To hope or not to??

HOPE : A good breakfast but a bad supper !!

I remember reading a doctors narrative some where…

This doctor remembers a forty-year-old journalist who was diagnosed with a grade IV glioblastoma—a malignant and fatal brain tumor. The doctor recalled his patient as a family man with a wife and a 3 year old girl..A man who used to write…

In his narrative the doctor said that he remember the man even clearly because of something that he said:- “Hope,is the one thing standing between me and peace.”

He recalled that the patients thoughts continually vacillated tens and hundreds of times a day, between two extremes: on the one hand, a belief—a hope—that he would somehow be cured, and on the other, a recognition that a cure was, if not impossible, was unbelievably unlikely.And fascinatingly, it was the idea he wouldn’t be cured that the patient found the most relieving than hoping for a cure that kept him awake at night, awash in anxiety.

In our every day life we usually consider hope among the most wondrous of gifts; it keeps us going when we want to quit and makes possible victories that seem impossible.

What ever we do, we knowingly, or unknowingly always do it with “HOPE”..

A “Hope” for a new beginning.. Hope for a better life.. Hope for the best… “Hope” crawls into our vocabulary more often than we realize…

We say things like “I hope its Ok….” , “How are you?? I hope you are doing well.. so are Nancy and the kids…” , “I hope I reach there in time…” , “I hope it doesn’t rain in the evening..”, its “HOPE” “HOPE ” “HOPE” every where…but again too much of anything can be bad..

Hope is a uniquely human emotion (only humans can envision the future well enough to feel anything about it at all), hope has a long and glorious history of bringing out the best in humankind. We have seen and heard of movies and novels where the main lead conquer mountains and defeat gigantic war machines only due to his sheer hope for a better tomorrow.. of a better life..

The key to hope’s value, however, is that the thing about which we feel it has to be actually be possible. Luckily for most of us, We don’t live in the false hope that some day we might see a unicorn or a flying elephant..We judge far more things impossible than actually are, so in most cases hope serves us wonderfully well.

But in many cases as in mine, where you desire something that is utterly impossible,or not destined to occur, hope does indeed stand between us and peace.All it does is blocking us from knowing our circumstances, and masking our ability to feel the one thing that can bring peace and insight : “acceptance”.

The problem with having a continuous hope for something that is truly impossible is that it makes us continue wanting it. And wanting something that is most unlikely to have is awful..

We are pinned, tethered to uncertainty, our minds ruminate obsessively, we invent far out schemes for getting it, pushing us farther away from sanity and truth…

We have undeniable rage and tremble at the thought of being denied of what we seek the most. I know this personally that in many such cases, hoping for the future that we want does nothing but prevent us from letting go in our hearts of a future we can’t have.. and accepting the one that we might…Denial is the worst thing that you can do to yourself… at the present and for the future.. Acceptance and hope might not go hand in hand always.. but accepting the reality is the best thing that you can do to yourself when you cannot change what is happening and what has happened..

Now, in the case of this doctor and his patient,intellectually, his patient knew that he wouldn’t be cured, but his desire to live prevented him from abandoning hope for it; His inability to abandon hope not only drove him toward things he knew in his heart would prove useless (macrobiotic diets, vitamin supplements, fasting), but more importantly kept his focus on what he knew wouldn’t be his: a normal lifespan. This hope kept him very much wanted to stop pining for it that he wanted to fight for something that’s truly not possible

The doctor remembers him self telling his patient once”You don’t know you can’t win,”

And the patient replied,”That’s exactly the problem. Intellectually I know this ends. But that goddamn bitch hope won’t let me feel it.”

A few weeks after that, because of his tumor’s location in his brain and it’s inexorable growth, the patient lost his ability to write. And though this was by far the most devastating blow his ailment had dealt him, it also turned out to be, paradoxically, one of its greatest gift.

doctor remembers the patient telling him that “he has stopped hoping,” by then his speech was so garbled his wife had to translate the sentence for him to understand.  the journalist died a week later. But, his wife told acknowledge that he died without fear. And at peace.

Once the single most thing that prevented him from seeing the truth was gone, he was left at peace…

What we have to face in our every day lives is far less treacherous and murderous than what this man had to face in his… but its still the hope of something unacceptable that keeps us awake us night.. it keeps us up and wonder about all the possibilities and “what if’s”..

I  am not a subject expert on human psychology or emotional upheavals but I know what my Poisson is.. Even after all the things that has happened.. even after all those things said and done.. I live with this constant hope that may be some day things will be alright.. I will b alright.. not that I know how likely it is… but that is the only thing that keeps me warm and company while I am going through the darkest and coldest of nights, of my life…

I have studied extensively on the value and importance of acceptance and peace.. but its just that this god damn bitch of a hope is not letting me do it..!!

And i keep wondering and asking myself these questions, “Is hope really that bad???If so,What would be better- to have a false hope or no hope at all??”


8 thoughts on “To hope or not to??

  1. I once listened to this teenage kid who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. He told me his story, of his regular student life in hostel,of how he started smoking, of how others cheered him about his this new habit. Some dayslater he Started coughing, then coughing harder.. finally coughing out blood and being diagnosed of lung cancer.
    Between he asked me, if I smoke. I replied ..yes I do. He did not tell me to stop doing it further as I expected him to reply to my answer. instead he just gave me this smile… Not exactly a pleasant smile as we expect a smile to be… It was a you-don’t-have-a-clue-about-what-you-are-doing-you-as$hole smile…The thing about this smile is that it sticks to you. You can’t forget this smile, u just can’t..

    But this guy was quite hopeful. He wanted to complete his degree, pay back the educational loan., help family… He was angry… and high in hopes to survive.
    Personally I think it’s absolutely necessary to hope for something in life, impossible hope, bad hope,Stupid hope, any kind of hope….. because if we don’t hope while we have life …then…. what’s the point?

  2. I think, ‘HOPE’ is the only thing which help each of us to survive in this highly insecure world !! well written…. keep going…. All the best 🙂

  3. I agree with your view on hope. Hope is basically a projection into the future, as you have said, and for me that is a waste of my energy. When I have my energy fully present to where and what I am right now, I will be most alive and what I do will be the best I can do. I like the statement “We move in the space we create as we move.” (J.Krishnamurti) To live in the awareness of what that means may not be easy as it requires that I take complete responsibility for all that I do right now – for that determines the quality of space that I create and into which I move in what we commonly call “the future”. Of course the future is the now when I am living it 😉 When I am aware of my thought projections into the “future” and give energy to them consciously because that projection gives me a feeling of comfort, then that is my decision. I, however, find that I increasingly lose interest in such projections of “hope” because I realize that I am just telling myself a comforting story and nothing more. On the other hand, as I increasingly live fully present here and now, the present moment takes on such depth that my mind no longer strays into such meanderings – either into the future nor into the past of regrets or cherished memories.
    best wishes,
    Tomas ☼

    1. Really thoughtful words Thomas.. Thank you for your valuable insights 🙂
      I am really glad that you agree with my perception of hope:)

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