In all my experiences and journey through the subject of mindfulness and Advaita, I naively thought I could keep HOPE.
I realised how conditioned I was to hope. I have hoped all my life; I was hoping more than I was aware of until now. I thought if I just stopped trying to mistakenly ‘create my reality’, that I was fully present, in the now. I was wrong.
HOPE was like a lingering scent I had not noticed, but it pervaded everything I was doing and ‘trying’ to be.
It came as a complete surprise one day when awareness popped up the idea inside me
‘I wonder if hope is not such a good thing after all?’
Society, religion, our entire culture continues to perpetuate future-oriented thinking by encouraging hope.
If someone is going through a tough time it seems quite natural to hope. We are told to have hope and perhaps it can take someone out of a dire inner experience, yet the more I become present, the more I realise that hope and despair are joining together as one entity. Hope was a roadblock to the present moment for me.
When I have had quite heavy periods of depression, hope has brought me out the other side, or so I thought, but there comes a point where hope is an avoidance of ‘what is’ and embracing ‘what is’ is the way through depression and anxiety.
Not drowning in the feelings, but holding the feelings within awareness, within the present moment, nurturing the part of us that suffers. No longer pushed away. Anything pushed away simply comes back stronger and more resilient.
Can we as humans truly release our attachment to hope?
I’m not sure. We naturally desire the new experiences we want, but is natural desire the same as hope? I don’t think so.
A desire can be as fleeting as ‘It would be nice if the sun came out today’ but a hope can feel more like a yearning and a belief that the object of our desire is what gives us a sense of who we are and of our own happiness. Yet the object never is what we think it is. It is an obstacle if hope becomes a continuous activity, if our happiness depends on that hope being fulfilled.
I am at the beginning of releasing hope. And I have no definitive answers on how to let it go right now, but I feel simply being aware when we hope is the beginning. By becoming more aware brings us more fully into the present moment.