blog- hope. 1.It’s an odd lesson to learn, one that has been poking and prodding at me for years. I haven’t quite figured it all out yet and  feel as though I shouldn’t even speak about it for fear of being labeled a pessimist, because I really don’t think I am, for I always see the wine glass half full! I constantly try to find the good, in people, places, my children, food ….. when I can. I exhaust myself scrambling up crappy, lonely, dark mountains in search of good. No I do not see myself as a pessimist. So why then does hope irritate me so much? Hope has annoyed me for years, badgering me, and pestering me. I’d go on long hikes, packing a water bottle and my ideals, kiss each moment goodbye, and trudge off into my hopes of what might be, off into the something more out there.

Hope is dreaming, hope is wanting, hope is searching, wishful thinking and hope is not being awake to what is, or accepting this very moment. Hope is the bored person at a dinner party searching for someone more interesting to talk to. Hope cannot be friends with the present. Hope is hard work; you can never simply relax with where you are. “Maybe it’ll be better over there” it will whisper in your ear. “Perhaps I will be better over there” –  says hope, taking your hand further and further into the wanting. Hope means that right now, in this moment something is lacking. And yes, there is often something lacking, me. Me finding meaning in the moment.

I have done a lot of hoping over the years. On my wedding day, I begged the gods – “Oh I hope it doesn’t rain”, at an exam “I hope I pass”, and in a bathroom, “I hope there’s toilet paper”. Well guess what? All that hoping has never changed a damn thing. It did rain, I did pass, and no there wasn’t any toilet paper. The hope part made no difference, I still had to search for toilet paper while shuffling about with my pants around my ankles.

Hint:  this will not change itself.

Hint: this will not change itself.

It’s nice to hope for world peace, honest politicians and a decent bowel movement.  And tell me who hasn’t crossed their fingers in hope that the dentist wont find a cavity or your kid comes home with a decent school report?  But what good is this really going to do? I think we either need to do something about the situation, or accept that we cannot. I’m a positive person with a sunny disposition, but hope has served me little over the years. It is action that has made all the difference.

Yes I can hear the cries of, “oh but you must  – You must have hope, why would you do anything in life if you didn’t have hope? Hope is what gets people through the difficult times; hope is the light at the end of the tunnel” Well, I’d prefer to call that optimism. Consider these sentences ~ “I hope my children will grow up into loving adults” compared to “I’m optimistic my children will grow up into loving adults”. One is passive, “oh I wish”, the other is more “Go get them tiger”. Semantics? Perhaps, but still a conversation worth having. A conversation one of my favourite monks, Pema Chodron discusses far more eloquently in her book “When Things Fall Apart” – she agrees with me, so I highly recommend it. 🙂

A little saying I like to remember at this point is;
“The grass is always greener where you water it”. In the end I really ought to focus on this moment right here and now, for it is the only actual moment I have. I should work on it and put all my energy into it for you never know, I may actually grow into the big beautiful life that I’ve been “hoping” for.

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  1. Kathleen says:

    Maybe the word you could use instead of hope is faith.  After all what we focus on, feel or believe is what we create.  What matters is how you feel now.  Not what you hope for.  I use to ride the train into the city and remember this elderly man who would take the train as well into the city.  He always had a smile on his face, even on a rainy day when people are so afraid of getting wet or cloudy days.  He would look at me with his big smile and say,  “the sun is always shinning above the clouds”.

  2. Jill says:

    I get such grief over this very conversation. My poor relationship with hope. This is what I’ve tried to explain, but not so succinctly as this article has. Very nice!

  3. Meg says:

    So great to hear Jill, I’m glad I could voice some of your thoughts. Hope has screwed me over many a time, but it’s difficult to discuss without sounding like a big black hole. And thanks for sharing your story Kathleen, Yes, it is always shining above the clouds- this is a wonderful fact and not just a wishy-washy far away dream. But my goal is to mile in the rain because of the rain, not because i’m picturing it sunny someplace else.

  4. angie says:

    Great article about something I suffer a huge deal with.  I’m always looking for that next thing that I need to make things good instead of really enjoying where I am and what I’ve accomplished – I truly struggle with it.  Especially now as what I “want” right now involves having to rely on others, and waiting on them to make changes.  Good points to ponder.

  5. Kathy says:

    Perhaps what you are describing is expectations. When our expectations are not met, we are disappointed. Hope is more a knowing, or faith that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

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