.

Counseling of some sort to resolve those underlying feelings can be very useful and yield a positive self-esteem and self-confidence, thus, minimizing feelings of worthlessness.

Doing an honest inventory of yourself and your skills can lead to the realization that what was told to you was not true, that you do have many assets and many positive attributes.

Feeling worthless is so damaging to our spirit. It leads us to dangerous places in our mind and heart. The degrading things we were told or that we tell ourselves is not who we are. We are all delightful beings, each with specific skills and strengths. Learn those about yourself. Above all, be gentle with yourself as you heal.

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