Written by Molly Schreiber, Founder + CEO, Challenge to Change, Inc.
"In a world often filled with uncertainty and adversity, hope serves as a guiding light, providing us with the strength and resilience to navigate through life's ups and downs." - Molly Schreiber
Hope is a remarkable force that resides within each of us. It is the belief that better days are ahead, that challenges can be overcome, and that dreams can be realized. In a world often filled with uncertainty and adversity, hope serves as a guiding light, providing us with the strength and resilience to navigate through life's ups and downs.
When my husband tragically passed away sixteen years ago, the theme of hope came to me in so many ways. The priest giving his sermon spoke of hope, so many friends gave me mementos that spoke of hope, but most importantly, I felt it in my heart. I knew my best friend and my life partner would never have left me if there wasn't a bigger purpose. I knew I was divinely supported by God and the Universe, and I had to hold out hope for a happy, healthy life.
Hope then became the driving force of how I lived my life. I placed those mementos all over my new home to remind me that things would get easier with time. I gathered a young group of women and formed a young widows group to preserve the hope we all needed to thrive in this life without the support of our loving partners.
Helping those who went through a similar situation as me, losing a loved one, became a part of my life's work. To help others find hope and live a happy, healthy life. Unfortunately, I have helped several loved ones navigate this uncomfortable journey. Through helping my dear friend through the loss of her husband and son, I was introduced to a deeper meaning of hope. An acronym: HOPE: Hold On Pain Ends.
This beautiful phrase led me to a deeper understanding of what hope truly means and why we cling to the word and what it can give us as we navigate the hard times in life.
5 Positive Benefits of Hope
This acronym, Hold On Pain Ends, helped me to reflect on the top five reasons why hope is significant and essential for our well-being as humans and our personal growth. I now understand why, when my husband passed away and left me widowed at 30 with three kids under the age of three, that I still strived to live a happy, healthy life.
1. Motivation and Resilience:
Hope acts as a powerful motivator, driving us to persevere even in the face of adversity. When we have hope, we are more likely to set goals, take action, and persist through challenges. It fuels our determination and resilience, enabling us to bounce back from setbacks and continue moving forward. Without hope, we may succumb to despair and lose the will to overcome obstacles, hindering our personal growth and success.
After Kyle passed, I had six beautiful eyeballs looking at me. I knew I needed to be a loving mother and father for them moving forward. I knew I needed to find happiness again so that they could live happy, healthy lives. This motivated me to make decisions quickly. I decided to move back home to Dubuque and take my old job back. I decided to create a safe home for them to live and thrive in. I began to take care of myself again and attend therapy, create our widow group for healing and practice yoga on a regular basis to make me mentally and physically healthy. I knew this setback in life was one of the hardest challenges we would ever face and, with time, the pain would ease.
2. Mental and Emotional Well-being:
Hope plays a vital role in maintaining our mental and emotional well-being. It provides us with a positive outlook, even during difficult times. When we have hope, we are more likely to experience lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. It allows us to focus on solutions rather than dwelling on problems, fostering a sense of optimism and inner peace. Hope gives us the strength to face challenges with a clear mind and a hopeful heart.
Many people often spoke of how positive I was after my husband passed. How I had experienced the worst life had to offer, yet I was able to see the future and live each day the best that I could. I believe that many expected me to crawl in a hole and never come out. I can’t say that it didn't cross my mind, but I knew I had two choices. I could pull the covers up over my head and stay in bed lonely and depressed or I could come out from underneath the cover of grief and not only survive, but thrive. And that is just what I did for myself and for my family, I thrived.
3. Building and Sustaining Relationships:
Hope strengthens our relationships with others. When we have hope, we radiate positivity and inspire those around us. It creates a sense of trust, connection, and support within our social networks. Hope encourages empathy, compassion, and understanding, fostering healthier and more fulfilling relationships. By sharing our hopes and dreams with others, we create a sense of unity and collective purpose.
In my quest to thrive, I formed a young widows group called FINE Young Widows. Fine stood for: freaked out, insecure, neurotic and emotional. These were all the emotions that we felt during our journey as new young widows. However, we all agreed that people would always ask the silly question: “How are you?” We all decided our common answer was FINE even though we were not fine. The truth being, we were the furthest from being fine. However, knowing we had an acronym behind our meaning made us bond together and laugh at the silly things people would say to us to make themselves feel better about our tragic losses.
4. Personal Growth and Achievement:
Hope is a catalyst for personal growth and achievement. It encourages us to step out of our comfort zones, take risks, and pursue our passions. When we have hope, we believe in our abilities and potential, pushing us to strive for greatness. It opens doors to new opportunities, expands our horizons, and allows us to discover our true capabilities. Hope empowers us to embrace change, learn from failures, and continuously evolve as individuals.
5. Inspiring Change and Making a Difference:
Hope has the power to inspire change and make a positive impact on the world. When we have hope, we become agents of change, working towards a better future for ourselves and others. It fuels our desire to create a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world. Hope gives us the courage to stand up for what we believe in, to advocate for those in need, and to contribute to the greater good.
Through my journey with Challenge To Change, I have met so many amazing people. Many of those people are young children. The young people in this world that are to be our leaders of tomorrow. Through my loss of my best friend, Kyle, I was given the gift of hope and with that gift of hope, I was inspired to make a difference in our world of education to enable our next generation to have tools of mindfulness and self regulation. The tools I wanted to give our young students were the very tools I used to navigate a very difficult time in my life.
Hope is not merely a fleeting emotion; it is a fundamental human need that fuels our dreams, aspirations, and resilience. It motivates us to overcome challenges, maintain our mental and emotional well-being, build meaningful relationships, achieve personal growth, and make a difference in the world. By embracing hope, we can navigate through life's uncertainties with grace and optimism, creating a brighter future for ourselves and those around us. So, let us hold onto hope, for it is the beacon that guides us towards a life filled with purpose, joy, and endless possibilities.
In my journey with hope I was able to heal. To process the depths of my loss and make choices to live a happy, healthy life. I was able to find love again in my now husband, Tom. I was able to inherit an amazing bonus daughter, Sydney. Without hope and knowing the pain would ease, I never would have found love again. Through our marriage and blended family, I have continued working toward my noble goal in life in creating the corporation of Challenge To Change, Inc.
P.S. I'm so excited to announce my newest meditation challenge!
Throughout this 12-day challenge, you will become an emotional scientist and uncover the deeper wisdom of your emotions.
What you’ll get:
7 EXCLUSIVE emotions meditations
Downloadable challenge journal
Each day, you will:
Watch a short video
Write down the emotion that you are feeling.
Write down the physical sensation you are feeling.
Choose a guided meditation from the included emotions meditations that most closely matches how you’re feeling.
Journal on the day’s prompt.
This challenge officially launches on December 1st, 2023.
Namaste my friends!