“I hope I don’t eat one of those,” my aunt said one night at dinner nodding toward a glistening plate of baked potatoes.
Currently, I’m hoping I don’t eat the Costco bag of chocolate covered berries my husband hid from me behind a stack of shirts in his closet.
But I have a long history with hope that’s less playful, more dangerous than a few extra pounds and a sugar crash. Hope has lived on a steep cliff with an impeccable view of exactly how far I might fall if whatever I was hoping for didn’t work out. It felt precarious, like its mere embodiment was risky.
And yet, I never could stop myself, even when I lectured myself on the unlikelihood of getting whatever it was that I wanted – love, a job, success, inclusion. I reasoned if I didn’t hope then I wouldn’t be disappointed, but try as I might, I still found myself hoping, and sometimes I still found myself disappointed.
These days when I feel the whirring in my solar plexus signaling me that I’m screwing up the courage to hope for something, I catch myself.
What is the feeling I’m striving for behind this hope? What story am I telling myself about what it means about me if my hope doesn’t manifest into matter?
More often than not, when I’m hoping it means I’m living in fear rather than faith. I’m failing to trust that everything that happens – the good, the bad, the ugly – it is happening for my benefit, for the greatest good.
It is said that life happens for us not to us. My greatest hope nowadays (other than that I don’t find any more of my husband’s hiding places) is that I knit this message into my unshakable core. There is no need to hope, because everything is as it should be. It is. I am. You are – perfectly imperfect.
It goes down a little rougher than fistfuls of chocolate covered berries, but I’m pretty sure it’s the truth.
Hell, even if it’s not, choosing this belief (and we do get to choose our beliefs) makes for a far more enjoyable ride.
I hope you’re enjoying your ride.