On hope and waiting

It’s been a long month.

To me the difficulties we experience aren’t as hard as holding onto hope that the difficult situation won’t last forever.

You don’t realize how essential hope is until you can’t find it.

What if things really don’t get better? What if I need to be okay with everything that is now and stop thinking my situation will change? What if what I dearly want and dreamed of isn’t attainable?

To me this is the scariest, most overwhelming and defeating thought pattern that ensnares my mind while experiencing a hard time. It’s like sitting in the darkness of night and considering the possibility that the sun may not rise again.

Hope is such a cornerstone of the human life; we simply can’t live without it. Sometimes I think we take for granted how difficult it can be to have genuine hope, to really believe that this isn’t it, that there is more to come, that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ll admit that hope has been hard to come by these days. There’s just so much disappointment and uncertainty that I can’t wrap my head around it all; much less believe that everything will somehow be resolved.

How? When? How do I know?

My analytical and skeptical mind is dissatisfied with hope. It wants more. It wants certainty. It wants a timeline. It wants specifics.

My mind really is my worst enemy sometimes.

There have been times where hopelessness has enveloped me, and it’s something I hope you never experience.

The reason I have hope today is because I know I can’t live without it. And although I couldn’t tell you what hope really is (a thought pattern? mindset? disposition?), I can say that a choice is involved. We have to choose it, and we have to keep choosing it.

We have to look past every frustrating and painful circumstance facing us, we have to shut down the voices in our mind screaming that we are being naive, we have to ignore the relentless surge of questions (How? When? Are you sure? What if—?), we have to stop comparing our stories to the snippets of others, and we have to just embrace our inner childlikeness, we have to simply choose to believe: it will be okay.

This isn’t it. It’s just not. And I can’t say why or how I know that, but it’s the hope I’m choosing to hold onto. And once we choose hope, we can look around to see what we can do about our situation. We stop focusing on all the things beyond our control and simply take stock of what is right in front of us and how our hope can make it better.

I don’t have any of the practical answers, I can’t tell you the logistics of the ‘better’, but I know it exists. At least I hope it does. And for now, hope is enough.

I want to be the person that when things finally do turn around, can jubilantly say, “I knew it.”

Sometimes it’s just really hard to be that person.

Most of the time it’s a lot easier to succumb to all the what-if’s and I-don’t-know’s and the cold, hard facts which convince us that there is nothing else.

Our present reality is not the only reality.

We have to stop searching inside of ourselves for answers. We have to return to our childhood and, quite simply, look up.

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