I used to think hope was a good thing – no matter what. It was good to be hopefully. However, lately I’ve been thinking about the other side of hope – the side that leads you down a path where there is no different outcome. There is no change.
I don’t mean to be thinking about this to be pessimistic or negative. On the contrary. I think having the ability to distinguish between real hope versus hope that leads to anguish is a real super power.
When I lost my brother, I was completely shattered. I felt like I could never be consoled. All I wanted was to get him back, but I knew it was not possible. The image of him lying there, so still, is burned into my brain. What do you do when there is no hope? There is no solution. There is no other path.
It was a strange feeling, not having any hope to cling to. All I had was the moment. The present. The truth. There was no bargaining. There was no possibility for a change in circumstance. This was it.
Given how hopeless the situation was, I wonder if that helped me survive somehow. I had no choice but to keep living. For the first year or so, I did not know what that really meant or how my life would look from that point forward, but I knew that until fate took me in another direction, I was still going to keep on waking up and living. When you have nothing to hope for, does it help you just get on with things?
As I pondered this question, I wondered about those who had hope that didn’t go anywhere. What do they do?
What if there’s someone you like and you are always waiting for their call – and as soon as you see their number flash on your screen, you get excited and hopeful. You set up a date to meet and at the last second they cancel. Even though they’ve done this to you time and time again, you still remain hopeful – but that hope causes you anguish. Isn’t that painful? Doesn’t the constant disappointment start to chip away at you? Would you think that it would be better to have no hope at all – to just let that situation go?
What is worse? Having no hope to cling on to or having hope that doesn’t lead anywhere?
I used to think that any hope was better than no hope, but now, I’m not so sure.