It’s okay to HOPE. Nothing will explode. Kittens WILL NOT be set on fire. You won’t fall through a hole at the bottom of the earth reserved especially for the weak and pathetic because you harbour a belief something you want is possible. You’re allowed, to vote against statistical probability, against reason. Who gave Reason so much street cred anyhow? Wait, you guessed it, The Dark Lord of Dash It and Crush It Before It Can Possibly Grow, mwahaha. That is whom -vibe harshing bully!
What is the BIG DEAL with hope, anyhow? What is it that all of our well meaning friends and fam-jams are so voraciously trying to protect us from, when they shake their superior heads, or give us that know better, happiness slaughtering, bad dog look that says “it’s not safe to want what you can’t have”.
Disappointment? Stupidity? Self deception?
Well let me walk you through what they are really saying: It’s stupid to want what you don’t know for certain you can have because you might feel let down or foolish if you don’t get it. It’s better to just to swallow the disappointment now, because that makes you self respecting, strong, and smart.
It’s a pretty crazy-ass ruse, to avoid vulnerability.
Because, the THING is, when you feel that curious, hopeful, desirous feeling, it’s already BORN. It exists, and so NOT hoping, requires the killing of the hope. Quashing, dashing, suppressing…you get it. You can’t undo your desire. And what happens in the whole, killing process? HOW do you suppress? Well I will tell you, it usually involves SHAMING yourself, making yourself smaller, not allowing yourself to feel, unless what you want fits into a socially acceptable idea of “smart” wanting. And I am here to break it to you. THAT is hella not good for you. Allowing yourself to hope, that you get into that lofty program, that the woman you love figures out her shit and comes around, doesn’t mean you will become a stalker, or bet the house on your new online hamster grooming business (though who doesn’t love a fluffy hamster?). But it does mean kindness. It means alliance with the feeling, needing you. It means good self parenting. It means compassion for the yearnings of your tender little heart.
And here is the news flash! More often, THEY (the well meaning naysayers in your world and in your head) are protecting you from their shit. Yes, that is right. They are protecting you from all of their own fears which arise from all of their own judgments, against THEMSELVES. Because when they have stuck their necks out, or tried for the unlikely or the improbable, and it’s gone SOUTH, no one gave them a hand and said “Hey you gave it your best”, or “I love you anyhow” or “How can I help”. Instead they got shamed, and they shamed themselves, and now they see any desire that isn’t backed up by cold calculating practicality, that isn’t surfed past the finish line with applauding crowds and ribbons, as foolish.
SO, don’t worry about them, and the voice they comprise. Forgive them. Give them a hug and a “there-there”. Because nothing earth shattering came out of murdering the innocent and vulnerable within.
Sometimes you just need to hold space for what you want.
Sometimes you need a bridge to get you to the place where you make it happen, or let it go.
Sometimes you need to see the possible, against all odds, FOR you. You need to advocate for you. Because it feels a whole hell-of-a lot better to know you held out for it, didn’t give up on it, saw it through. And sometimes Tom Hanks really does come walking in the door after 4 years alone on the island.
And if you don’t succeed? Well at least it won’t be because you hung your head like Eyore and waited for death. Or sacrificed your dream to the Dark One. Indifference is not strength. It doesn’t grow us, or heal us.
Without hope, I would never have married my husband, and had my children.
Without hope, I would never have gone to law school.
Without hope, I would never have won the award for my writing.
Without hope, I would not have created my beloved career.
Hope is the knowing, in the heart that we deserve something that seems impossible.
And when we acknowledge it, we allow ourselves to feel, and risk, and grow.
I say EFF Reason, EFF the cynics. Sprinkle your garden with that hippy dippy peace lovin’ shit. Because it beats the alternative. And if you don’t allow yourself a little room for doilies and sunshine, who will?
P.S. Thank you so much for reading! I love to hear from you. I will do my best to reply to all of you personally, just be patient with me as it may take some time.
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P.P.P.S. The beautiful photograph at the head of this blog post is by Kristen Butler Photography.