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Habit of Happy Mothers #10: HOPE

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Dr. Meg Meeker

We introduce Habit #10 in The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers on the blog today. I’ve been briefly touching on each habit, chapter by chapter here on my blog over the last few months. I hope you’ve been following along! If you need a quick recap, you can read all the posts on the habits here.

Happy Habit #10: Hope is a Decision

As we age, something in us pushes hope away.

It begins to go underground, if you will; it doesn’t leave us, because it is part of our nature, our being. Coworkers make us cynical, friends make us angry, and families hurt us. Children disappoint us and our work leaves us feeling empty. We search for something we cannot grab hold of, something that will satisfy our deep longing. But since we usually look in the wrong places, we experience feelings of hopelessness. We have lost or failed and those feelings lead us to shove hope away. We will accept hopelessness because it makes more sense than feeling hopeful.  Hopelessness is safe. It allows us to know that we have nothing to lose by embracing it. Hopelessness leads to nothing. Hope leads to something good but that frightens us because we can’t bear one more disappointment. We decide on hopelessness because it is safe.

To be a mother who has hope is to make two important leaps.First, we must train ourselves to be optimistic and think positively. This takes work and many of us are afraid to do this. Second, we must let hope release our control. Neither being optimistic nor being positive forces us to do that. Yes, hope says to us that we must believe positively, but we also put our hope in something or someone. These are the two ares where we make mistakes when it comes to maintaining hope in our lives. We either lose hope because all optimism has been beaten out of us by painful circumstances, or because we refuse to accept that we have no control over many situations. Until we fully face the latter, we cannot live a life of genuine hope. But it is possible.

I’ll post about how to cultivate an attitude of appreciation, how to trust, how to work on expecting good things in the future and how to challenge negative thinking next week, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, read the amazing examples of hope in Chapter 10 showed by Edna and Rosabella (starting on page 206) in The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers.

What about you? Take a gut check–how hopeful are you about your life, your children’s life, etc.?

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