Abandon all hope

Tijn Touber | May 2005 issue

For as long as I can remember I’ve been hopeful. I always saw a solution, a way out, a better future. But recently I’ve decided I don’t want to be hopeful anymore. I don’t want to wait for a better future. I want to be despairing and hopeless.

But can a person live without hope? Hope keeps us alive, right? Actually, I’ve realized that in my experience it doesn’t. When I’m hopeful, I die. My attention goes to the future so that I am “dead” to the present, to the life that’s happening here and now. There’s a great story about this. During a flood, a man climbs onto the roof of his house and waits for God. Boats, tree trunks and helicopters pass, but the man ignores them. When he finally drowns and arrives in heaven, he asks why God didn’t save him. God replies, “I sent you a boat, a tree trunk, a helicopter…”

Hope can be comforting and a reason to want to live. But eventually, it zaps your life energy. When I hope that something or someone will make my life better, I give my creative power—my life power—away. I become dependent. The fear that my hope will not be fulfilled kills my openness to what life does offer.

Hope brings stress, because it creates desires and expectations. Some expectations and desires make me happy, but mainly they make me tense. I start to strive for something and meanwhile, I forget to live. Just feel what happens in your body when you start a sentence with “I hope that…”

If you hang on to hope, you’ll always have to wait: for the money that will make you happy, for the compliment that will make your day, for the hereafter that will bring you peace. Waiting makes you passive and keeps you from creating joy in your life.

Hoping for a better future means rejecting what is here, and this means you also reject a part of yourself. You resist something and thus push it away. You suppress yourself and keep yourself small. And what was it Nelson Mandela said about how keeping yourself small doesn’t benefit the world?

I hope that I have the courage to become hopeless about the world in which I live. That way I can regain the strength to become hopeful about the world once again. First, you see, I have to hit the bottom. Then with all my dreams shattered, I can see the world as it is and do what I have to do to make a better world a reality.

Giving in to despair is unpleasant, but perhaps the most direct way of achieving your dreams. Acknowledging hopelessness means ridding yourself of illusions. There are no remaining lies to let you escape the present. You stand naked before reality; completely in the here and now. The power of this experience works like dynamite—it can propel you towards fulfillment of your hope for a better future. Hopeful?

Solution News Source

Abandon all hope

Tijn Touber | May 2005 issue

For as long as I can remember I’ve been hopeful. I always saw a solution, a way out, a better future. But recently I’ve decided I don’t want to be hopeful anymore. I don’t want to wait for a better future. I want to be despairing and hopeless.

But can a person live without hope? Hope keeps us alive, right? Actually, I’ve realized that in my experience it doesn’t. When I’m hopeful, I die. My attention goes to the future so that I am “dead” to the present, to the life that’s happening here and now. There’s a great story about this. During a flood, a man climbs onto the roof of his house and waits for God. Boats, tree trunks and helicopters pass, but the man ignores them. When he finally drowns and arrives in heaven, he asks why God didn’t save him. God replies, “I sent you a boat, a tree trunk, a helicopter…”

Hope can be comforting and a reason to want to live. But eventually, it zaps your life energy. When I hope that something or someone will make my life better, I give my creative power—my life power—away. I become dependent. The fear that my hope will not be fulfilled kills my openness to what life does offer.

Hope brings stress, because it creates desires and expectations. Some expectations and desires make me happy, but mainly they make me tense. I start to strive for something and meanwhile, I forget to live. Just feel what happens in your body when you start a sentence with “I hope that…”

If you hang on to hope, you’ll always have to wait: for the money that will make you happy, for the compliment that will make your day, for the hereafter that will bring you peace. Waiting makes you passive and keeps you from creating joy in your life.

Hoping for a better future means rejecting what is here, and this means you also reject a part of yourself. You resist something and thus push it away. You suppress yourself and keep yourself small. And what was it Nelson Mandela said about how keeping yourself small doesn’t benefit the world?

I hope that I have the courage to become hopeless about the world in which I live. That way I can regain the strength to become hopeful about the world once again. First, you see, I have to hit the bottom. Then with all my dreams shattered, I can see the world as it is and do what I have to do to make a better world a reality.

Giving in to despair is unpleasant, but perhaps the most direct way of achieving your dreams. Acknowledging hopelessness means ridding yourself of illusions. There are no remaining lies to let you escape the present. You stand naked before reality; completely in the here and now. The power of this experience works like dynamite—it can propel you towards fulfillment of your hope for a better future. Hopeful?

Solution News Source

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