In all the times that hope seemed to escape me, I realised that it was not because the future held no hope. It was because I had given up hope of being able to participate meaningfully in that future.
I’ve often believed that it’s not depression that exists, but instead, it is hopelessness. It is the absence of hope, or the absence of our belief in hope, that gives us reason to feel deflated about the future. Yet we focus so much on the depression, that we don’t consider putting effort into restoring hope.
It would be simple if we weren’t invested in the present moment, or the current place, or the relationships that we cherish. The world is larger than any life we could ever live, yet we willingly forego the possibility of finding joy somewhere other than where we are.
Have we convinced ourselves that success is only relevant when shared with those that we hold significant? What if they don’t return that sentiment? Does that render us unsuccessful? Or any less valuable? Why then, do we hold on to the need to get the right response from the right person at the right time before we are willing to embrace hope?
I often toyed with the idea of being a merchant of hope. One who sells the value of moving beyond where we are, so that we allow ourselves to be recipients of beauty from those who do not hold within them the bitterness of our past. Perhaps we stay because we court the idea of being able to guide them back to joy, and in so doing, place the hope of our joy in them finding theirs? Or convincing them to see the joy in us beyond what they’ve grown to know.
Joy is cheap if not shared. Eventually, even uplifting others loses its sparkle if inclusion in their joy feels unreachable. It’s that feeling, that deeply seated desire to be instrumental in the joy experienced by another, but also being recognised and appreciated by them for creating such joy that perhaps, keeps us rooted to the pursuit of an outcome that may torment us in the present, but elevate us in the future.
The hopelessness of hope lies in the truth that hope, even when deliberately abandoned, never leaves. It never abandons us, despite the intensity of our efforts to abandon it. And, I think, it is in that tenacity of hope itself, that the ego is frustrated because even in this effort towards hopelessness it finds it impossible to attain success.