Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hope Is Something We Can Learn And Teach

    "I was shocked to discover that hope is not an emotion; it’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process." These words ricocheted out of the book, "The Gifts Of Imperfection" as I read the next chapter. Dr. Brown's description of hope was so close to Elder David Bednar's description of Learning Through Faith,
  "So, hope is a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them, and believing in our own abilities."
   Bro. Bednar's description was a combination of finding assurances, especially those coming from the Holy Ghost, taking action and walking into the unknown, and then seeing evidence of God's hand in the results of our action. So Paul and Moroni are right on; Faith produces a cognitive process called hopefulness, and that way of thinking connects us to God and others, blessing us with charity.
 "Snyder suggests that we learn hopeful, goal-directed thinking in the context of other people. Children most often learn hope from their parents. Snyder says that to learn hopefulness, children need relationships that are characterized by boundaries, consistency, and support."
    In my opinion, we learn it best by the power of the Holy Ghost, but it certainly can be learned around supportive people who model that hopefulness in their lives. For example, my grandson wanted to have a sleepover at my home. He tried it before and felt overwhelming anxiety so we took him back to his house. With a failure hanging over his head, he ended up being with us due to a siblings emergency run to the hospital. As bedtime arrived I assured him that he was tired and would be able to fall asleep. I told him I would check up on him later. It was quiet, I drifted off to sleep myself. In the morning he came into my room with a smile. I reminded him that he slept all night long. There was evidence of his success. Hope had given flight to power.

So people who are resilient are hopeful.They also have these things in common.

  • "They are resourceful and have good problem-solving skills. 
  • They are more likely to seek help. 
  • They hold the belief that they can do something that will help them to manage their feelings and to cope. 
  • They have social support available to them. 
  • They are connected with others, such as family or friends."

      They also have a foundation of spirituality. And, their faith in a power bigger than man's produces hope.
   "From this foundation of spirituality, three other significant patterns emerged as being essential to resilience:

  1.  Cultivating hope 
  2.  Practicing critical awareness
  3.  Letting go of numbing and taking the edge off vulnerability, discomfort, and pain"
Brown, Brene (2010-09-20). The Gifts of Imperfection
  That third one, Letting go of numbing, that is a kicker. We all do some numbing of uncomfortable feelings. But, the hard fact is, you can't selectively numb some feelings and allow others to rise up. Numbing means you can't feel anything; for an hour, a day, or years of your one precious life. More on this subject to come.

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