Monday, September 14, 2009


I've been thinking a great deal about hope--especially how hope is lost. Then again can it ever be lost? And how can it be restored?

Over the weekend a friend tagged me on facebook for a meme and one of the questions really got me thinking--it was "what is the most demeaning thing that anyone has ever said to you during your working life?" I think that self-worth is powerful. How we see ourselves is so much a part of the experiences we've had. So often our self-worth is a result of things that happened to us throughout the years--be it horrible school experiences, abusive relationships, poor marriages, working relationships, etc.

How do you help a person get over those kinds of things? How do you help them not waste the rest of their lives feeling bad about themselves when more often than not it isn't them.

I believe that love helps a great deal. You may laugh but every time I watch "Rocky" and see the transformation of Adrienne, I marvel. He helps her to see her worth. Then there's Johnny Lingo--Mahana's transformation is amazing. I don't think those were just physical transformations, they were deeper than that.

Let me just add here that I know that the love of God can heal us. I understand. I heard a talk yesterday at Church that was the perfect example of how this works. A young man who has had a less than ideal life spoke of his journey--a mom who was institutionalized, a dad who used that as a crutch to never work, going from foster home to foster home, and finally coming to understand and feel God's love which led him to change his life.

I realize there are lots of programs out there, but if you had a sister, a brother, a daughter, a son, who had lost hope, how would you help? I realize there is no simple answer, just wondering what you think. Thanks for your input.


Connie said...

What you said is so true! The love of God can and does transform us to reach our potential. It's hard to see someone lose hope. There is a power in hope that can't be matched. I don't have a specific answer to your question...perhaps just lots of prayers for the person.
Hope you're doing well.

Heffalump said...

Unconditional love for the person who has lost hope is a good step. Sometimes just knowing they are loved helps. Bearing testimony (when moved upon by the Spirit of course) of God's love and of their worth can be powerful.
Prayers on their behalf are always good, and prayers with them, if you have the kind of relationship that allows for that...
Having hope yourself. It can be contagious.
There are times though, when people pass through emotional times when there is nothing that anyone else can do to give them hope. Then all you can do is love them, pray for them and wait for them to come out the other side. Don't give up on them.

mindyluwho said...

I've just recently done an in-depth study on hope and have some thoughts I'd love to share with you. I don't have time to answer right now, but wanted you to know I read this. I think understanding the love of God is the most important factor.

Melissa said...

I think you're right. I think letting a person know that you love them and that God loves them is a good first step. And honestly, the second step for me would totally depend on the person. I have a family member who seems... well, to break easily. This person needs more of a gentle approach. My brother on the other hand prefers a more brutally honest way of things. I think it takes a lot of prayer on your part... praying for the person but also praying that you'll know the right things to say at the right time.

Nancy Face said...

Adrienne reminds me of Mahana, too. :)

I really have no idea how I could help someone who had had lost all hope, other than love and prayer.

ShEiLa said...

When ever anyone mentions losing hope I just think of all the advice given by wise church leaders... and they say never give up hope. So many are struggling with lost jobs and homes and cars... trying to feed their families and surviving on less than ever before and I am grateful for what I have... but wonder if I could remain hopeful in such dire circumstances. It is probably a human trait to lose hope from time to time. We just need to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and look to those that have a brightness of hope.


Corrine said...

what a tough question...I am not sure how you do that. I have several friends who I think almost thrive on living hopeless..if that makes sense. I know that through the love of Christ and charity all things are possible too...

Sheri said...

I would say it ultimately depends on a persons belief and where they are in that belief that determines their level of hope. Charity... the pure love of Christ consists of having hope, so if you truly believe in Christ and His atonement and are striving in any way to be like Him, you must have hope. You know this is coming from a person that has felt 'hopeless' a few times... but whenever I get off my pity pot... I realize that I have much to be hopeful for.
I am a very straight forward person and am kind of blunt... but I know that prayer works and as others have said... never giving up and showing that you will never give up on someone helps. Ultimately it is their battle to fight and win, but it never hurts to know you have others who have your back.
Now I am stepping down off the soap box!! You can remind me of this next time I sound hopeless'!!;)

Yvonne said...

Thank you all for your comments. You are all so strong and I appreciate so much your faith and your strength.

I knew I could count on all of you to have some answers. I know it's hard to answer a question like this when you do not know all the details. It isn't me, so I don't feel like I can share more information.

Each of us handles things differently. Many can pull up their bootstraps and deal with struggles knowing that God can help them. When you don't understand that, it is very difficult. Like the young man I spoke about, there are those who can say, I'm going to change and there are those who think I can't help the way I am.

You guys are GREAT. Thank you so much for reading and ESPECIALLY FOR COMMENTING.

Ashley said...

I am a late reader, but I did read it.

I think the only person that has made me feel low is myself. There have been a few times in the last couple months where I have felt ready to give up. I look around at all that I have and even though right now it is so much less than I had a year ago, I still have so much more than most of the world.

My kids are not starving and though we do not have a roof of our very own, we have a roof over our head. I guess if you can find a way to feel blessed, you can have hope.

I always think about the story of the man in a concentration camp during WWII. Everything can be taken away from you, but no one can take away your positive attitude, how you react, or how you feel. I think of the story when Joseph Smith was praying that things were becoming to hard, and God said you are not yet as Job.

But...I know when someone is low it is hard for them to feel that way or even want to hear any of that. Prayer usually works too!

carolyne b said...

Unconditional love works wonders. When someone knows that no matter what you've done that you won't hold it againest them even if they don't have the Gospel and don't understand the process of repentance. It the reason our Savior died for us-- his unconditional love for us.