Last month, I wrote about abandoning perfection. That statement likely came to you like a breath of fresh air. This month, I’m writing about abandoning hope. That statement likely brings up a different reaction. You may feel immediately angry, confused, panicked, or contentious. It’s true, abandon hope is a hard piece of advice to follow. The first time I read it, I immediately wanted to reject it.
The words of Pema Chodron:
Hope and fear is a feeling with two sides. As long as there’s one, there’s always the other. This is the root of our pain. In the world of hope and fear, we always have to change the channel, change the temperature, change the music, because something is getting uneasy, something is getting restless, something is beginning to hurt, and we keep looking for alternatives.
If you have lived life in the constant flux of channel changing, temperature adjustments, and general restlessness, you and I would have lots to talk about. My husband has advised me more than once that I shouldn’t tell people this. It makes for a better sales pitch to pretend like I have it all figured out thanks to yoga, that I’ve manifested all my heart’s desires, and that I’m grateful in all ways on all days. Of course, the real sales pitch is me saying, “And you can be, too, if you study with me!”
Instead, I’ll tell you I do not have the tools to help you abandon fear and live in hope. In fact, I’ll tell you I have some tools that may help you abandon hope and make friends with fear. My husband is right … it’s a shitty sales pitch. (He also says I shouldn’t curse in business emails. He’s probably right about that, too.)