hope is the function of struggle

March 15, 2013Karen Courcy

hopeYesterday in session my Therapist told me that he was listening to a podcast of  an interview of “Brene’ Brown” and “Krista Tippett” on his way into the office, and how the podcast was about hope and struggle.

He mentioned to me that there was this one thing that was talked about, one line that he couldn’t quite wrap his head around, and that was “Hope is the function of struggle“.

I looked at him and felt this rush come over me because it was as if someone was looking into the window of my life – my everyday life.

I knew deep inside what that meant. He wanted to know what I knew about that and to maybe help him understand what that means; to get a better understanding of what I grasp from that.

We spent some time talking about it, and as always I love to sit and talk wisdom with my therapist. I love thr stories of Wisdom my therapist talks to me about, and somehow I always tend to find my own story in that Wisdom, and today was another one of those moments.

We talked about it, and the more and more I thought about it, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I left session. “Hope is the function of Struggle”.

I came home and went straight for my computer and listened to the 1 hour podcast of Brene’ Brown by Krista Tippett , and let me say, what a GREAT interview.

I then looked up the word “Function” and gathered in all the meanings behind that one word – because even though I knew what that phrase meant when my therapist shared this with me, I wanted to really understand why I knew what that meant.

This tugged at me all day – enough to write about it in my blog.

If you look up the word “Function” the one line in that definition fits perfectly with struggle  – “the purpose for which something is designed or existsrole.

“WOW!” was my first thought!

I show up to therapy many times a week – not because I depend on it, or not because I am forced to, or suffer so much that it has to be my life – but because something deep inside of me called “hope” gets me there and moves me there, and finds me there. It’s about “choice”, a hope that is a spark inside of me that calls for a healing over the wounds that were put upon me by “no choice”.

I truly believe hope is the purpose of why I am here today telling my story; how I survived as a child, and how I get through the many struggles and JOYS of healing.

I said to my therapist yesterday “There is no way anyone could work through their struggles without hope”. “There is no way a client could walk into your office without there being some kind of hope along side of that struggle”.

Hope is the drive from the struggle within – without hope, there is no “need” to move through the struggle. There has to be something on the other side of that struggle that you long for, that you see, or know that beyond the hurt and the pain – there is grace and beauty!

My therapist has asked me many times through the years of  us working together “what drives you to heal and work so hard?” and my answer is always hope.

The hope is knowing that there is something so huge on the other side of struggle, and also knowing there is Joy which is also driven by hope.

Brene Brown says “Hope is not an emotion, hope is a cognitive behavioral process, that we learn when we experience adversity and struggle”.

My God, just hearing her say that on the podcast today gave me chills.

Hope is not an emotion, I believe hope is a gift from God; a process inside of us that pushes us through to move into the struggle, be with the struggle, understand the struggle, and overcome the struggle.

From the moment I open the door to my therapist office; my healing space of grace, I feel that hope surrounding me, and the goodness of the feeling I have in that choice of healing; a choice of being something I never had my whole life.

6 years I have been walking along side of this hope, and in 6 years I have grown with the hope through the struggles, and I have seen the joy and healing happening right in front of me – because of hope.

I am not the same person I was 6 years ago, and because of struggle, I found hope, and because of hope, I embrace the struggle to heal from it.

When I left session, I felt warm inside. I am so blessed that not only do I have the hope in the struggle in the place of healing, but hope is all around me right in the middle of the struggles of life.

I know that no matter how hard this healing is, hope is always there and that can never be taken away.

I am surrounded by hope. I am surrounded by LOVE and CONNECTION and there is so much hope sitting right there pushing me along side of the very things I over-come. HOW beautiful is that?

I am so lucky – I get to experience hope every-time I step into my struggle, because I know on the other side – there is more hope waiting for me towards JOY, GRACE and HEALING.


  • Hanna D

    March 16, 2013 at 10:47 AM


    I think you said it better than “Brene’ Brown” .. someone who has been through so much pain in life knows this more than anyone else.

    If I were to hear the words “hope is the function of struggle” I wouldn’t understand it either. I have been through struggles in life, but not enough to understand it so deeply as you wrote it.

    I hope you dont mind but, I am going to share this with some of my clients.

    Great writing Karen, just beautiful.

  • terryshen

    January 13, 2018 at 9:14 PM

    An excellent piece, Karen. Thanks for sharing.

    Reblog at https://run2src.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/hope-is-a-function-of-struggle/

Please take a moment to comment! I love connecting with others!

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