A Hopeful Dance
Allowing room for hope ..
Budding flowers, refreshing rains, nests full of baby birds— Spring brims with the feelings of new starts and hope for the future.
This week I had a catchup with a dear friend. While we were doing our usual assessments of where we currently are in life, I had spoken about some of the things that had gone less favorably than I had anticipated, and of how I might avoid personal pitfalls from the past again.
“You don’t need to be angry with yourself for having been hopeful,” my friend said in response to frustrations about things not panning out how I wanted. It was an a-ha! moment for me. Why was I judging myself so harshly for having hoped things would work out a certain way and then for being disappointed?
“Don’t get your hopes up,” we often hear. Well, sure I have plenty of times. Usually, I’ve prided myself on being cautiously optimistic about what the future holds while still putting in work and liking to have a back up plan or safety net to catch me when things fall short. But in this case I realized I was blaming myself for something that no one can do —the ability to see what the future holds— hardly a reasonable expectation for any person.
We might have many hopes for ourselves and the world right now. Sure, hope alone is not enough and cannot replace real effort. But at the same time, dampening our dreams and desires, as if it will protect ourselves from disappointment and pain, drowns out many experiences. Most of all, the experience of learning how to deal with disappointment and pain, and then being able to grow beyond it.
It’s a dance, this search for balance between optimism and realism, belief and action in our lives. And above all, dancing along with all of you in our community, I cannot help but feel happiness and hopefulness about all that is still in store for us!