Happier without Hope

Feb 22, 2012 by

Happier without Hope

Sometimes hope messes things up. Sometimes hope is the source of discontentment. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have hope. I realize that the previous three sentences are ridiculously pessimistic, but sometimes that’s just how I feel.

Because really, what is hope? Hope is that belief that regardless of current circumstances life could or will be different, ironically it’s the opposite of pessimism (my current state). The problem with hope is that it’s sneaky and while it may be small, a little goes a long way. It’s like that Prince of Egypt song that says, “Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill”. And I couldn’t agree more. Hope is like a parasite that can lay dormant for years living off the slightest sources of nourishment.

I guess my frustration with hope at the moment is that I was resigned in my lot, I was moving on (or trying to) when hope reared it’s ugly little head and messed me up. Ugh. Sometimes it’s much easier to be happier without hope.

Though, to be fair, how great can resigned happiness really be? I guess the answer to that varies depending on the situation. Perhaps hope isn’t so much meant to make us look for the unattainable but rather spurs us on to hold out for the better? Maybe that discontentment that hope brings is purposely designed to push us to work harder and longer toward the goal? Maybe hope is good, but it doesn’t feel like it today.

What I think the root question here is, what is realistic hope? Is there such a thing? Are there things that we base our hope in that are simply out of our reach, and by doing so are we setting ourselves up for perpetual disappointment? And if so, how do we know which hope is which?

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MAC

PS. Ironically, within about 5 minutes of posting this I read these two updates (one on Twitter the other on Facebook) 1. “Hope is never lost…” 2. “It is irresponsible to be pessimistic in the field of endless possibilities.” Ok, I get it.

PSS. For my more positive thoughts on hope, check out THIS post. It’s much more encouraging.

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1 Comment

  1. I can completely relate to this. Sometimes hope feels desperately cruel when that hope burned brightly against all odds and then the hoped for thing was just snuffed out in the end anyway. At that point, you can end up resenting the former hope itself almost as much as you resent the catastrophic destruction of the thing that you had hoped for.

    I have to think that this is because hope is only rightly understood through Christ. We can hope in him and that will never fail. Everything else hoped for has the potential to make fools of us if it was simply not “meant to be” and all of our hoping was just a heartbreaking waste of time.

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