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Are you a hope junkie?

May 17, 2015

 

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Why do we hope? This may seem like a silly question—and my answer unpopular—given that we hope all the time, for better health, fulfilling work, that tasty donut, those fabulous pair of shoes. The message of hope permeates the media, advertising, politics. It was the message of President Obama’s first political campaign, which landed him the presidency. Yet, where is all that hope now?

The answer to my question seems obvious: We hope when we want something. Yet, I think there’s a less obvious reason that is the other side of the same coin: We hope so that we won’t be afraid.

Stick with me here. Think about a time when you hoped for something. Weren’t you afraid of what would happen if you didn’t get it? Not only were you hoping for that new client, you were also hoping that not getting them—and what that might mean for the future—wouldn’t happen.  In this context, hope is based on fear.

What’s wrong with that? Well, nothing, if you don’t mind spending most of your time hoping, so that you won’t be afraid, and afraid so that you hope. Most of us aren’t even aware of what we’re doing.

Here’s a personal example. Recently, I had to do something very difficult regarding a family member. Many things had to fall into place for it to happen. While I was clear that it needed to be done, I had plenty of time to doubt my decision.

I saw my fearful thoughts, such as what my actions “meant” about the family member, and their future. That I was making a terrible mistake. That my plan of action wouldn’t work.

Presto, chango, hope kicked in, as I hoped that my fears about this person’s future were incorrect. That I wasn’t making a mistake. That things would work out soon. It made me feel much better—until a new fearful thought arrived, and so on and so on…

What’s the alternative?

Trust. But first, I’ll tell you what Trust isn’t. Trust isn’t believing that sometimes the Cosmos has our back and sometimes it doesn’t. It means that, based on the times when we trusted before, we bet that the water will hold us up with each choice we make, even when there’s no reason to trust, at the time.

It takes Trust to do that, which we develop by trusting one baby step that we take … and then another … and then another. It helps to practice being present in each moment, and not living in the future, where fear resides. Even in the one-in-a-million chance that danger is truly upon us, it’s only by being in the present moment that we’ll know what to do, whether it’s to walk, run, or stand still.

Yet, hope is gonna hope. We mainline it every day. Even with believing all of the above, we will no sooner stop hoping than we will stop being afraid. The antidote is awareness. The antidote is Trust.

 


4 Responses to “Are you a hope junkie?”

  1. “Yet, hope is gonna hope. We mainline it every day. Even with believing all this, we will no sooner stop hoping than we will stop being afraid. The antidote is awareness. The antidote is Trust.”

    WOW WOW WOW

    Well, I needed to hear your message of TRUST today, Gail -thank you! #HUGS

    OODLES of love
    Kitto

    • So glad you liked it, Kitty. I always need my message of Trust, as well. I think it is why I wrote the post. Let’s connect soon.

  2. Excellent article Gail. Hope is something we will always turn back to. We hope we are making the right decision even though it is a difficult and challenging one. Our hearts know the answer every time! 🙂

    • Thanks, Debra. I think as long as we know why we are hoping we will be ok. And that when we are present there really is no need to hope. Not that I am not hoping all the time… it’s a habit, and not something to fight,but to understand. Thank you for commenting, as always. I so appreciate it. Hope you are well.

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Gail Harris Author