Where is my hope? This question is ringing loudly in the heads of many single moms as the holidays approach. Single moms place additional, unnecessary pressure on themselves during this time of year. With the high unemployment or “under employment” across the nation and stresses of the season, single moms must retain HOPE. It can be easy to slip into depression if focused only on what you don’t possess. Whether it is a job, money or husband, dwelling on what you don’t have leads to despair. HOPE is Having Overwhelming Positive Enthusiasm. If you are in need of learning “How to have Hope” … please know that it truly starts in YOUR mind. The thoughts you think can overwhelm you, especially if your thoughts are consistently negative. Remember, Thoughts become words, Words become actions and Actions have consequences – both good and bad!
Your Thoughts: What are the overwhelming thoughts in your mind? Do you find yourself dwelling mostly on the negative issues in and around your life? What thoughts are you fertilizing in your mind and allowing to grow roots? The roots of a tree are very strong. Have you ever tried to pull a tree from its roots? If you pull on a tree, especially older trees, you’ll find it VERY difficult to loose that tree! How much more tougher can it be then to “uproot” your thoughts? Start small by choosing a positive thought and DWELL on that thought. Choose a happy memory you shared with your child and DWELL on that memory. What does it mean to dwell? One definition is to LIVE or STAY as a PERMANENT resident. If you are a permanent resident in the city of Negative, pack up your belongings and LEAVE!
Your Words: As your thoughts transform into words – what words do you find coming out of your mouth? What words are your children hearing from their mom? A quick check to find out where you are in your journey is to take a look at the words coming out your mouth. Do you find the words to be mostly negative? Do you speak negatively about others, your child’s father or even yourself? If so, it’s time to make a drastic change. Start by consciously CHOOSING positive words. Hopeful people are usually happy. Are you happy? Helpful? Hopeful? Is there Humor or Hate in your words? As you just read, many of the words I chose to include begin with the letter H. Use the H.O.P.E., anagram to find positive words you would like to entrench into your vocabulary. If you’re not sure how much negativity is coming out of your mouth, ask a trusted friend to help examine your patterns. You can also record yourself over the course of the day.
Your Actions: Now it follows that many people take action based on the thoughts that are developing or have already found root in their mind. By the time we get to the “action” stage, we are firmly “rooted” …whether it is good or bad. Are you good to others? Are your actions kind or rude? Do you often find yourself arguing with others? If your actions don’t show H.O.P.E., be encouraged – because you do have the power to change. Start by deciding on a positive action you can easily accomplish, such as bringing your neighbor some flowers. Donate a small amount of time or money to a charity. While engaging in positive and hope-filled actions, you will notice a change in your heart and your mind. As you take action to elevate your mood, make sure you show and tell your children. In fact, be sure to include actions that your children can participate in. Your children are looking up to you – show them the hope and strength you want them to possess and the person you want them to become!