“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality.”– VIETNAM WAR. ADMIRAL JAMES STOCKDALE
Do you want to know the one reason you’re not happy right now?
It’s because you’re hoping for something different.
It’s as simple as that.
By wishing for something different your perception of what reality should be crashes against what is. This friction is the source of all your suffering.
You cannot alter reality. Only your perception of it, your acceptance of it.
Reality is perfectly happy being the fucked up place it is because it can’t be anything else.
It was just as fucked before you were born as it will be the day after you die.
Stop hoping for something different.
Either Act Or Accept.
These are far better choices than hoping.
Do you want to know why you’re in the mess that you are?
It’s because you were sold a dummy by a society that has glorified hope. With the movies and TV shows you watch. The super hero who swoops in to save the day at the final hour. You cling to that, waiting for your knight in shining armour to save you.
It’s true to say hope can serve as temporary relief from your current pain, but that’s about all one can say.
Do you know what else achieves the same?
Taking drugs. Drinking alcohol. Binge watching NETFLIX.
How have those things worked out for you in the past?
What has hope really done for you?
It’s another form of avoidance, of distraction.
What happened to your hope when coronavirus fucked up all your plans last year? What happened to your hope when your government repeatedly failed you?
Is hope going to get us out of this mess?
You’re the super hero of your own reality. You control yourself, your thoughts and the way you look at the world.
Hope is an excuse not to do what you can.
Hope is an excuse to say these problems are beyond you, to say they are beyond all of us.
Hope is saying all will be ok when I die and go to heaven.
Hope is what led you to hopelessness when the world didn’t live up to your expectations.
And let me tell you, living in hopelessness is an equally terrible place because that isn’t based in reality either.
Act or Accept.
Those are your choices.
I’ll say one more thing before I wrap up.
Letting go of hope isn’t about being overly pessimistic – it’s about coming back to reality and seeing it for what it is.
Hopelessness is being overly pessimistic.
If you have clothes on your back, food on the table and a roof over your head. If you can breathe…!
I’d say there is more right with you than not.
The best things in life haven’t changed because you lost your job or your wife left you.
Taking a shit or having a wank is just as wonderful with zero dollars in the bank as it is with billions (sorry, I meant feeling the cool breeze on your skin or listening to the birds chirping in the morning – yeah those things too).
Will this message inspire you in some way?
All I can do is reinforce the narratives that help me and see if it helps others.
Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.
Either way, I’m not holding onto any hope.
(Thanks for reading ladies and gentlemen. I hope (ha) you enjoyed it. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes I take a position on a topic to challenge myself (and you) to think differently, even if I don’t entirely agree with the argument. Do I really think that hope is such a terrible emotion? No, of course not. Hope is a very important emotion designed to inspire action. But here is what I did take from this post – hope without action is dangerous. Hoping for things out of your control (as I learnt the hard way this past year) is truly awful for your mental health. Hope only for yourself, for the things that you can control. And then take action to make it so. For everything else you can’t control – I suggest you practise acceptance instead. With that said I’m curious what your thoughts are on the topic of hope? As always I welcome ALL comments and opinions. Wishing you well, AP2 🙏)
You can see find more of AP2’s nonsensical world views and poor self-help advice here at: https://clear-air-turbulence.com