When the going gets tough, it’s natural to reach for something outside you to numb the pain, or to avoid it altogether. Hope is one way of reaching. I am in an 8 car pile-up situation at the moment, and have come to despise the phrase: “All you can do is hope for the best.” So, I’ve replaced it with “All you can do is abandon hope.” *
Hoping for the best has served to make me more confused, stressed and frightened. Hoping for a situation to be any other way than how it is, is just another trick of the mind to steal your attention away from the present, thereby increasing fear of the unknown. I realized this once I decided to take some time with my fear, to confront it head on by just sitting with it for a while. Fear began to lose its power. I stopped hoping and starting being. By abandoning hope in times of duress we can be present with what IS, and as scary as that may be, it’s infinitely more productive than losing the moment to hope. Consider this quote from Chapter 13 of the Tao Te Ching:
"Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don't see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?
See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things."
Hope is just something that keeps us running from the present moment, from what is. Let's let it go and be present here, right now, together. It may be scary, but we are warriors.
This is what I’ve learned so far from the recent hiccup in my path:
It really IS not where but WHO you're with that really matters. I
flourish when surrounded by gentle, genuine, generous souls who
delight in the joyful experience of living this life heart wide open.
Living it to share joy, plain and simple. My people dance in their
underwear with hula hoops in a sea of bubbles, covered in glitter and sweat,
glowing with pure-sattvic luminosity. They don't mask it, they bask in it.
My people laugh with you, not at you. My people hug strangers with
the same love and compassion as they do their own child or
Are you my people???? If so,abandon hope and let's dance!!!
I am happy even before I have a reason.
I am full of Light even before the sky
Can greet the sun or the moon.
We have been in love with God
For so very, very long.
What can Hafiz now do but Forever
*the phrase “Abandon Hope” is from the book “When Things fall Apart” by Pema Chodron