Saturday, August 28, 2010
Can I hope? Saturday, August 28, 2010.
“In all things it is better to hope than to despair.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Something happened last week that made me feel hopeful for the first time in almost two years. It had an impact. I smiled and laughed more. I slept better. I woke up with less of a feeling of dread in my stomach.
But this feeling of hope is tempered by another feeling. I’m not sure what to label this other feeling. Is it guilt? It’s from a part of me that questions whether I have the right to hope that something good happens to me, when there is so much suffering going on in every direction.
The Law of Attraction, which is fashionable right now, tells me that anything in the universe is mine for the taking if I believe it’s already mine, that I deserve it, and that I can have it. It sounds like a nice theory, but I don’t believe it. There are too many outside factors – unscrupulous investors that wipe out savings, droughts that wipe out food, hurricanes and earthquakes that wipe out dwellings – outside of our own personal points of view that can cause loss or prevent gain. Are you going to tell a starving child that she has no food because she doesn’t believe the universe is abundant enough?
No, real life us much more complex. I can believe I am a grapefruit with all my heart, but that doesn’t mean I will become one. Still, my attitude DOES make a difference, and hope is part of that. Without hope, I have no reason to try to improve my life. Without hope, I have no impetus to take action and attempt to make positive things happen. Without hope I have no energy. Without hope I want to die.
Do I deserve something good to happen to me? In a social kind of way, yes, I believe I do. I’ve had a pretty bad couple of years, and it would be nice for something good to happen. But in a spiritual kind of way, no, I’m not so sure. There are so many people worse off than myself. I don’t “deserve” a better life than anyone. The universe doesn’t owe me anything just because I’m here.
Still, I hope. And I wish. And I dream. And that’s better than it used to be.