In the search for enjoying this thing called the human experience, is the trick to having it all actually wanting nothing?
If we usually associate being hopeless with despair, regret and futility this may seem a dire proposal. Yet, in our endless striving to keep up with the Joneses’, folks I’m curious to actually meet to see what the fuss is all about, we’re faced with countless opportunities and possible inevitable failures. The more we want something, the more it impacts us negatively when we’re denied it. And yet, we persevere in the pattern.
We often do this from a place of hope, wanting things to go the way we want or planned. We hope the climate will heal itself, despite our many actions that threaten it. We then hope people will stop taking actions that harm the climate, once we’ve woken up to what would help. We hope people wouldn’t harm animals or eat meat or tokenize marginalized people or abuse or exploit people. We hope men would be more chivalrous but sensitive and better communicators. We hope women will be tender and nurturing but bold and fierce in the corporate world. We hope the cake will reveal the sex of the baby we want without considering that baby might have been born transgender. We hope the weather will be nice for our vacation. We hope the jerk in front of us in traffic would get off his phone and pay attention before he hurts someone.
We hope and hope and hope. We spend our whole lives hoping. In our constant need and desire to feel good, we hold onto hope to avoid feeling anything negative or unsavory. Our whole lives rest on our hopes which is escapism in its purest form.
If we can hope for an alternate reality, we don’t have to be tuned in and vulnerable with what’s actually around us. In our hope for the future, we forget that we’re creating it in the now.
If we’re constantly choosing something that isn’t what we have, what does it mean for what we actually want?
What we resist, persists. What we allow, transforms.
So if it’s a new or different reality we want, we have to detach ourselves from actually wanting it. How does that work? Well, the trick is allowing and wanting what’s happening because it IS happening. The only way we’d ever get freedom from our wanting is to stop wanting. Otherwise, it’s an endless cycle of displeasure and dissatisfaction that would go on endlessly until we die.
That’s actually how most human beings live. It’s reality. Everything is “I hope” this and “I hope” that instead of, “I accept what is” as the genesis to accepting more and more of what is toward it becoming what we wanted after all.
When we live from a place of receiving what comes as everything we needed, either because it truly is enough or because it teaches us something we needed to see or learn about ourselves and the world, we get off the hamster wheel of wanting something else. We see every interaction, every conversation, every opportunity, every material possession lost or found, as the very thing we needed in that moment.
We don’t hope for people to be other than who they are. We don’t hope to win the lottery. We don’t hope that people will stop or start eating grass-fed meat. We don’t hope for anything. We allow what people do or say or think or feel and we use it all as wisdom for who we choose to be.
When we learn to be more hopeless, don’t live our lives resting our potential for happiness on outcomes outside of ourselves. Hoping is too passive or boring for us. Instead, we take action toward doing and thinking and feeling and saying and being who we think might make a positive difference in the world. We do it without wanting or needing or hoping other people will validate or support or emulate us.
We stop hoping and we start doing to get more of what it is we want or need. Acting from volition helps us feel empowered and energized and inspired toward building the life and the world we dream about.