I’ve only recently began to believe in hope.
Prior to last spring, I didn’t even know that I didn’t believe in hope. I had no idea how meaningless hope was to me.
Yes, there were clues.
For instance, two years ago, I was teaching a How to Thrive During the Holidays workshop and we were practicing connecting to various qualities that would be helpful for us throughout the holiday season.
One of the participants suggested connecting with hope. In my head, I was like, “Hope? Really?”
Out loud, I said: “Ok, hope!”
The other people in the workshop had an experience of hope. I felt nothing.
Sidenote: Generally, when I ask to experience a quality, it shows up. I can feel it. I can easily distinguish gratitude from love from acceptance, etc. I haven’t always been able to do this; it is something I’ve learned to do, a skill I’ve actively cultivated.
Anyway, I asked to experience hope. Nothing.
Looking back, my experience makes perfect sense. Of course I would feel nothing.
At that time, however, I just noticed I felt nothing and instantly forgot about it. Hope hadn’t ever seemed particularly useful for me anyway.
Spring forward one and a half years… to last spring.
I’m participating in a powerful healing ceremony. During this ceremony, I have a vision.
In the vision, this unearthly being of light approaches me. Somehow, I know that I am in the Realm of Qualities (like love, kindness, integrity, compassion, etc) and that the approaching being is the embodiment of a particular quality.
The being approaches. I ask her name. She says: “My name is Hope.”
I’m all (again): Hope? Why hope? I have no relationship with hope!
The vision ends.
This time, I become curious.
It has become very evident to me that I know nothing about hope. And yet, meeting Hope (out of all the possible qualities) suggests there might be something here for me.
Plus, hope seems to be very important to other people. Perhaps I’m missing something?
(like hope, perhaps?)
I begin talking with friends.
One friend tells me that she loves hope… because hope is so hopeful. While that isn’t very helpful for me, I do feel oddly envious of her relationship with hope. Her energy feels so happy and light as she speaks.
Another friend tells me that hope is:
“the golden thread connecting where I am to something better. Hope is what helped me get through some really, really dark times in my life. Without hope, without a vision of something better, I wouldn’t be here today.”
I can feel the emotion, the sincerity, the deep gratitude in her voice.
I still don’t get it.
But, I can sense how real hope is for her and part of me wants to share her experience. Part of me wants to believe in hope.
But, how can I?
For me, hope has always seemed ridiculous.
What is the point of hoping for something? Either it happens or it doesn’t.
Hoping is just a waste of time (at best). At worst, hope might even keep you (me) from doing what it takes to get somewhere… because I am *hoping* for it to happen vs doing something to *make* it happen.
Hope implies lack of will, powerlessness, the necessity to be rescued by something or someone else. Hope implies the inability to be self-determined.
(Stay with me, it gets worse.)
Of course I don’t believe in hope! There is no point to hoping. It is better to just endure whatever is going on that is uncomfortable, painful, or intolerable.
Eventually, it will be over. Or it won’t. Either way, hoping isn’t going to change anything. All hoping does is set up the opportunity for disappointment. Or, in other words, for more pain.
It’s just like with my headaches.
I can hope that they get better. I can hope that this one will not be as long or as intense as the last. I can hope that I’ll find a permanent solution for it. Still, though, when I actually have a headache, all I can do is wait for it to be over. In its own time.
And then, I get to deal with all the feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, grief, and depression that are the aftershocks of that much pain.
See, there is no hope.
For me, years and years of unrelenting pain have squashed any hope of hope. There. Is. No. Hope.
For me, at least, there is no hope. There might be hope for you. I don’t know.
Despite all the above, something my second friend said keeps nagging at me.
The part about hope being the thread that connected her to the vision of something better.
The vision piece… hope is related to vision?
Hope is what connects where I am now to where I’d like to be? Hope is the pathway between here and there?
I begin to notice all the times I’ve really wanted something in my life, where I’ve had a vision for how something could be different or better or easier.
I begin to see how so often I’ve told myself it isn’t possible, or realistic, or that I shouldn’t even want something like that.
I begin to tie all those lost visions, those lost dreams, together with my loss of hope. I realize I DO know what it feels like to hope. However, so often, I immediately squash that feeling of hope, that thread that connects the me-of-now to the me-of-my-vision.
Because, there is no hope… right?
And then, following all the noticing of self-sabotage, I begin to see how the times that I have allowed myself to follow that sense of hope (that sense of something in my heart pulling me forward, that sense of expansion, of lightness, of inspiration, of longing) how beautifully my life has changed.
I begin to see how Hope, even though I denied her very existence, has still managed to be a thread connecting me to something bigger and more life-enhancing time after time after time.
Now, everywhere I turn I see Hope.
I see how Hope has been a constant companion, often in the disguise of that feeling of ‘rightness’, walking beside me throughout every step of my life.
Hope led me to:
- changing my life completely in order for something new and more aligned to come through (this business, my husband),
- discovering more about healing, self-care, ritual, teaching, etc than I could ever have imagined,
- getting married,
- the community we are a part of,
- my spiritual path,
- a deeper connection with my family and my lineage,
- even to writing again (this post),
- and to much, much more.
Plus, as I am becoming more and more aligned with hope, I know that Hope is one of the biggest reasons (perhaps THE reason) I am here.
I am here to offer hope.
Hope of finding relief from pain, hope of a deeper connection with yourself, with your true nature, and with Spirit.
I’m not here to offer the hope of my fears – hope that is not grounded in realness.
Instead, I am here to offer hope that is a pathway to tangible, life-enhancing changes.
I am here to offer hope.
Thank you for being here! I’m curious, what is your experience of hope (or lack of hope)? Your stories, insights, hellos, etc, are all welcome.