Hope is a good thing.
We hope this pandemic will be over soon.
We hope that no one has to needlessly lose their lives.
We hope that people can recover from all of this.
Hope paints a picture of the world that looks better than it is right now.
But hope in its authentic form is much, much more than that.
The last many months have been filled with encouraging rainbows, childish platitudes (“Ca va bien aller” or “It will be okay”) and, for some, a craving for life before the pandemic.
Everyone appears to be suffering from reality exhaustion; there is talk about worsening mental and physical health, parents on the brink, and people feeling trapped in their homes. People talk about the pandemic like they talk about the weather – constantly mired by feelings of uncertainty. The pandemic is our snowstorm or smog warning or excessive heat alert – we can’t stop ruminating on those things that extend beyond our thermometer control dial.
I call this hodgepodge of stuff the truth of our present-moment reality. Some choose to call it an inconvenience. As former Vice-President Al Gore kindly reminded us: Some truths are simply inconvenient.
Disturbing, I know.
Well, Mark, there’s not really much I can do about it. We’re all really powerless right now. Hope is my only refuge.
Hope is not a good refuge when it is out of touch with the way things are. “Hope springs eternal” is not a future oriented event – eternity is ever present, timeless and boundless. Hope blossoms from being more in tune with the present moment whether you find it agreeable or not. Hope is not a denial of reality. Neither is it the longing for what will be. Hope is the aspiration that you can better respond to what is right here and now: “I hope I have the faculties to meet my life fully in this moment” – that is the true baseline and finish line for hope that nourishes your being.
If you are hoping that things will go back to the way they were, you are not being hopeful. You are being regretful. You are longing to recreate something that is long gone, and more debilitating, denying the opportunity to open to this very moment.
The universe is simply not all that interested in your best laid plans. So why do you keep scheduling appointments in the future to insist on them? Why are we so intent on badgering reality with our hopes and expectations? Why are we so intent on pretending that we can step out of the flow of reality and impose our will on it with faux hope.
The universe is simply not that interested in you – because you are the universe and you spring eternal.
Somewhere over the rainbow
And the dream that you dare to
Oh why, oh why can’t I?
Why can’t I indeed. If I can accept that it may not “be okay”, then I will forever be eternally hopeful.