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Hope in a Jar: A Gift for Yourself

Hope in a Jar: A Gift for Yourself

Mason jars are popular these days and the uses are almost endless. People are using them as flower vases, holders for homemade cookie mixes, and holiday decorations. I use wide-mouth jars to store leftovers and food products, such as rice, small pasta, and crackers. Author Elizabeth Gilbert uses a giant jar to document her happiness.

When she felt happy, she jotted a few words on a small piece of paper, dated it, and dropped it in the jar. When the year ended, Gilbert read her notes, put them away, and started a new jar for the New Year. I liked Gilbert’s idea and kept a Happiness Jar for several months.

But life keeps happening and, because I’m my disabled husband’s caregiver, made my happiness jar a caregiving jar. The notes turned out to be a chronology of my husband’s progress. A grief healing author, I thought of another use for a Mason jar, and created Hope in a Jar. You can make one too, and the steps are easy to follow.

Write one-sentence affirmations on the computer or hand write them on paper. Leave an inch between the affirmations. Cut the affirmations apart. Put the affirmations in a wide-mouth jar with the affirmations facing inward. Screw the lid on the jar and tie a bow around the top. Affix a tag that says, “Read one a day to feel better.” I wrote this on the computer and added a small graphic.

Here are a dozen affirmations are from my Hope in a Jar. I share them with you to give you an idea of what to write. If you’re having trouble thinking of things to write, copy these affirmations, and put them in your jar.
Quiet enables me to hear my soul, and I listen to what it says.
My loved one’s values are part of me and I live them each day.
I think positive thoughts and monitor my self-talk.
Although I’m grieving, I give myself permission to laugh.
At this confusing, challenging time I’m grateful for friends.
In defense, I’ve prepared answers to the question, “How are you?”
Assessing my skills helps me see what I need and get support.
Each morning, when I awaken, I think of the kindness of others.
Identifying feelings and naming them helps me stay grounded.
Reading an affirmation a day helps to keep the blues away.
At this stressful time, happy memories are a source of comfort.
I’m grieving because of love and love lasts forever.

Now you need to decide who gets the jar. You may give it to yourself, a newly bereaved neighbor, or church friend mired in grief. Creating Hope in a Jar helps you see the positives in your life. Life is brighter when you are hopeful. As an anonymous author once write, “When the world says, ‘Give up,” hope whispers, “Try it one more time.’”

Hope in Jar helps you do that. Some affirmations may become your favorites, and you read them again and again. Start your Hope in a Jar project today!

----------------About the Author

Harriet Hodgson has been an independent journalist for more than 30 years. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of Health Care Journalists, and Association for Death Education and Counseling. She is the author of 30 books, hundreds of print and Internet articles, and is a monthly columnist for the new Caregiving in America magazine.

All of her writing comes from experience and Hodgson’s recent work focuses on grief, loss, and recovery. A popular speaker, Hodgson has given presentations at Alzheimer’s, hospice, and public health conferences. She has appeared on more than 160 radio talk shows, including CBS Radio, and dozens of television stations, including CNN.

Her work is cited in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in America, World Who’s Who of Women, Contemporary Authors, and other directories. Hodgson is a GRG, grandparent raising grandchildren, and lives in Rochester, Minnesota with her husband John and her twin grandchildren. Please visit for more information about this busy author and grandmother.