8 Week Challenge: Hope

The theme of this week’s challenge is, as the title suggests, Hope. When I first floated the idea of starting a Challenge to Tristan of the Alternate Economy, I knew that a couple of the weeks were going to be a bit difficult for me, but none more so than Hope. Do I believe in Hope? Of course, and I’ll never stop working towards a future where the world will recognize it. Do I live my life in a way that is conducive to spreading Hope to others? Without a doubt. I’m the queen of silver linings. I can turn a frown upside down in a heart beat and stop pessimism dead in its tracks. The problem is, that’s all for other people. The truth is, I’m not a very Hopeful person.

What? You don’t believe me? I know, I put up a very good front, and trust me, I feel like the biggest hypocrite in the world sometimes. Who am I to be constantly cheering people up, when inside I’m just as down in the dumps as they are? I feel like sometimes I’m only being optimistic so that there’s at least one person in the room who can point out the bright side of something, even if I personally don’t see it myself. I figure that somebody’s got to be positive, and if no one else will do it, it’ll be my job. The problem with that, though, is that being Hopeful shouldn’t be a job, because then it’s an obligation. I find myself growing resentful of always having to be the happy person. I feel guilty when I’m not in the best of moods, and then I try to force good humour. I get so tied up in showing people the silver lining, that I don’t even notice  when my “Loving” advice turns out to be a great big dark cloud that ruins someone’s otherwise perfect day.

It’s not like I’m completely without Hope though. I am very Hopeful for others. I like to help others achieve goals, I want to see the world succeed, I want to abolish fear in the minds of the masses. I just have such a hard time when it comes to me. It’s one thing to smile at someone and tell them it’s all going to be all right, it’s another thing to believe that for yourself. Sometimes I feel that my life has strayed so far from where I thought I would be that I just sit with my head in my hands and I can’t even weep I’m so Hopeless. And then, of course, I feel guilty for thinking that way, because I have so much that I’m grateful for. But even though I’m so happy and fulfilled with what I have, there are still some things that I want that I know I’ll never have. What’s the point in holding out Hope for something that is impossible? What lesson is there in Hoping for something that will never be? Sometimes Hope just seems so…. useless. There’s an expression (if you’ll excuse my crudeness) that goes “Hope in one hand and shit in the other, see which one fills up faster”, and most days, that’s exactly how I feel about Hope. It doesn’t get you anything except disappointment. This is why I feel like such a hypocrite for spending my days trying to inspire Hope in others, because I just don’t have any left for myself. I even considered not participating in the challenge this week, and just hoping (ironically, of course) that no one would notice. But, because the challenges are about inspiring others, and I can’t possibly be the only person in the world who feels this way, I’m participating anyway, albeit in a slightly altered way.

My goal, short term and long term, is to try and find Hope. Not to spread it around, because if I can find it for myself, spreading it to others will happen on its own. I need to believe in Hope again. I need to find the proof that having Hope is not a fruitless endeavor. I need to see Hopes coming true and paying off. I need to stop Hoping for things that are impossible, and Hope for things that are achievable. I need to be able to be Hopeful for something, strive for it, and actually accomplish it. I need Hope.

So, not the most inspiring, uplifting or Hopeful post this week, but it was Honest. Please, feel free to share your stories of Hope with me. I could use the inspiration.