Hope - Two angles, one way forward.
My training taught me that it's necessary to give up all hope in order to accept reality. This means give up all hope that your partner will ever change, or come back, or see you like they once did. Then, when you truly give up hope, from a state of acceptance -"People and things are the way are, not the way I think they should be" - then you are in a position to figure out what you need to do in order to experience more joy, love and peace. That means, based on this new reality, what action(s) do I know I need to take. Clearly this giving up hope extends well beyond our personal relationships.
Jane Goodall, a heroine of mine and author of the 2021 book, The Book of HOPE, A Survival Guide for Trying Times, has a slightly different take on the word hope. She gets hope from seeing the courage, bravery, and forward thinking that people experience in dire circumstances and situations. She writes:
"But each time I become depressed [about all of the atrocities and conflicts currently and in the past], I think of all the amazing stories of the courage, steadfastness, and determination of those who are fighting the "forces of evil." For, yes, I do believe there is evil amongst us. But how much more powerful and inspirational are the voices of those who stand up against it. And even when they lose their lives, their voices still resonate long after they are gone, giving us inspiration and hope--hope in the ultimate goodness of this strange, conflicted human animal that evolved from an apelike creature some six million years ago."
She believes that rather than giving into the helpless/hopeless feelings about a certain situation or topic, figure out what you can do and focus on doing it. She concludes that it's not too late, if we all use the model that those with hope embody.
Jane writes: "Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen but I'm not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement....The cumulative effect of thousands of ethical actions can help to save and improve our world for future generations."